3/6/13

The very best advice for New Parents-DWYGD!

(The one question readers ask me all of the time is,"What is your best advice for new parents." Being a (new) first time parent myself, I never felt like I was the best person to answer that question. However, now that I have survived the first year of parenting I think I have enough experience (read: screwed up enough and have been peed, pooped and puked on enough) to give a well informed answer on the first year of parenting. So without further ado, my very best piece of advice for new parents...Because they do not get enough...)

Do what YOU gotta do. That's it. DWYGD!


It's Ollie Wonka!






Naturally as a new parent you want to do everything right, you want to be the best and provide the best. Somehow you know in your heart what the best thing to do is, you just feel it. Unfortunately, unless you are super sure of yourself, you are going to second guess the hell out your parenting choices. Don't do it! The whole mother's/father's intuition business is real. Follow it. Do what is best for your baby, you and your family.

In your quest to be the best it's natural to turn to books, friends, family and professionals, but keep in mind when you are on this quest for knowlegdge, there are four million published "parenting experts and medical professionals" contradicting each other. So just when you decide you are going to follow one doctor's advice, another one tells you how horrible it would be for your child's development to follow any method but theirs. Personally, I started wiping my ass with the pages of those parenting books around six-months into my son's life. I had finally had it with the contradictions and false advice.

I had one pediatrician tell me I could let Ollie cry it out as early as 6-weeks old. Then another pediatrician, IN THE SAME PRACTICE, tell me that the CIO method would be neurologically too much for a baby under 12-weeks old. SO... Who was right? I still do not know, but I will tell you what was right for my family, not letting Ollie scream bloody murder at night. It broke my heart and FTD's too. We never had the balls to let Ollie CIO. Ollie slept through the night off and on from 6-months, and then consistently at 11-months old. We have moved on from this issue, and we are proud of the decision we made. We did what we had to do and it worked for us, and that is all that matters!

Believe it or not, I got grief about exclusively breastfeeding Ollie. I made a lot of sacrifices and faced criticism for it. Yeah sure, I could have given him formula and had more of a "personal life," but I didn't, that was my choice, and I am SO proud of myself for that! I did what I had to do for my son, and dammit it was the right thing to do!

Being a first time parent is not easy, and a little (a lot) scary. Everyday you are forced to make choices for your child, like to use cloth or disposable diapers, nurse or give formula, let your baby CIO or not, allow TV before two or not, daycare, toys, activities... the choices and decisions never end! All you can do is do what you gotta do in the situation with the information you have. Just know this, no two children are alike, and their needs in the same situation may be (usually are) vastly different. Just do what you gotta do for your child and your family and have faith in yourself that you made the correct choice.

I learned to take each day and issue as it came. Some things I googled for answers and some things I called family and friends, but as time went on and my son got older I learned to trust my instincts. Yes, some decision were wrong, some of my methods were nuts, but my kid is super bad ass and that is all that matters!

Now, will the DWYGD method be easy for you to follow a first? Most likely... NOT! Will you second guess yourself every time you DWYGD? Absolutely! Will you be surprised at the crazy stuff you come up in the heat of the night? Without a doubt! Will you argue or disagree with you significant other about the DWYGD method? Like a freaking boss! Over time will you find that the DWYGD method really is the best? Without a freaking doubt!



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Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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