When you announce your pregnancy, get prepared. The amount of unsolicited advice, opinions and old wives’ tales coming your way will skyrocket, and from every direction – your mother, your mother-in-law, complete strangers at the supermarket, your partner’s boss… YOU NAME IT. And it will be up to you to weed fact from fiction and ultimately do what is right for you and your baby. Here’s a few nuggets to look out for:
You’ll spoil your baby if you pick him up when he cries.
First of all, you can’t spoil a newborn. If your baby calms down when you pick him up, he needs to be picked up. During the first six months of life, a baby’s primary job is to gain confidence that you will respond to his needs. Author Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., who wrote Emotionally Intelligent Parenting, says “The critical task at this stage is developing a sense of trust that the world will take care of him. If you’re crying or screaming and no one comes to pick you up, you don’t develop that trust.” After the baby is about 6 months old, THEN you can pull back a bit and let him figure out that he can survive, albeit briefly, without someone rushing to his side. But by this point he knows you’ll be coming back!
Your feet grow a full size when you’re pregnant.
Okay, this is actually half true. They normally expand only half a size, says Michele Isaacs Gliksman, M.D., coauthor of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth. With all the additional weight and swelling, your feet tolerate quite a bit when you’re expecting a baby As a result, bones, soft tissue, muscles, and blood vessels get stretched out. And if you’re having twins, if they really can’t return to their original size. Excuse to go shoe shopping?!
The “twos” are terrible.
The “twos” (more specifically, between 18 and 30 months of age) aren’t terrible at all if you’re prepared. A child this age has begun to express their independence and individuality. “You want your child to establish his own identity,” says Susan Anderson Swedo, M.D., a behavioral pediatrician and coauthor of Is It “Just a Phase”? “So whenever possible, you need to encourage his desire to separate from you.” To make the twos more manageable, be sure to set clear limits, offer choices (“What’ll it be — the red pajamas or blue ones?”), and try to reduce the number of situations in which rebellion must be squashed.
Bribing your child is always a bad idea.
So, bribing a child is ALMOST always a bad idea. If you’re able to avoid it 97 percent of the time, it can serve you well for those 3 percent of situations in which decent behavior is required. If, for instance, you really, really need your 5-year-old to sit still during your cousin’s wedding, there’s no harm in promising that you’ll buy him a favorite toy at the end of the day. Why not use this more often then? Well, practically speaking, bribery costs money, but more importantly it loses its effectiveness pretty rapidly. Also, you’ll no doubt want to avoid the message it sends: that you don’t have to behave like a civilized human being unless there’s something in it for you.
“Losing It” With Your Kids Makes You a Bad Parent
Let’s face it, children know how to push our buttons. And as a result, sometimes we scream at our kids. Luckily, it’s a universal experience for parents to “lose it” from time to time, and that doesn’t make you a bad parent. As long as the parent can share with the child afterwards that the outburst was over the top, the kids will be able to shrug it off and move on. Rest easy and know that you are not the only mom or dad who’s yelled (believe me)!