We ALL want the best for our babies! That’s a good desire that can serve you well – or become a hard burden.
Wanting the best for your babies means I get a lot of questions like these:
- What’s the BEST bottle?
- Who is the BEST doctor?
- Where is the BEST place to birth?
- When is the BEST time to introduce solids?
The truth is that none of these questions have a single answer. I know that I frustrate people when I answer all these questions with “Well, it depends….” so often. But it is the reality! The best bottle for someone who is breastfeeding and wants to occasionally feed with a bottle may be different than the bottle that is best for someone formula feeding.
The doctor who helped one of my clients through several high risk pregnancies, and supported her in a VBAC, probably isn’t the best doctor for someone low risk who lives the next county over. Birth centers are great, but not the best fit for someone who wants to use an epidural for their birth.
And since every baby grows and develops at different rates, there is no one best time for all babies to start learning to eat solid foods.
Sometimes I see new parents become seriously overwhelmed and frustrated trying to research to death what the best is, because they are operating on the assumption that there is one best option and they just need to figure it out.
If you find yourself in this situation, you may find it helpful to revise the questions some:
- What bottle will work for us?
- Which doctor is a good match for our parenting style and personalities?
- Where do I feel safe birthing?
- What signs can I watch for to know when my baby is ready to introduce solids?
Do you see the differences there? When looking at your options and trying to figure out how to do the best for you and your family, the second set of questions take a different approach. Evaluating your situation, personalities and needs as part of your research gives you valuable perspectives on what is best *for you*. It can lead you to feel comfortable making a choice that is different from family and friends. It can help you cut through all the reviews and recommendations that conflict with each other.
The other thing that differs here is being open to flexibility. Instead of asking when to introduce solids, you can learn the signs of readiness and be open to starting them earlier or later, based on your baby’s individual progress. That openness to flexibility, trusting yourself to understand your baby’s behavior and apply what you have learned about readiness cues can build your confidence in your parenting.
If you find yourself on an exhausting, confusing quest to figure out which breast pump is the absolute best, or paralyzed trying to choose a car seat to buy, remember to take a step back, breathe, and think about this in terms of finding a good fit for you and your family.