Give Yourself a Break

There are a few things most parents can agree on. First, having children is a blessing. And second, raising them is not easy. Whether this is your first baby or your seventh, you are going to make some mistakes. But, here’s the good news: 100% of children grow up with parents who make mistakes, and the vast majority of them turn out just fine.

When you have a baby, you will have no lack of advice. Good intentioned people everywhere will give you heartfelt, and often conflicting, advice on everything from feeding to baby sleep to what kinds of toys are best for your baby.

For the most part, advice is a good thing. Get as much of it as you can, from as many trusted sources as you can. The reason we know more about parenting today than in past generations is because of the collective wisdom that has been handed down (usually in the form of advice).

Ultimately, however, parenting decisions fall to you as the parent. It’s great when an expert tells you that you should (or shouldn’t) co sleep with your infant, but in the end, you’re the one who needs to make the decision. Weigh what everyone has to say about it, and make the best decision you can. But don’t get caught up in the ideas that if you don’t use a particular parenting method or technique you’re somehow screwing your baby up.

Will you make some decisions that you will look back on and regret? Probably. But so does everyone. Why not give yourself a break and focus instead on how many good decisions you make for your baby every day. We’re willing to bet that they far outweigh any mistakes that you may have made.

However you choose to feed your baby, lay her down to sleep, and whatever products you do or don’t buy for your baby, the most important thing is that you love her and that you find ways to show her that love. Do what you feel is best for her based on the information you have, and the one thing that no one else has-your experience with your baby. And in the end, everything will work out.

The one thing you don’t want, either for yourself or your baby, is to be so worried about how every little thing will affect your baby that you become afraid to try anything new. Raising a baby is a bit like an experiment at times, and you will doubtless have to try several different things to see what works best when it comes to soothing your baby, helping her sleep, and any number of other parenting challenges.

And that’s OK. Really, you’re doing fine.