Becoming a new mom brings a plethora of changes for a woman – not only physically, but also mentally. She is happy yet apprehensive, excited yet worried, ready yet un-prepared. However, sometimes, a new mom is subjected to so much advice and criticism from friends, family and relatives, that it makes her vulnerable mental state so much worse! What seems like a friendly suggestion could actually be disguised criticism, comparison or nagging, and no new mother finds this easy to tackle. It makes her apprehensive about her actions, and she starts doubting herself. She starts wondering whether she is doing the right thing or not. For a mother who is already going through a lot of different emotions and challenges, the added burden of constant judgement is just the last straw!
As a new mom, I too have gone through this situation. While I have accepted and implemented some of the advice I have received, a lot has failed miserably. There are other suggestions which I have just refused to accept.
At the end of the day, a mother knows what is best for her baby. Her intuition and instincts guide her to look after her baby in the gentlest way possible. Whatever I have done for my baby is because I felt it was correct – but people have judged me for this. I really wish there was better understanding in our society about how to support mothers, instead of just making things harder for them. Recently, I came across the newly launched Baby Dove range of superior babycare products, and was happy to see that they are out there to to reassure and help mothers in their new role and to get them to trust their own maternal instincts when it comes to their babies. According to Baby Dove, there is no right or wrong way of being a mother, just your way. I think this is a wonderful mantra that all of us mothers need to remember while raising our kids. It makes me even surer of these decisions I took as a first-time parent, amidst a lot of judgment from people around me:
#1: I avoided a rough oil massage for my baby
Many new moms are told that giving their baby a rough oil massage, by pressing body parts like hands or legs, will strengthen their muscles. This has been an Indian tradition for a long time. However, as per my doctor’s advice, I did not do any such thing. Yes, I massaged my baby but I ensured that the massage was pleasant and soothing. I stuck to gentle movements with only slight pressure and this was really enjoyable for my baby. A short massage, a warm bath, and a nourishing 24-hour moisturizer like the Baby Dove Rich Moisture Baby Lotion is all my daughter needs to remain moisturised and have soft supple skin the entire day.
#2: I bathed my baby in the evening
Evening showers are supposed to result in cold and cough and increase the chances of your baby falling sick. But, in my case, evening baths worked wonders. They helped give pleasant sleep to my daughter. A warm bath followed by moisturization helped her relax and sleep calmly most of the times. I am glad I chose to do it despite being judged for it!
#3: I used diapers for my baby instead of cloth nappies
This is probably one of the biggest decisions that I have been judged for. I was told diapers lead to nasty rashes in babies. However, I felt that diapers helped keep my baby dry all through the night and ensured peaceful sleep for both of us. Cloth nappies needed to be checked periodically and that meant disturbing my baby in her sleep. I ignored this judgement and used diapers whenever I felt the need, especially at night and when we went out. I just took the necessary care to ensure her diaper area was fresh, such as changing diapers often and keeping the area moisturised. I now use the Baby Dove Diaper Rash Cream, which is perfect for my baby’s sensitive skin. It is moisturising and gentle on her skin, and has helped limit redness and rashes to a great extent. Plus, the fragrance is also very soothing. This product has really helped keep my baby happy and playful.
#4: I took her out in the first month
I started taking my baby out on strolls or to other places from the first month itself. She took her first flight when she was two months old. This again was subject to much judgment from people who thought babies must be kept inside the house till they are much older. Well, I strongly feel it is okay to take your baby out as long as you are well prepared and they are well protected. I made sure I chose the places wisely and ensured that the surroundings were clean. She enjoyed the out-time and was better prepared to deal with natural factors when she grew up.
#5: I did not use home remedies for colic pain
Colic pain is a very common problem for infants, and it is really painful to see little babies crying due to it. But instead of using home remedies for this, I found it better to use colic pain medicines. They gave almost immediate relief. Many around me felt it is wrong to give medicines to such a small baby. But what we forget is that these medicines have been specifically made for them and prescribed by the doctor!
#6: I instilled certain habits in my daughter
In raising my daughter, I have always insisted that she follow certain habits like brushing teeth at night and washing hair every day. These habits are followed by my daughter even if it is a different place or the temperature is a little lower. I have been told that it is okay if kids don’t follow these habits in the winters. But I disagree. I feel that more than the requirement, it is a question of habit. This is why I ensure that she does this everywhere so the habit never gets discontinued. We just take extra precautions when the season changes.
Every mother is different and so is every baby. What works for one might not work for the other. So, instead of listening to everything, I feel that we just need to stick to our own decisions to choose what is best for our child. Yes, we might face a lot of criticism or resistance from others, but let’s try and ward them off as part and parcel of the journey, instead of feeling depressed or taking undue stress because of them.
Your baby is the most important thing for you. So, as a mother, you have the full right to decide for her, without being influenced by others. As a mom, you know what is right, and you will definitely be doing the best for your baby, even though this may not meet the ‘perfect’ criteria set by society. As Baby Dove believes 'There are no perfect moms, only real ones!’
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