Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Who are "they" anyway?

Your older sister offers you her high-end used-one-time drop-rail crib for your new baby. "Oh, sorry, sis. But, they say the drop-rail cribs are too dangerous now. I need to buy a brand new one that meets all of their guidelines."

Your aunt is feeding your 6-month-old peas out of the Gerber jar. She closes it and puts it back in the fridge for tomorrow. You sneak in later & throw it out thinking, "They say not to double-dip in the jar because the saliva from the first feeding makes it go bad."

Or maybe your grandma makes your 11-month-old a peanut butter & jelly sandwich.
"Oh, grandma! She can't eat peanut butter! They say not to feed it to babies until they are at least 1 year old."

Your 1 1/2 year old son's legs are wrapped around his neck but you refuse to put him in a forward-facing carseat because "they say to wait until they are 2 years of age."

Who are "they" anyway and why are they in charge of everything in regards to the care for our babies and children?

At 10 months old, I took my boy in for immunizations at our new pediatrician. The doc asked what I fed him and I said, "Well, pretty much everything. I make a lot of his food. And, I nurse him 4-5 times a day." Then, the doctor expressed his concern that because I make most of his food, my boy could become iron deficient, to which I added, "Well, I feed him the iron-fortified cereals with nearly every meal." He responded, "Well, then you'll need to make sure to give him Vitamin D supplements so he doesn't get Rickets. Breast milk is a bad source of Vitamin D."

Uh-uh. No he didn't. It's a dangerous game suggesting to a breastfeeding momma that her milk isn't healthy enough.

"I breastfed my daughter until she was 1 and made most of her food as well, and I never gave her any supplements. Look at her. She's one of the healthiest kids I know! If what I did was good enough for her, why do the recommendations keep changing?" "Well," he replied, "Here at our clinic, we do our best to keep up with the most recent research while still keeping in mind how things have been done in our past. Back in the day when moms were making all their babies' food from scratch, people were a lot healthier."


Uh, huh. What an idiot.

Here's what I have to say about "they."
  1. I still use my drop-rail crib. Holy crap. Yes, I just said it. And guess what? My kids are F-I-N-E. Why? Because I'm smart. It's a high-quality crib with tight-fitting sides. Oh, and I use a bumper, too. My kids snuggle their backs up to it. I mean, could you imagine sleeping without blankets or a pillow on a cold, hard mattress? Would you sleep well? Again, I'm smart about it. My kids sleep with the wearable blankets so they're cozy and warm all night without getting tangled up.
  2. When my boy eats out of a jar of baby food and doesn't finish it, I put the lid on and feed it to him the next day. It's not going to go bad that fast. Come on, we're not idiots. And besides, that's how your mom fed you and you're not dead. If anything, it'll give you a stomach of steel.
  3. My second kid got a hold of a PB&J sandwich on accident when he was 9 months old. He was in heaven, smearing it all over his face and squishing it between his fingers. No Anaphylactic shock, thank goodness. So, I kept feeding it to him.
  4. I put my first kid in a forward-facing carseat when she was 11 months old because she was a big kid. She didn't fit comfortably in the rear-facing seat anymore.
  5. My husband's mom fed him rice cereal at 4 days old. Yes, days, not months. That's what her mom told her to do. And you know what? He's 6' 4", 175 lbs and healthy as a horse. He's got iron teeth and bones of lead.
As a 1st time mom, I wanted to do everything "they" told me. And frankly, sometimes it was ridiculous! My poor mom & mother-in-law were so sweet and patient about it. But, I wouldn't blame them for thinking I was crazy sometimes. With #2, I chilled out a ton, realizing I should just use my own common-sense, and that from centuries of raising healthy babies, when caring for my children.

While "they" have some great advice, like babies sleeping on their backs, there's also a ridiculous amount of new advice that's just over the top. So, my advice to you? Hear what "they" say, do some research if you want, and then use your own common sense to decide what you're going to do.

Image source:


  1. i love the "It's a dangerous game suggesting to a breastfeeding momma that her milk isn't healthy enough." Dang straight! I would come close to punching someone if they suggested such, especially a doctor. they would absolutely get the look of death. lol!

  2. With my first kid, it was sleep on the stomach, then with my second, sleep on their back. I bought a two-sided wedge for them to use the first month or so thinking if they spit up gravity will take hold. With my last I couldn't keep her on her back if my life depended on it, she is a stomach sleeper. She's 1 (tomorrow) and just fine. Amen to not listening to what "they" always say. I also have a drop rail crib and have used it for all 3 of my kids. I do what works for me no matter what "they" or anyone else has to say.

  3. Love it! I flipped out on my dad when he was about to give my then 7.5 month old a taste of peanut butter. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I claimed "they" said it wasnt good for them. Haha

  4. I have two kids. My oldest is 12. My youngest is 16months. I have a billion different "they" scenarios that are so drastically different it's ridiculous.

    Lily's carseat is forward facing. I talked with her ped about it because it's safer in my car that way. She told me that the studies done for rear facing were done in Europe under completely different "rules of road" and anticipates the AAP will actually change this back to fwd facing. HA!

    I have a drop side crib, bumper pads and a baby who slept on her belly, pulls her blanket over her face now (she sleeps with an afghan because of that).

    Yeah, my take and learn all you can and decide what's best for your baby. :)

  5. I love this. I agree!! I think their recommendations and research are something to consider, but motherly instinct and common sense go a long way in choosing what works for you.

  6. Ha ha! What a great post! I always love hearing stories from the older generation when toddlers didn't need car seats, cribs were painted with lead in them, etc. etc. I wish we still lived that "care free" life.

  7. Best advice I ever got was from my mom. At my firstborn's 1st dr. appt. the dr. gave me a HUGE list of things to do and not to do. My mom was with me and after we left she said, "Honey, every 10 years the rules change, you are the mom and you need to use your instincts to care for your children."

    2 of my 3 slept on their tummies :-) They all had bottles well past their 2nd birthdays (2 of them went to sleep with them). At my 2nd child's first dentist appt. the dentist praised me for his wonderful teeth. Then I told him he went to sleep with a bottle until he was 2-1/2. Dentist was shocked! I laughed!

  8. Wait, no ones even told me that a drop side cot is bad! Why is it bad?? My mum and sister have listened to me say "They recommend..." for 7 months now! The penny dropped when i got told not to let my bubby sleep on his tummy, when i asked if i was sposed to stay awake all night to ensure he didn't roll, they told me to get a wedge. When i asked them to recommend one they said they wouldn't, because they didn't recommend having anything in the cot with bubby!!They have however left me permanently fearful of cot death!