Jillian R.
I was going to write a quick rant while the baby took her morning nap; usually a quick 20-min one if I'm lucky. However, as soon as I hit "New Post" she woke up and now I have to type with a baby strapped to my chest. Anyhow, it doesn't affect the positive energy of the following rant...

First of all, I know I might not be the best person to give parenting advice, being a little bit of a hypochondriac, mildly OCD and a first time mom. However, what I lack in experience, I make up in heaps of reading during the pregnancy and beyond (now!) - yes, I am a stay-at-home-mom but I think even a working mother could fit in 30 mins to an hour of reading about caring for your baby! Between house chores and two very highly energetic dogs, I was only reading for that amount of time every day - and sometimes none! Even so, I think I pretty much got all the basics (and more!) of baby-rearing.

Yes, initially I was afraid of the physical aspects; bathing the baby scared me tremendously at first, because oh boy, they are slippery when wet! I was so afraid the first few days, y'know, floppy neck, soft skull and all that I only mostly washed her front and not so much her back. Well, I'd soap my hand then kind of rubbed it over her back in the bath water, can't be that good a job. Anyway, after a week, I got the hang of it and moved on. And yes, carrying her up and down the stairs was VERY scary; what if I tripped and rolled down the stairs along with her? So, up to a month an a half, we (Eric was scared too!) carried Scarlett up and down the stairs with a baby carrier. Sometimes if I was feeling extremely lazy and the basket was upstairs (while I'm downstairs, or vice versa), I'd carry her clutching tightly with both arms and literally watch my feet take every step so I don't trip and fall, smashing both our heads into our marble stairs. 
(Image Source: vminnovations.com  http://bit.ly/1eT6nt1)

So, yes, I was (am still) a total wreck when it comes to the physical parts of being a mom, but at least I make up for it by gathering knowledge that I think is essential for a baby's survival. I've recently joined a couple of Facebook groups of (mostly) Malaysian moms - one being a breastfeeding advocacy group and the other is for moms to share ideas about making healthy food for babies/toddlers. It is becoming more obvious to me every day when I see the questions posted by some moms on these groups that these moms have completely ZERO knowledge on how to care for their babies. Everything they ask seems shrouded in superstition, old wives' tales and plain stupidity ignorance.

Here are a few things I remember reading in wonderment:-
  • On a package of baby rice (labelled clearly: BABY Rice) - Can I give this to my 9 month old baby?
  • How do I stop my baby's night feeds? - Really? Your baby is hungry, feed him/her!
  • Can a breastfeeding mom drink a whole bottle of confinement wine? - Chinese old wives' tale dictates that after a woman gives birth the body gets "cold" and therefore one needs to drink/eat "heaty" drinks/food to warm up the body. Wine and ginger being the only "heat" inducing things I know of. There are many more, but I never bothered to find out.
  • How do I thaw frozen breast milk? - And MANY many more questions about breast milk handling is just mortifying! How could a new mother not know how to handle or store breast milk? Wouldn't this be the FIRST thing you'd find out if you were planning to breast feed your baby?
  • Can I feed my 7 month old baby beetroot? Must I steam it first? - Really? How do you expect a semi toothless baby to gnaw on beets? Heck, I wouldn't gnaw on beets if I don't have to!
  • My mother-in-law gives my 6 month old son SODA, what should I do? - Need she ask?!
  • My 2 month old daughter has the flu/fever/jaundice, my mother-in-law gave her Chinese herbs, she puked it all out - Great parenting right there!
Okay, I think you get the point, I mean, I have tonnes of questions myself, but I try my best to find out from trusted resources and books and if all else fails, I seek advice from my lactation consultant or the pediatrician! You don't just do it and THEN ask questions on Facebook! It's true that every baby is different and every parent ALWAYS has questions but these are the very basic things, no, you cannot give SODA to your baby!

Sometimes reading these ignorant questions irritate me to the point of wanting to leave the group(s) but I always stop myself from clicking the button, because from time to time there are mothers who share legitimate questions and answers or useful information that is not an old wives' tale. Recently I read an article about the many good nutritional values of virgin coconut oil which I personally hate but would be definitely something I would consider giving to my diabetic husband and baby every day.

So, rant over, going back to making the baby laugh!


p/s the command of English and grammar on these groups are horrendous too, and I mentally correct them in my head every time I read a post and it's driving me crazy - but this is something I am working on fixing as part of my OCD management.
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