Question My mother is always telling me how to take care of my baby. I know she means well, but it makes me upset. I don’t want to hurt her feelings. What can I do?
Answer Grandparents naturally want to be involved in your baby’s life. Other relatives may also offer advice. They often
think they can save you from mistakes they made. They only want the best for your child.
All parents have to find their own way of rearing children. Everyone makes mistakes. No one does it perfectly. Here are some ideas to try:
- Be open-minded. Use the advice that makes sense to you. Forget the rest. For example, your mom may insist that you “dress up” the baby when you take him out. But you may find that your baby is more comfortable without a bonnet and shoes. So you dress him in a play shirt, diapers and socks.
- Explain what you are doing. “We don’t toss him in the air or play‘horsy.’ That kind of rough play can damage his brain.”
- Point to an expert. “My doctor told me to put him to sleep on his back.”
- Talk it out. Discuss feeding and snacks. “Bananas are more nutritious
than doughnuts.” Explain about bedtime and naps. “I sit by his bed
and pat him on the back until he stops crying and falls asleep.” Talk
about playing and toys. “He loves to play ‘patty-cake’ over and over.”
- Let grandparents know specific ways they can help. “Dad, you could
help me most by baby-sitting once a week.” Or, “Mom, I never have
enough quarters for the laundromat. Could you save some for me?”
After your explanations, grandparents and others may say, “Well, we did it
this way, and all our kids turned out all right.” Avoid arguments. Say,“Thank you for your opinion. I know you are trying to help.” You may also
let them know that new information is now available on what helps babies
develop and what things to try to avoid.
When grandparents baby-sit, give them food and diapers for your baby.
Explain safety issues to them. They may have old-fashioned ideas about
safety or they may have forgotten how active a nine-month-old can be.
Have on hand anything else your baby may need, such as medicine. Explain
about any allergies or problems, like teething.
Remember that no one will care for your baby exactly as you would.
Everyone does it differently. Your baby will come to know and love his
grandparents in a special way.
This content has been provided freely by CMC. Click Healthy Start, Grow Smart—Your-Nine-Month-Old for your free download. Click GreatDad Free Ebook to download the entire Health Start, Grow Smart series.
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