So... what is the one piece of advice I would give to every new parent?
Quite simply, it would be to, do whatever you need to, to survive. No, really. I mean it.
Don't fret over consequences or what 'other people' will think.
What I mean by this is, don't avoid doing something that may give you short term gain, because of what the future implications might be.
Take dummies for instance. There is a lot of hype about dummies, people feel judged for using them. I held off giving my daughter a dummy for ages, because of the fear of what 'other people' might think. Not only that though, it was also the fear of what might happen further down the line. All the stories of 'well so and so had a dummy and now his teeth aren't straight', and someone else whose kid had a dummy and he never slept through the night, and my neighbours, brothers, wife's, nephew had a kid who STILL has a dummy, and he is 25!!
THIS! This is what I am talking about.
Lets just break this down. Your baby is probably 4 weeks old, it probably feels like it cries all the time, it wants to feed all the time, and you desperately just want to be able to sit and watch an episode of Coronation Street without your boobs out! Sounding familiar?
So you think maybe a dummy might help?! However, you then remember all of the above and all you can see is them running off to high school clutching a giant, adult sized dummy like some kid from the nineties!
At the risk of repeating myself..... your baby is 4 WEEKS OLD! Why are you thinking about when they go to school? Or about whether the teeth they don't even have yet, will be wonky?
If you think that at this moment in time, this current moment in time, your baby/your sanity will benefit from them having a dummy...... give them a bloody dummy!! Worry about the consequences later.
This doesn't just apply to dummies.
Don't carry on doing something, or avoid doing something because of what other people might think, or because you are worried about what might happen.
You will get over being judged, and you can deal with the consequences as and when they arise.
I breastfed my daughter for 5 months, and I breastfed my son for almost 8 weeks. Both very different babies, in very different circumstances. I hated giving up feeding him but it was the best decision for both of us at the time. The guilt was consuming and I felt like I had failed. I worried about how healthy he would be, would he be less intelligent, would I get breast cancer because I hadn't fed for long enough (yes really) etc etc, because these are all the things we are told are the 'benefits' of breastfeeding.
Well you know what?! It was all pretty pointless worrying. He is now two, and so far he is healthy, happy, and of the same intellect as his sister..... she however, had severe eczema as a baby and is allergic to eggs and peanuts. Go figure.
When people say 'mum knows best' they are usually right. So whatever it is that you have not done, for fear of future consequences, or what other people might think, try and put things into context.
What's the worst that could happen if you use a dummy? You actually get some peace and quiet?? Horrendous!!
Besides.... kids can have braces for wonky teeth.... therapy because you have gone slightly insane through lack of sleep, is a lot more expensive!!
What My Fridge Says