A Million Ways to Raise a Child
by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson
There’s a lot of discussion on how to raise our children. Breastfeeding, daycare, and cold remedies are all up for debate. As long as there have been babies, there’s been advice on what you should and should not do.
I recall an older relative talking about putting a little alcohol in the baby’s bottle. Umm, doesn’t that seem a bit unhealthy, illegal, and just wrong? Now a glass of wine for the parents, I get. I don’t remember my parents letting me have alcohol at age 10, 16, or 20. I mean couldn’t that lead to other problems? Like a drunk baby?
Or how about the advice to put oatmeal in the baby’s bottle with milk? This might very well be the reason that I’m turned off by the sight of oatmeal. Unless it’s in cookies.
Some people might tell you to wait to cut your child’s hair until he’s one year old. There are different reasons why, such as his speech will be impaired or he won’t learn how to crawl. I cut my son’s hair before he was a year old. I had to because I didn’t think the sheep dog look was cool. Not sure what to do with all that freshly cut hair, I placed it in a Ziploc bag. And once a year, he takes take the bag and runs around the house boasting, “This was my hair when I was a baby!” His speech and motor skills are fine, and he has a bag of hair to play with once a year.
Making sure to get professional photos of the kids every year was another suggestion given to me. Admittedly, it’s very cool to line the pictures up and see the changes from year to year. But that generally requires a cute little dress or nice slacks and a tie that realistically they will wear just for that photo. And yes it is possible that they will poop on, upchuck on, or otherwise destroy that outfit the day of the photo shoot. And no matter how hard the photographer tries, there’s a strong likelihood that the kid won’t smile. All that for around $150. That was cool until the recession. Now we set it up at home. I set my expectations low: Wear what you want and try to look in the direction of the camera.
When you first bring the baby home, tons of people chime in, telling you to let him cry to sleep. That might be easy for a seasoned parent, but we need to be a bit easy on the newbies. When you go from no kids and quiet nights to a baby screaming at excessive decibels, you get a bit freaked out. Those tiny creatures can cry for long periods. It’s similar to a recorded loop of the same cry. Only it’s not recorded. It’s live. In your house.
Best advice? Do what works best for you. Even if that means that you run in to pick up your long-haired crying baby every time he cries.