A review of the advice that mothers have been given over the decades concludes that no one's exactly sure what they should do.
New mothers would be saving themselves a lot of grief if they paid less attention to books and more attention to their own instincts when raising their baby.
This is one of the points that emerge in historian Angela Davis' new book, Modern Motherhood: Women and Family in England, 1945-2000.
Dr. Davis, a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Warwick, interviewed 160 British women of all ages and backgrounds about their experiences of motherhood, including how it has changed through the years. And one point that continually came up was how inadequate motherhood manuals had made new mothers feel.
The experts' answers have varied through the years, but one thing that hasn't is the tone of their advice. Whatever the answer, it's always been given as an order, with a threat of dire consequences if the order wasn't followed.
- Bringing Home Baby
- For Parents of Children With ASD, Training Can Help
- Parents Are Key to Kids' Health Habits
Should you feed your baby at the same time each day or vary the routine? Should you immediately comfort a crying baby who won't go to sleep or allow them to cry it out for a bit first? Should your baby sleep in your bed, or is this so dangerous as to be nearly criminal?