Little Man was teething his second tooth; his cheeks were red, his temperature was high and the dribble was everywhere! As he restlessly napped I headed to the shelf on my bookshelf which I had become maybe a little too familiar with and looked up the symptoms of teething for the 4th time that morning. Had I missed something? Was this actual teething or some terrible disease I had missed? Not sure I knew every single fact ever published about a teething 5 month old I grabbed the laptop and spent another half hour searching for any webpage that even vaguely mentioned teething. Little Man woke up. I was none the wiser than when I started, yet my head was filled with conflicting arguments. Some told me that all his symptoms definitely pointed to teething but others told me that I shouldn’t just put these things down to teething as there may be something else wrong with him – take him to the GP they shouted at me through the pages. I took him to the GP. Teething. The GP looking at me with that look that they give over protective new mums. It was then I decided to put down the baby books.
So many people told me at the beginning of pregnancy to follow my mummy instinct. Okay I thought, no problem I shall follow this much referred to instinct and I will be the perfect mum. One problem, I didn’t really get the mothers instinct. Well, I didn’t think I did anyway. I, like most other new mums hadn’t a bloomin’ clue what I was doing and the baby books became a constant source of information for me. After a while though I realised what they were actually doing was confusing me more and making me doubt what in fact was my mothers instinct.
Don’t get me wrong, I think these books have a place. They provide us with invaluable information and advice about how to look after this tiny human that you suddenly have to do everything for but they should only be used as a guide. If the book says that your baby should fill their nappy at least once a day and your baby doesn’t, it’s okay. Mine filled his every other day and after reading said information I thought my baby boy was constipated all the time. Granted, I was over cautious, over protective…I was over everything to be honest but still, the mothers instinct was there I just had to listen to it and believe it. I still Google when Little Man has a random rash or something like that but now I go with what I think or advice from my Mum or mummy friends.
So, if you’re a new Mum should you return that precious book you just spent £20 on in Waterstones? No, read it from cover to cover if that is what you want to do but take the advice with a pinch of salt and do what it right for you and your little human. You will just know and if you don’t ask a real person not a book because if you have more than one they will probably tell you different things.