There’s nothing more intrusive than social media. And few things push people’s “throw shit like an enraged zoo chimpanzee” button like parenting issues. Combine the two and you have a cocktail of stupidity, judgment, and frustration that can drive a new, inexperienced dad to the liquor cabinet in no time.
If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, just go to Twitter and search “breastfeeding.” You’ll find yourself hip-deep in fetishes, condemning comments, defensive mom blogs, and weird porn in no time. Our point is, any topic related to parenting brings droves of people out of the woodwork offering unsolicited advice—some of it good, some of it so moronic it makes you want to call Child Protective Services—and judging you for your parenting choices. That can make it hard to know if you’re doing the right stuff.
Odds are, you are. After all, you bought our book, so you’re on the right track. But in case you’re confused, here’s some clarity about some of the bullshit you’ll see on social media:
Breastfeeding is great, and your lady should never feel ashamed about doing it.
If she doesn’t want to, that’s cool, too. There’s an army of angry, busybody moms on the Interweb who’ll insist that not breastfeeding a baby is basically child abuse. Fuck them. Yes, breastfeeding is the healthiest choice for your kid, and as long as you and Mom are on the same page, you should do it and feel fine doing it in public. But if your partner can’t breastfeed (maybe it’s painful, her milk doesn’t come in, the little one won’t latch on, etc.) or just doesn’t want to, it’s hardly the end of the world. Millions of kids grow up on formula and are 100% fine. Just say no to “boob guilt.”
Co-sleeping is not child murder, but you have to do it safely.
Co-sleeping means your kid is in bed with you, and there are obvious reasons why lots of couples do this. Bonding is one, but the biggest is Mom can just let the little one latch on whenever they get hungry, which is less disruptive to sleep. That said, having a helpless baby in bed with two adults comes with smothering risks. But rather than freak out, plan. There are all kinds of co-sleeping beds and bassinets available that let your little one sleep in the same room as you and give you quick access for feeding and calming but still give your baby their own separate sleeping space. So make your plan and do what feels right. And if anyone calls you a baby killer online, here’s a website that lets you send someone a bag of dogshit: poopsenders.com
If your baby will eat real food, feed them real food.
There are a few foods that should be off-limits to kids under a year: honey (because of its bacterial content), cow’s milk (because they can’t digest it), and anything they can choke on, for starters. Otherwise, the more real food you can introduce, the better. Mashed bananas, avocados, cooked carrots and peas, peanut butter (non-chunky), yogurt, even things like flaked salmon—they’re all great. By giving your baby real foods early, you’ll help prevent allergic reactions, later on, help them develop a taste for a variety of foods, and get the fiber and phytonutrients that they might not get from baby food or formula.
Most important of all, ignore social media, ignore the busybodies, and do what feels right. Don’t worry about being a good dad; reading this means you already are one.
This post was previously published on www.dadsknowbest.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
Read more from John Luzzi and Don Miggs:
Absence does not make your wife grow fonder.
As fathers, we should be less worried about who will pass us, and more worried about who we are leaving in the distance.
You’re going to be a dad!
How To Be There for Your Baby Mama and Take Care of Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind in the Process (Interview)
Where can an expectant father turn to get advice? Start here with this interview of Dads Know Best co-authors John Luzzi and Don Miggs.
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