03 August 2007

Big, fat parenting myths

I took Sasha to her 1 year well check this morning (albeit a month late). She hasn't really gained much in the last couple of months, and "only" grown an inch. She's still transitioning to table foods, and is still breastfed. The pediatrician (not her regular one) told me that I should be pushing whole milk - 16 ounces a day - and get a blood test to see if she was becoming anemic. We all know that breastfeeding (as well as many other personal mothering choices) brings with it a vast range of opinions, but what? Huh? This got me seriously thinking about my own private parenting myths. And the validity of my my parenting instincts.

Now. I am not all knowing and I'm not gonna toot my horn here. Sure, I think a little tv doesn't hurt, McDonald's is sometimes the perfect solution, and that all kids misbehave. And I am pro-breastfeeding. Those are a few of my humble standpoints, which may or may not make a difference in someone else's mind. But I want to know what myths you've uncovered since becoming a mother. I'm certain that somebody out there is just waiting to hear that it is okay that their 13 month old is still drinking from a bottle.

And that they should trust their instincts on that.


Shelah said...

let's see? I think every ped is different. Ours is on a major no-tv bandwagon. At every visit, he tells to be sure not to let the kids watch more than one tv show a day. I think a lot of the advice they give is based on their own prejudices or idiosyncrasies.

Anyway, I had someone tell me in a store once (when Bryce was throwing a fit and I was trying to talk him out of it in the yogurt aisle), that what I really needed to do was leave my entire cart of groceries and pack up my baby and toddler and leave the store entirely when the had a fit. Um, yeah, sure? I'm guessing that he would have started throwing fits at the grocery store a lot more regularly after that. He was never much a fan of grocery shopping. And what would we eat?

QueenMeadow said...

Ped's can be really weird sometimes. Our former ped told me that having our oldest CIO was the best solution, since she wasn't sleeping through the night at 6 months old, and I actually followed his advice, worked after 2 nights. The next child though, he said "let them sleep when they want to, schedules aren't necessary at that age" um...ok, I guess it's good he was more open to different ideas, it was just weird hearing that from him.

MommyK said...

I think that a lot of the recommendations of the AAP are based on what may be ideal, but it's just not always practical. I tried my darndest to breastfeed to a year, but then my milk dried up and I had to stop. I made it to 11 months with my son, and I'm aiming for 9 months with the girl. Not only does a little bit of TV not hurt anyone, my son has learned so much from watching Baby Einstein, and we watch Sesame Street together because *I* love it too. Trash Gordon cracks me up! I actually blogged today about NYC's recommendations on breastfeeding.

I believe there are very few absolutes when it comes to parenting, and the only one I can actually think of off the top of myhead is always using carseats.

Pretty much the rest is a matter of trusting your own abilities as a mother.

MommyK said...

P.S. About the weight gain...both my kids are small. My 8 month old weighs 15 pounds and her three year old brother is 26 pounds with all his clothes on. They are both perfectly healthy. Some kids are just smaller, and it gets on my nerves when people act like it's a problem if they don't pack on the pounds!

Lara said...

With each kid I've become so much more lax about things and have just done what *I* felt was right for *my* child. Sometimes it's hard to screen out all the advice and guilt others heap onto us, but heaven knows I have enough guilt for myself!

And yes, I haven't totally done away with the bottle for my baby that just turned a year. I did wean her because she never cared much about breastfeeding and she bit me hard and nothing I did could make her stop. So she was done a week before her first birthday. My first baby nursed till 16 months and my second child nursed till she was almost two . Totally different scenarios for each baby, and totally valid all three.

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

I don't take a pediatrician's ideas about behavior & certain timelines as more than just one person's opinion. If I'm well informed & trusting my mama-bear instincts, I don't a doctor's ideas are necessarily better than my own opinion. I know my child better than any other person or group of persons. Doctors are people with education in identifying illness & prescribing drugs to treat it. My husband has more child development and behavior classes than a Pede's program of study requires-and he's much more accessible. I've dropped the well-child visits & take my kids to the doctor when they are sick, since pediatricians are experts on sick kids. For shots, we go to the health department-its cheaper & faster.

When my kids are well, I have adequate resources to know if they are developing properly. I don't ask the pede about behavior concerns, unless they were concerns that indicated a medical, not a behavioral problem. Examples would be ticks or repetitive behaviors that could signal a disorder like Tourrettes or OCD. DH & I make our own informed decisions about sleeping, eating, media use, carseats, toothbrushes, & weaning. It hasn't failed me yet.

As for unsolicited advice about those things, like what you heard today? I smile & nod and then do it my own way.

I've also learned that my own research has often given me much much more info than my pede has in his head on instant recall. I've even been aware of approval for infant administration of some drugs before my pede was--So even on medical issues, I don't take a pede's ideas as 100% if it rings wrong with my gut. I'll get a second opinion on anything major if I disagree. A person isn't God simply b/c he or she has passed the pediatrician boards.

Health information is widely available, and any one doctor will never have all the information or all the understanding of your child or your family.

In other countries, pediatricians are specialists who treat children with exceptional problems-not routine check ups for healthy children or even script writing for run of the mill problems like ear infections. A friend of mine in Australia thinks its nuts that we haul our kiddos off to a specialist for those things.

I guess I'm saying for my kids, I'm the expert, and the doctor is the support person, not vice versa.

Morning Glory said...

I would have to agree that parenting styles are so individual and each child requires something a little different.

