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For Parenting

Have you ever noticed that parenting today has become less like a journey where you learn as you go but more like studying for a college-level exam?  From the moment a baby leaves the womb, there are rules for which position to put your infant to sleep, when to add solid foods, where to put the baby in the car, which vitamin supplements to add early in life, and how much time to place your baby on their tummy.  Even before we feel the first pain of contraction signaling an imminent delivery, a mother-to-be’s ears are filled with a symphony of advice from friends, family members, colleagues, and acquaintances.

Working as a pediatrician has given me perspective about the challenges we face and the common values we share in effort to raise healthy, happy families. One thing I’ve noticed is that amongst the parenting manuals and different organizations recommendations and every parent’s attempt to get what’s the newest and best for their child, we seem to have lost a bit of common sense along the way.

It’s no wonder, then, why parent after parent comes to my office with their perfect baby wrapped lovingly in their arms armed with a notebook full of questions about how to raise their baby “by the rules."  After I answer parents' questions and go through all the current recommendations during well child visits, I often find myself encouraging them to put down the newest educational toys and baby-raising manuals and play with their kids on the floor. . .because that's often what a child wants the most.

The lesson's I've learned both in encounters in the office and at home can be found in my parenting blog, Common Sense Motherhood.