There’s a lot of advice out there for new moms, and most of it either sounds exhausting and unattainable or totally contradicts the other advice you read 10 minutes ago that you thought sounded good. So what should you do? Let your baby “cry it out,” or pick them up and squeeze them lovingly every time they cry? Will your baby turn into a hardened criminal because you left them alone in their crib like the abandoned child on that episode of SVU, or will they end up an entitled asshole because you comforted them every time they were sad?
Obviously I want to provide the best of everything for my new baby and family. Here’s what I’ve learned about the most important advice.
1. Cook yourself and your partner a healthy (local, vegan, paleo, low-carb, seasonal, Gwenyth Paltrow approved) dinner every night, for rejuvenation purposes.
For example, this meal of iceberg lettuce and waffle cheese fries hit all of the important macronutrient groups: protein (cheese), carb (potato, a vegetable!), and fat (blue cheese dressing). A few decorative cubes of ShopRite on-the-vine tomato provide micronutrients like vitamin C and lycopene (a very up-and-coming phytochemical). The fat content in the salad dressing allows the vitamin K in the tomato to be better absorbed (K is a fat-soluble vitamin).
Consult your favorite healthy cookbooks for ideas if you’re not sure what to make 7 days a week.
2. Make your own organic baby food purees.
It’s best to ask local farmers if you can pay extra to forage their fields for the freshest vegetables and fruits, but shopping at farmers markets is okay, too. Once you bring these earth candies home, carefully wash in filtered water, peel, and bake or boil separately. Combine in sophisticated combinations with global spices to ensure your baby develops an impressive palate. Try a purée of Saigon cinnamon and white beans with mango and cilantro chutney and a baked apple slaw for your favorite 6 month old.
3. Ensure a clean environment at all times.
Don’t let your baby eat dirty magazines you found on the street that were “still good.” Try not to let your baby eat fistfuls of dog hair several times per day. Hand-wash their organic BPA-free plastic toys with gentle, organic soaps whenever they fall on your freshly mopped environmentally conscious bamboo floors.
4. Try to avoid putting your baby next to weird, potentially deadly, rabid, or ferocious animals.
You don’t know where those ducks have been.
5. Don’t let your baby fall asleep wearing dangerous/ potentially suffocating fashion accessories.
Remove all hazardous materials before rocking your baby gently to sleep in your arms. Loose fabrics are the Genghis Khans of sleeping babies; any accessory can be the murderous leader of a deadly army of knits.
6. Do not leave your screaming baby on a couch covered in dog/cat hair just because you think they look funny and you really want to take a picture.
Your baby should be happy at all times, and it’s not hilarious when they’re upset. Soothe your baby during times of distress, and don’t stop to take a picture of them looking like a freakish, purple, angry chicken nugget to text to your husband with the caption “LOL.”
Every moment is an opportunity to create lasting damage to your new baby’s delicate and impressionable psyche. Please remember that every decision you make based on instinct is probably wrong, as far as I can tell from looking at page 1 of various Google searches.