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Monday, June 18, 2012

Finding balance in all of the advice

One thing I continue to struggle with is dealing with the countless bits of advice and information coming from every direction. Not just the sheer amount of "information", but the amount that completely contradicts so much other advice out there.

I tend to take what I read a little too seriously if it seems well-informed and researched. Key word is 'seems' because, unless I've read otherwise, I tend to believe the first thing I read about certain topics. This of course depends on just how complicated or unusual or important the topic is. If it is something health-related I take it a bit more seriously.

A recent example of contradictory advice I've received is regarding how much baby food to give my son. Most websites avoid the exact amount, other than the introductory amounts.I grew frustrated with this, and finally found a site willing to estimate an amount. Turns out it was way more than what I was feeding Nathan! How could I underfeed my precious baby? How long had I been not giving him enough baby food? Guilt-rendering questions like these popped up as I started blending and mashing up different foods like mad to try and get Nathan "back on track". Within 48 hours, Nathan's poop had gone from mushy, breastfed-baby poop, to what appeared to be mini adult-consistency poop. And he struggled with it. So much grunting and pushing went into the tiniest little poop. For a couple of days I gave Nathan this new recommended amount of baby food, until he started to nurse less. I know that babies should receive all of their nutrients from breastmilk (or formula if you go that route) for the first year, and that food is just for the experience and experimentation. I knew this then, but that took a backseat, because I had convinced myself that Nathan wasn't receiving enough baby food. However, when he stopped nursing as much, it snapped the common sense switch back ON and I cut down how much I was cramming into my baby.

Now it seems more than obvious that the reason most sites do not state a specific amount to feed your baby is because every baby is different. How many times will I need to hear this? Every. Baby. Is. Different. This relates to so many factors in his life, and reminding myself of this more often might relieve some of my stress.

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