A question to all the mothers out there: do you remember the time when you had been new Moms? Did you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the flow of inquiries and advice?
When we got discharged from the hospital and went home with our baby, many people were surprised we're not having any relatives to stay with us and help. To tell you the truth, after I gave birth I didn't want to see anyone but my husband (and our little darling, naturally!) for weeks. I felt I need the time and space to just be with my daughter, and learn things at my own pace.
When you are a new mother, more experienced women will almost undoubtedly comment on how you feed, change, bathe, dress and handle the baby, how your baby is growing and developing, and which improvements your parenting style could do with.
Something many older women disagree with: I feed my baby on demand. That doesn't mean I nurse every time she cries or gets fussy, because that would be every ten minutes! She might cry because she's wet, uncomfortable, or has gas in her little tummy; or simply because she needs to be held by Mom, bless her little heart - quite understandable for a one-month-old. But if she's showing obvious signs of hunger and nothing will calm her, she will eat, even if less time than usual passed since last feeding.
I keep hearing that my baby "needs" a pacifier every time she gets fussy. I'm not saying there's something inherently wrong with giving a pacifier. But I have noticed our baby usually does not cry "for no reason". She's hungry, or uncomfortable, or has colic; or sometimes she just needs to be held - and that's fine! She's a tiny baby, and she has to be secure of our presence. I want to know what she needs.
Also, I heard that the use of pacifiers might undermine breastfeeding. Not giving a pacifier is our decision, and I would expect it to be respected, especially when I've explained our reasoning numerous times.
There's nothing wrong with accepting advice. On my blog, many wonderful ladies have left me tons of valuable hints, tips and practical information. But there's this thin line between making information available to a new mother, and making her feel incompetent if she doesn't accept certain suggestions. Like a friend of mine once said to me, babies don't come with instruction manuals, and sometimes you just need to trust your instincts and figure out on your own what works for you and your baby.