As new or soon-to-be moms, it is important to be as prepared as possible for motherhood. Although answers to your most pressing questions can easily be found by thumbing through a plethora of parenting books or just a click away on the Internet, sometimes the best advice comes from word-of-mouth. Weleda spoke to several moms to find out the best advice they received from family, friends and other seasoned moms. Here, we pass their knowledge along to you.
Shazi Visram, founder, CEO and Chief Mom of Happy Family Brands:
One of the best baby-care tips I know is one I figured out through my own experience. When my son was around two years old, I noticed that his skin was much drier than it was when he was a baby. I wasn’t putting baby oil on him after his bath like I did in the early days. I remembered how sweet it was to give him an infant massage with calming lavender oils, and I realized I missed it. So nowadays I use Weleda Lavender Relaxing Body Oil to keep his elbows and knees well-oiled on the outside, and we make sure he gets plenty of omega 3, 6 and 9 fish oils for the inside. And on those especially energetic nights, when he is amped up with energy and I know it’s going to be hard to get him down, I do an Epsom salt bath with a drop of lavender oil and then give him a short, soothing massage, just like the old days. It really calms him, and it works almost every time. Almost…
Susan Hunt Stevens, founder & CEO of Practically Green, a provider of sustainability education for corporate America:
When we really needed our son to start sleeping better, I remember being at the pediatrician’s office groggily asking about all the different sleep-training methods available. After patiently answering lots of questions, almost as an aside, he said, “Perhaps the best advice I can give you is to remember that no baby dies from crying.” While I still didn’t like it when my son cried, it was a little saying I just repeated to myself when I really just wanted to run into his room at night. He’s eight years old now and a great sleeper, so it clearly worked.
Alyson Johnson, blogger for Women on Their Way:
The best tip I’ve gotten from other moms is to cut yourself some slack. It’s so easy to get caught up in what you should be doing for your kids — daycare vs. nanny vs. stay-at-home; the best sports, clothes, games; jarred baby food vs. homemade. The list goes on, and it can easily drive you nuts, because no matter what you do, you feel like you should be doing more, better, different. We all know it’s hard to be a parent. After three kids and a full-time job, I’ve realized that my kids are loved, protected, have what they need, and a lot of what they want. If you are doing your best, that’s enough. And, it’s okay to just be enough. Trying to be “Supermom” all the time is unrealistic and exhausting.
Renée Loux, author, chef, eco-advisor and monthly columnist for Women’s Health:
One of my oldest girlfriends, the mother of three, taught me to “take the long view.” As a parent, the minutia of the day-to-day can appear to be extremely important, as if it could make or break life. However, in the long view, all these things pass. I’ve found that trying to control everything is neither realistic, nor the way I hope my son learns to navigate the world. Another important lesson came from a friend who taught me that it is important to let your child find comfort in as many arms as possible. This advice has encouraged me to freely allow other people to nurture, play with, feed and engage my son. It seems to be a mother’s natural instinct, especially with an infant, to want to be the sole source of nurturing care. While I believe that intimate bonding is an essential part of fostering security for children, I also think it is important for my child to grow up with a sense of independence. One of my greatest wishes for my child is to learn to self-soothe and to feel a sense of ease in many different environments and in the company of different people.
Megan Davidson, PhD, labor and postpartum doula, childbirth educator, breastfeeding counselor, and owner of BrooklynDoula:
When I had my first child, I read all of the books about starting a baby out on solid food, so we slowly added one food at a time, waiting to see if my son would have an allergic reaction to anything. With my second son, he seemed to strongly dislike all the foods we originally tried, and I was torn between wanting to try other things but worried about testing out too many options in one week. I told my aunt about my conundrum, and she said to me, “I always assumed my babies were healthy unless proven otherwise. Perhaps you should do the same.” I was looking at my child as one who was potentially allergic to everything instead of assuming he was perfectly healthy. Ever after, I did just that, and it turns out he’s not allergic to anything.
Alexandra Zissu, author, green living expert and consultant:
I have learned the most from more-seasoned moms who constantly repeat, “This too shall pass.” This mantra has gotten me through some rough patches, because it’s true. Nothing ever lasts, and that’s both the beauty and the sadness of this experience. If you can see the big picture instead of reacting to what is hard or even amazing in the moment, you can remain calmer and let things roll off your back. It can be a personality change, a sleep issue or an aversion to a formerly favorite food. Whatever it is, it will pass. Knowing this helps me stay in the moment, which isn’t easy when there is so much to get done daily. Nanci McArdle
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