Confusing vs. Real Expectations about babies: for Parents and Birth Workers
“We don’t want you to be confused about your baby when they come” – Dr. Greer Kirshenbaum Ph.D.
Anyone who says that infant care isn’t one of the hardest jobs in the world must never have met one. In this blog we are going to talk about some of the confusing expectations about babies and enlist some of the reality expectations you, your family and/or your client need to know.
Talking about infant care is not only ensuring that you are meeting their basic needs anxiety-inducing enough, but when there are so many conflicting sources of information about if you’re doing it right, the overwhelm becomes tenfold.
It seems like everyone’s an “expert” when it comes to taking care of babies the “right way”, and it may feel like there is just an endless stream of unsolicited advice, criticism and people who are “speaking from experience.”
That’s why we’re going to break down 10 of the most common confusing expectations about babies and let you in on the reality that is caring for little ones. This is the Confusing vs. Real Expectations about babies!
Here are some of the most confusing expectations about babies:
- Babies should be calm when they are put down.
- ou don’t need to hold your baby all of the time.
- You don’t need to sleep close to your baby.
- You should not hold your baby when they sleep
- Your baby needs to learn independence.
- You don’t need to respond to all of your baby’s cries.
- You can wait before responding to your baby’s cry.
- Babies should sleep long stretches of time and need to learn to do so.
- Babies don’t need to eat frequently.
- Babies should sleep on a schedule.
But the reality is…
- Babies actually benefit from being held nearly all of the time
- Babies and their parent(s) will have better sleep when they sleep in the same room
- As long as the parent(s) is/are alert, holding babies while they sleep is beneficial
- Babies will naturally learn independence through dependence during infancy
- Babies benefit more when we respond to all of their cries
- Babies will wake up throughout the night all the way until they are 3 years old (and even beyond)
- Babies’ bodies will signal to them when they are hungry
- Babies’ bodies will also signal to them when they are tired
What’s important to remember is that you need to work with your baby’s biology and neurobiology, not against it. Trying to fight a baby’s natural instincts is often what causes all of the confusion and frustration, and can cause more harm than good in the long run.
If you are a parent, birth worker or a professional who is supporting parents in their infant’s development, we invite you to share these real expectations and raise awareness of the biology of babies. Join us for the Nurtured Sleep Revolution.
And of course, if you ever have any questions regarding infant care, please reach out to us on social media, or email [email protected]!
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