How to cope with conflicting advice on parenthood

Discussion in 'Baby & Toddler' started by minikins, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. minikins

    minikins Well-Known Member

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    Just found this interesting article on the BBC website and how true it is;

    Everybody knows best

    You can often be bombarded with advice from all sides.

    "Don't pick that baby up - you'll be making a rod for your own back."

    "You can't go to him every time he cries - he'll be completely spoiled."

    "You have to show him right away who's in charge."

    "We had you out of nappies by now."

    "We didn't do it like that in my day."

    New parents can be forgiven for feeling they're suffering from information and advice overload. And so it goes on!

    Many parents complain they also receive conflicting advice from health professionals. On matters like feeding you may hear different opinions from the midwife, the health visitor, your doctor as well as the mum next door and your own parents. Then there are the dozens of articles and books that have the shelves groaning with advice overload!

    You're the expert on your baby

    There's one really important point to remember - you're the expert on your baby. Nobody knows more about what your baby is like and how he prefers things than you.

    * Listen - don't automatically ignore advice just because it's been offered by someone you don't necessarily like or get on with. Think about whether some of it might be useful.
    * Understand - try to realise that some relatives (your parents perhaps) might find it hard to accept that you're a 'grown-up' adult who can make decisions for yourself.
    * Be sensitive - it can be hard to keep your cool when bombarded with unwanted advice but it's important to try and handle possible conflict sensitively.
    * Use diversion - sometimes changing the subject can save you from having to listen to advice you don't want to hear. Try asking for advice on something else: "I'm working out the feeding in my own way, but I wanted to ask if you remembered what toys were good for this age?" instead of "I really don't want your views on feeding."
    * Be firm - you're the expert on your child (even if you sometimes don't feel it!) so let it be known. Say: "I really appreciate that you're trying to help, but I definitely want to do this my own way."
    * Update your advisors - you might try quoting 'experts' such as your doctor, health visitor or even information from an article you've read to show how times - and the advice to parents - have changed.
    * Communicate - if your parents or close relatives are over-zealously handing out advice, you might like to 'admit' to them that you know you might make mistakes sometimes, but you want to learn with your baby the way they must have done with their children.

    It can be particularly hard to deal with conflicting advice - however well-meant - when it comes from close friends or relatives. The last thing you want is a rift at a time when everyone should be pulling together. The most important thing is that new parents should feel they have enough support without it becoming unwelcome.

    Not all the advice you receive will be to your liking, so listen and sift through all the advice and act on that which best suits you and your family.

    There is no doubt this can be a difficult, delicate time. Most people will want to give you advice - the trick is to try and accept this while still making it clear that you're in charge of final decisions when it comes to your baby.

    Here is the link;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/parenting/your_kid ... ping.shtml[/b]
     
  2. Lauz_1601

    Lauz_1601 Well-Known Member

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    That is so true, especially about how times change and updating advisors.
    I have alot of people say oooh her hands are really cold and I have to explain that it is totally normal for babies to have cold hands and feet and to feel down their vest if they are warm there then they are ok. Even showed my mum a booklet that said this to prove it to her lol.
     
  3. lauramumof2

    lauramumof2 Well-Known Member

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    Here here!
    I take the advice based on what I need and think is best. Not feeding solids till 6 months - no way would that have suited my big baby but perhaps might have suited someone elses baby. There are so many 'recommedations'. The world health comission advises...... bugger them, if they arent here at 3am helping me change a crying baby then they can shut up.

    They are all different and so are we.

    As for the cold feet, I was under the impression that if her feet were cold she was cold and therefore wrapped her up but no, as lauz said, I should have been feeling her tummy. Its one of these things you find out and it wasnt till she was in hospital and ill with a bug that anyone told me.

    You cant be right all the time :oops:

    Laura.
     
  4. Strangeness

    Strangeness Well-Known Member

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    I go with what I feel is right all the time. I do listen to advice and then judge whether it is right for my son because no one knows him like I do! I was told at last weigh in he wasn't big enough for his age and following his line. He's happy, healthy and meeting all his milestones so I have no come to realise I shouldn't worry!
     
  5. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

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    my mum is always going on about how rubie has cold hands and feet and telling me to put an extra blanket on her it drives me mad lol
     
  6. Ragna

    Ragna Well-Known Member

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    Excellent MiniKins !!

    <<<<Clapping at that.

    I've said this time and time again that you get so much conflicting information how an earth are you meant to know what is the right one to take. (especially from the professionals)

    I always say that you should do what you feel most comfortable with, cos he/she is YOUR baby. And Babies are all individuals, not the text book version that they expect them to be !

    Ragna xxxxxxxxx
     
  7. stephlw25

    stephlw25 Well-Known Member

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    Here Here, since when do babies come with a text book?!! lol

    I just go with my insticts and do what i know is best, ive given up taking up advice from health professionals! they all say different!
    Every baby is different and doesnt always do exactly what it says in the "textbook"

    LOL
     
  8. Lou

    Lou Well-Known Member

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    My mum drives me up the fecking wall trying to tell me what to do with Isaac! To be fair its not so much what she says but how she says it. She is very sarcastic and says things like "that baby is hungry" after he has just had 8oz! We had an arguement last weekend about a blanket or something just as stupid and I told her that if I brought Isaac up like I had been brought up then I should light a fag and sit him on my lap!!!

    You could've cut the air with a knife lol

    Lou :)

    My HV thinks I am doing a good job so thats good enough for me!
     
  9. stephlw25

    stephlw25 Well-Known Member

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    lol Lou my mum is exactly the same!..... " he needs winding thats whats wrong" "hes hungry" "crikey hes got a pants full" grrrrrr drives me mad!!!
    And then i try to tell her something and im "teaching her to suck eggs" :roll:
     
  10. minikins

    minikins Well-Known Member

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    Yaay I did a good thread at last :)

    That's so funny about the hands and feet, other people always worry about that and don't realise it's natural.

    As I always say (blimey I sound like a mum) Mother knows best ;)
     
  11. Guest

     
  12. Guest

    You always do good threads....

    Cheers for posting that - it's so very true though things are too conflicting.
     
  13. Guest

    You always do good threads....

    Cheers for posting that - it's so very true though things are too conflicting.
     
  14. Tiny Sue

    Tiny Sue Well-Known Member

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    When I was in hospital with Naomi, and she was losing weight, I got so much conflicting advice from different sources that I was driven crazy. What with the lack of sleep and everyone who came in telling me where I was going wrong, I was ready to give up by the time she was four days old.

    A junior paediatrician came in, he was marvellous. His name is Zen, which I thought was a good omen! I was in tears when he arrived, and he sat down and told me - what the nurses and midwives say is sometimes right, but don't be afraid to tell them when they talk a load of s*** too... and that I needed to start listening to one person - me!

    He sure stiffened my back for me, let me tell you! I took charge and made decisions etc - but he gave me the confidence to do it by making me realise that I was capable instead of clueless.

    I think that when we realise that we are the expert on our own babies, it starts to get easier!

    Good thread minikins! (as always!)

    Sue
     
  15. minikins

    minikins Well-Known Member

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    That's what I found, as soon as I stopped hanging on everyone else's word on babies and did my own thing, my confidence grew and I found I was a better mum and I was being myself. And it was then that I started to enjoy motherhood.
     

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