Lei, I used you for Show and Tell today. Come see.

Liam's Mom - Gina said...

Pardon me for not reading the other comments before making mine...

I am in total agreement with you and though it may not be revalent, I will just say that Cow's milk is not necessarily good for you. The whole dairy campaign is a myth... we can get the same vitamins from plenty of other (more natural) sources.

Keep trusting your instincts. I applaud you breastfeeding your baby for as long as you have! It was always a security blanket for me, the mom, to know that he was getting one good thing a day with my milk.

Zoe said...

I am impressed that you are still able to nurse! The furthest I ever made it was 9 months. I don't have very good milk.:(

I think that they aren't myths if they work for you. After all, no two babies are alike are they? You know what is best for your little ones.

utmommy said...

Every kid is so different. What works for one may not work for the other. I've seen evidence of that with my own children.

The whole getting enough sleep for example. S needs lots of sleep to function normal and happily. M on the other hand does well on little sleep if she has to. So, I don't know that there is a "set" amount of hours that children need to sleep.

Amber said...

We're not weaning Bode from his until after we return from vacation...and he will be 13 months. GASP. :-)

Too funny how crazy people get about stuff. With my daughter, I was on the book about everything but have been so much more flexible with my son. I had a neighbor criticize me for feeding him healthy (veggies and fruit) table food vs. giving him Gerber. Ummm, OK.

Michelle said...

I agree with most of what everyone else has said. Every child is different. Every parent is different. Every pediatrician is different. See, this is what makes parenting so much fun! lol

Yes, you can find alternative sources to milk, but many people don't do that so milk is usually the easiest. I wouldn't worry about where your daughter is at ATM. She DID gain weight and she DID grow = good enough!

There are plenty of myths that I could go on and on about. My MIL continues to add more to my list all the time. lol

Anonymous said...

Great post. We have to be the protectors of our own kids...we know them best afterall. Yeah for breastfeeding!! If you aren't ready to switch to milk than that is up to you not your ped (or the ped that wasn't even your ped.)

Misty said...

You know, I have always have been a firm believer in doing what ever you feel is the very best for your own child. I do things for my children that probably no one else would do. I wouldn't do things for my children, that other people do for theirs. Follow your own women's intuition and promptings from our sweet Father in Heaven, and I think we'll all manage to get it right.

PS: I keep wishing some one would spare me the grief when they see my 2 year olds with bottles. I try to keep that guilty indulgence secret!! **tee-hee**

la bellina mammina said...

As parents, we know our own kids better. My 19mo still drinks from the bottle before nap time (yes!! he still has a nap!!), and before going to bed at night. But we've switched cow's milk to soy milk as I think he's a bit allergic to it now.

Dee Light said...

Sanity is the key!!!

My daughter was soooo easy. We didn't eat at McDonalds, or eat candy...until she was about 3. She was breast fed until she was about a year, when she weened herself, and potty trained before she was 2. She is now 10.

My son however is a different story!!! I have learned that I know nothing about parenting. I wasn't the perfect parent with my daughter, she was the perfect child.

My son will be 2 in a few days. He still sometimes takes a bottle at nap time (it's the only way I can get him to go to sleep). He takes his sippy cup on the carpet and does not alway sit at the table to eat. He sometimes sleeps in our bed. I buy him popcorn chicken from the deli at the grocery store, and let him eat it as I shop. Oh, and he is not potty traned. The list could go on and on. But he is so fun and we love him soooooo much!!!

It is our job to love and nurture our children, teach them to care for others...but what is right for one child is not always right for another. Just as what is right for one family may not be right for another.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Ironically I find the people who have the best and perfect advice are the ones without the kids :) !! Go figure. Let's see how they would do if we loaned them ours for a month!

P.S. My kids didn't do the bottle at 13 months, but they still use sippie cups (got to love apartments that have carpeted dining room areas) and my two year old still uses his binkie. I pick my battles with my mother's intuition!

Lisa said...

Oh, I love this. We had a very old and very respected ped dr when my oldest was born. He came complete with the round doctor light reflector on his head-No I am not lying! (this was only 14 short years ago) He thought it was fine to give my baby antibiotics for constant ear infections from the age of 3 months until the age of 10 months. Never once suggested we put tubes in her ears. We went behind his back and found a doctor who gladly put them in (I'm sure he had college tuition due) for us. We returned to the regular old ped dr. and he "discovered" the new tubes and I told him it was the best thing we ever did! She was a happier healthier baby from that day forward!

My kids both used binkie's and the first we took away the bink at 2 1/2. The second, not so easy. I was trying to make deals with her and finally had it down to just using it in her bed. However, when she turned 4, I decided to take it away completely. Wow! You would think I had beaten her. I called my hubby and let him listen on the phone to her screaming. It was sad and also the last time she napped.

Each kid is as different as each piece of advice. You have to do what works for you and that particular child.

Tigersue said...

Follow your own instincts.
I do believe in whole milk, but having kids that are somewhat lactose intolerant I did not push. Both my girls are not big milk drinkers. Instead I give them whole milk Yogurt when I can, and cheese! They both like yogurt with cereal, and they love cheese sticks. You don't have to go with milk, there are many ways to get their calcium needs. If she is happy and active, I would not worry too much about anemia, particularly if she is getting enough protein.

Trust your primary doctor. Me, I have to decide if I am going to change my Doctor. I probably will. Ours retired last year and I am not entirely comfortable with the replacement. He has me in near panic mode every time I go in.