Dear In laws, Thank you, but I think I know my baby better than you.

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Sometimes you have people in your life who seem to think they know your baby better than you do. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes there is friendly advice or tips, but then there are backhanded remarks and jabs on your parenting choices.

You’re visiting your in laws over the holiday’s and it seems like every single thing you do comes with some backhanded remark about how they did such and such differently or that they never did such and such with their son and he turned out just fine. It just gets so frustrating. 

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When your baby cries you pick him up, every single time. Then you get the, “You’re going to spoil him if you cater to his every cry”, or “He is just testing you, if you keep picking him up he will become too dependent on you.” Since when did a baby being dependent on their mom become a bad thing? Aren’t all babies dependent on their parents? It’s not possible to spoil a baby either , especially when it’s with your presence. Thank you, but I think I know my baby better than you. 

Dinner time comes and they go to feed your baby a bite of mashed potatoes, you stop them and nicely say, “He is exclusively breastfeeding and not quite ready for solid foods yet, my milk gets the job done just fine.” You would think that it would end there, right? Wrong. You get to hear, “I fed my son when he was just 4 months old and look at him, he turned out just fine! Stop being so paranoid.” It’s not paranoia, it’s facts and it’s the recommendation from The World Health Organization & The Academy of Pediatrics  to hold off on solid foods until six months of age. There have been some new data that maybe wasn’t available when she fed solids to her son years ago. Thank you, but I think I know my baby better than you. 

Baby wants to nurse, you put him on the boob. Here come the, “Seems like that baby is always attached to your boob, you sure he is getting enough milk?” Considering that breastfeeding isn’t just about the milk and babies nurse when they are thirsty, hurt, sad, overstimulated, need comfort, etc… yes baby is getting plenty of milk and then some.. Thank you, but I think I know my baby better than you. 

You put baby down for a nap. About five minutes passes and baby starts to cry as soon as he realizes you weren’t right by him. You get up to comfort him and you are questioned as you walk to the room with, “Let that baby cry, it’s good for their lungs and you comfort him every time you will never get any sleep.” Well, considering baby is in a new environment and you normally sleep right next to him when you’re at home, so he feels secure and content, you get a ton of sleep, probably more sleep than most! Thank you, but I think I know my baby better than you. 

Graphic Via The Milk Meg

Graphic Via The Milk Meg

You have a shy baby that maybe isn’t so friendly with other people and naturally so. Some of your relatives and in laws take offense to it and say, “Well he needs to learn manners and respect. You don’t want him growing up to be disrespectful , do you?” Babies and small children are not being disrespectful when they don’t want to show affection and forcing them to give a hug or allow someone to hold them when they aren’t feeling it is definitely not how you teach them respect. I let my child warm up to people and once he feels comfortable they may get a smile or a hug and that should be enough. My kid will know his manners and be respectful, but forcing him to show affection is not the way to do it. Thank you, but I think I know my baby better than you. 

Being a new mom is stressful enough and mixing that in with in laws criticizing your every move can be very stressful. It’s important that they understand boundaries, and that in the end you are the mom. The choices you make is because you know your baby better than anyone. You are with your baby more than anyone else. You know what your baby needs and you have great instincts, and that’s what you go by. Although it would be nice to not have any disagreements or conflict when it comes to your baby, you protect no matter what, and don’t feel bad about it!

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