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How to deal when others tell you how to raise your baby

Posted 4/1/2018 by Jason Tatka, DO
Pediatrician, UH Rainbow Portage Pediatrics

When you become a parent, it often feels like everyone around you has an opinion about all things baby-related – and they’re not afraid to share it with you. At times, their comments can make you feel overwhelmed and confused. You may question whether you’re making the best choices for your child.

Mother on floor playing with infant

Above all, trust that you know your child best. “No matter how good others’ intentions may be, their opinions shouldn’t make you second-guess your decisions,” says Jason Tatka, DO, a Pediatrician at UH Rainbow Portage Pediatrics. “Follow your gut – it’ll often lead you in the right direction.”

With the right support, it becomes easier to drown out all the unsolicited advice other people like to share with you. Here’s some helpful information on parenting hot topics to keep in mind.

Rock to sleep or cry it out?

It’s OK to rock your baby to sleep if that’s what you choose. You can also try sleep training, in which you allow your child to cry for increasing amounts of time to help him or her learn to fall asleep. This method is safe and effective, and doesn’t increase a child’s stress levels or impact their bond with you, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics. “If you decide to sleep-train, talk with your child’s pediatrician to determine at which age to start,” says Dr. Tatka.

Breast or bottle?

Jason Tatka, DO

Jason Tatka, DO

You already know that “breast is best.” But if you’re unable to breastfeed or choose not to, that’s OK, too. Infant formula that’s iron-fortified provides all the nutrients your baby needs.

To vaccinate or not?

Vaccinate. Immunizations are safe and protect your baby against diseases that can be deadly. There’s a lot of incorrect information out there about vaccines. For example, people may try to tell you that vaccines cause autism. This is false. “Research shows there’s no link between vaccines and autism,” says Dr. Tatka.

“In fact,” Dr. Tatka adds, “the science that originally made that connection, which remained public for decades, was disproven.”

Store-bought or homemade baby food?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing solid foods to babies around 6 months of age. As long as you’re feeding your baby age-appropriate foods, such as pureed vegetables and infant cereal to start, it doesn’t matter whether you make it or buy it.

Dr. Tatka adds, “Whenever you have questions, consult your child’s pediatrician. Beyond your child’s health and development, your pediatrician can guide you on a wide range of topics, including sleep, feeding, behavior and more.”

Call our pediatric nurse line 24/7 at 216-815-0059 to get an answer from one of our pediatric experts.

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