When we see our babies for the first time, they look so small, so fragile and precious. We want to keep them safe, but many of us feel we have no clue about what to do – especially if this is our first child.
Our own parents or relatives might have tried to help us out by giving us advice, but let’s face it: not everything they said was useful, practical or based on science. Have you ever felt this way? Here’s some strange advice that other moms and I received from other people.
The Manzanilla Myth
Most grandmas will ask you to buy aceite de manzanilla (chamomile oil). If you don’t follow, they go out of their way to buy one for you. They believe that rubbing this on your baby’s tummy will get rid of kabag or colic. However, some babies have very sensitive skin or allergies to essential oils. My son has G6PD and the menthol in the manzanilla is a no no! Kung sinunod ko ‘to baka nakaiwas nga ako sa colic, pero yung side effects ang dami naman.
The proper way to get rid of colic is to make sure your baby burps after drinking milk. You can do this by positioning him carefully on your shoulder, then firmly but gently patting his back.
“Huwag sanayin sa karga”
Maribert Orpiada said that people told her “do not carry your baby often kasi masasanay yan.” She didn’t agree, and neither do I! “For me kasi, minsan lang baby ang anak ko.Ilang years lang di na ito magpapakarga at diko na din kaya kargahin,” says Maribert. Let’s take advantage of the limited time when we can carry, hug and smell them. Ang sarap kaya ng amoy ng bata.
“Hayaan mo, bata naman”
Sometimes we enforce a rule or routine, and our child starts to whine or cry. Then other people say, “Ibigay mo na o hayaan mo na para manahimik.”
Mommy Kel Villamar Reganit shared that even if she got this unsolicited advice all the time, she stayed firm. Paano nga naman matututo ang bata maghintay o magpasensya kung lagi mo ibibigay ang gusto.
“Paluin mo para matuto!”
Mommy Roselle Ching said she was told that spanking was part of discipline. You’ve probably heard that too, or have memories of being pinched or hit with a slipper or belt.
However, kids shouldn’t be punished liked that, according to the parenting enhancement seminar attended by mommy Yojnerak Nabad. “Hindi sagot ang pagbibigay ng [physical] punishment. Ipaliwanag, ipatindi at bigyan ng mahabang pasyensya ang isang bata dahil ikaw ang magulang at ikaw ang mas nakakaintindi. Doon mas mapapalapit ang loob ng iyong anak sayo. At kung nakagawa naman sya ng mabuti, nararapat din siyang bigyan ng small reward and appreciation by saying ‘’I love you, you did it!’ You should also encourage them by saying, ‘kaya mo yan!’
“Paiyakin mo para lumakas ang baga”
“This one I find funny, but yes I received this advice when I just gave birth: paiyakin daw ang bata sa umaga para lumakas ang baga,” shares mommy NJ Luna-Pineda. She was even told “kung kailangang kurutin ng bahagya, gawin daw para umiyak.”
However, some advice can be very helpful – even life-changing! When my son still wasn’t talking at three years old, some of my relatives said it was because he didn’t have playmates, or that he inherited this trait from his dad, who is an introvert and doesn’t like socializing. However, the school director of his daycare advised me to bring him to a Developmental Pediatrician. I’m thankful I did! We found out that my son has Autism Spectrum Disorder. He received early intervention from an occupational and speech therapist, and now he can already express himself and comprehend others.
Other moms share some of the great advice they’ve received:
Don’t use babytalk
“Kausapin mo ang bata na parang matanda, wag mo i-babytalk.” Maria Paula Margarita Estrada followed this advice and she said that it proved true and effective for her kids. Her eldest started talking before she turned one, and her youngest was an early talker, too. “Huwag puro babytalk. Paano nga naman siya matututong magsalita kung yungsinasabi sa kanya ay walang sense?”
Treasure every moment
I think this is good advice from Joanne Manabat. She shared, “Mom always tells me na ang gawain hindi natatapos yan.Unahin mo ang anak mo.Hayaan ang maruming lababo, hayaan ang maruming damit, etc. May oras para dyan. Minsan lang ang pagiging bata ng mga anak natin. Kaya treasure every moment na kasama sila dahil soon, when they grow up, they won't need our help anymore. This is heartbreaking but this is also the reality.”
I resigned from work when my son turned years old. Although we were not financially stable, I made this decision so I could be with my son more often, especially since he was undergoing therapy. I think I made the best decision – now, I can help him complete his therapy at our home.
Listen, but do your own research!
We can’t avoid unsolicited advice, but we should do our own research before following it. As parents, we know best if something will work for ourselves and our child. Ganyan naman sa parenting. Because of individual differences, one parenting style may work for one child but not for another.
I believe in the saying, “Your child, your rules.” If you ever received unsolicited advice on raising your child, just listen, smile, thank them…but do your own research and make your own decisions.
How about you? What unsolicited parenting advice have you received, and how did you handle it?
About The Writer
Levy Martinez is the Mommy Blogger behind www.mommylevy.com. A homeschooling mom to an awesome boy named Ren and a wife to a geeky graphic artist husband named Noel. She’s a management graduate and worked for top supermarkets in the country as a buyer for 5 years. Then she decided to be a stay-at-home mom to take care of her son. Her blog became her outlet to share her stories of becoming a mom and a housemaker. She hopes that through her blog she will be able to reach out and inspire other moms of her story and to tell them that they are not alone in this mommy journey.