Becoming a parent is one of the biggest life-changers. Nursing a babe makes it more overwhelming. People mean well, but the last thing you may need are other people’s opinions. People love to tell you exactly what they did and what “will” work for you. This is some of the advice I’ve received from well-intentioned people that I wish they had just kept to themselves.
1. “The baby isn’t getting enough milk”
When people aren’t familiar with nursing, cluster feeding throws them off. They think that the baby isn’t getting enough because they are constantly feeding. Hearing this as a first time mom can be frustrating because you start to believe it. With my second baby, I just tell people that my 16lb 3 month old is doing just fine.
2. “Supplement with formula, it will fill them up to sleep longer.”
I have no problem with formula feeding if that is the decision you have made for your baby. I have made the decision to nurse my baby, and I don’t need to supplement just because you think my baby has irregular sleeping patterns. He is a baby. They aren’t meant to sleep on command.
3. “He is thirsty. You should feed him water.”
This one is my favourite. Did you know breastmilk is comprised of about 88% water? He doesn’t need water. In fact, if I feed my baby too much water, it could do more harm than good.
4. “Well, what did you eat?”
Your diet has an impact on your milk, but when my baby starts crying because he is tired 15 minutes after a feed. I have had people asking me what I ate to make him so gassy. They think that every bite I take magically makes it through my body that quickly. That bowl of carrots must have triggered this onset of crying. Get real. My baby just needs a nap.
5. “We did it & our kids turned out fine.”
This one is my absolute favourite. Great, I am over the moon that you got to make your own decisions and your children turned out perfectly. Now, back off and let me make my own decisions without your judgement.
It can be hard to hear these things, especially if it’s coming from family. Just stand your ground and tell people that you are doing what works best for you and your babe. Tell them you have a happy and healthy baby. They can’t really argue with that.
Photo courtesy of: Chris Alban Hansen
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.