Last time I blogged about some of the more ridiculous bits of advice some of my mommy friends had been told while they were pregnant, and when they had just welcomed a newborn baby into their lives.
Today, they will reveal what they did with the ‘new-school’ info vs the ‘old-school’ info. How did they manage to sift through all the myth and legend to find their way to a steady state of parenting? Here is how:
What important child-rearing advice did you purposefully ignore as a first-time parent, and still got desirable results?
Crystine: Hmm. I really sifted through all the advice I got for what made sense. I think that the one I ignored and got great results still was to put him on his back to sleep. There was a whole “back to sleep” campaign about how it’s possible to reduce SIDS but he was a belly sleeper at first.
Sean-Ann: That I need to embarrass and spank a child to get them to listen.
Jennifer: Taping down her navel with a penny. I bypassed that and today she has a ‘innie’ and not an ‘outie’.
Krystal: Spare the rod. I can discipline without a physical rod!
Aryann: I didn’t listen when they said I had to close the opening on their heads. Science said it would close if I didn’t try to manipulate it.
What old-school advice did you take that has proven to be true?
Crystine: A held baby is a happy baby. While one grandmother was against babywearing because she thought I was spoiling him *again eye-roll* another was 100% for keeping him close. And it was wonderful for us both. He was not at all fussy once worn on my back or chest and I got all my work and errands done without trouble.
Sean-Ann: Don’t co-sleep, and set a bedtime routine from birth.
Jennifer: None.. none at all
Krystal: Keeping their tummies warm to help with gas.
Aryann: Sleep when they sleep. Best advice ever!!! I didn’t realize I would find all sorts of random things to do and I was overwhelmed and exhausted, I eventually learned.
Which new-age advice did you practice that you were told would never work (from your advice givers) that worked exceptionally well?
Crystine: I can honestly say I didn’t do anything “new aged”. I did centuries old baby wearing, centuries-old co-sleeping, centuries-old boobing when he called for it… I didn’t do the whole healing crystals for teething and all that jazz. Mostly the things my ancestors would’ve done.
Sean-Ann: No matter the age of your child speak to them like they understand you and like their opinions and feelings matter. Trust your children and show them they can trust you.
Jennifer: Not feeding my child water at the age of 3 months… look she’s still alive.
Krystal: Putting baby to sleep on their back. They said the baby will never sleep well. They must sleep on their stomach. Turns out to be wrong.
Aryann: Kids are resilient. They will overcome.
Kids are resilient; they will overcome. What a wonderful way to put it. So simple, and so true. Despite all the crazy advice we were all given (whether rooted in science or familial practice), and whether we took that advice or not, our children have all thrived. I know for a fact my mommy friends who took part in this have wonderful children who continuously amaze them in all that they do. They make friends, they learn their ABC’s, they are as mannerly as their age group is expected to be and above all; they are loving…and alive! Yes, you may laugh at that last bit there but let us not discount the fact that keeping the little buggers alive and thriving isn’t important! None of my mommy friends ever took advice (old school or not) blindly without first ever taking into account their child’s welfare, and that I think is paramount to everything.
While I will never discount the importance of handing down information and practices throughout the generations, we all need to sift through the madness and don’t follow it all blindly just because ‘granny say so’. In fact, I would even say that about new-aged stuff as well. When it comes to our children; do what you think is the best thing for them.
Here is a list of traditions that I found out about later on:
- Pinning a blue bag onto the baby to prevent maljo* (this bag would most likely contain a piece of Indigo Blue, a twenty-five cent piece a Psalm and some would add a medallion).
- Baby should also be marked with the Indigo Blue to prevent maljo
- Throwing a dirty diaper onto the roof to treat colic
- The new mother should not bathe for 9 days
- Stand up in the sun on the 9th day and drink a dose of Castor oil to get your ‘clean out’
- Tie a bag with square camphor onto a child for the treatment of a cold
- Blow on baby’s nails so that they won’t grow too quickly
*Maljo or correctly, Mal Yeaux : Trinbagonian version of ‘bad eye’ or ‘evil eye’. When someone has this evil eye put on them, the only way to get rid of it is to ‘Jharay’ or exorcise the demons/evil spirits.