I remember some of the advice my mom and other older folks gave to us when our son was just born. They’d say things like “You slept through the night right away”, “You had no problems with teething”, and “You took to solid foods with no fuss.” Well all that’s quite unlikely. If I can give advice to any new parent, it would be to ignore “advice” from well meaning older folks. If you haven’t had a baby in the last 3 years, your recollection of parents it obsolete – sorry, but you’ve forgotten! It’s just that simple.
If you really want to learn about parenting, then ask someone who’s just had a baby. Even a parent who’s 3-6 months ahead of you, these are your best resources to parenting techniques. While your parents might have raised you well, that doesn’t mean they remember 20-30 some-odd years ago with any precision. Besides fading memories, your parents probably blocked out a lot of the more difficult time periods like the first week with a newborn, teething and even potty training. Our minds are all designed to quickly forget pain – with the extreme pain of childbirth, how else would women have more than one child!
Second to asking friends, try the internet. It’s teeming with stories, forums and articles. Just browse around until you find someone with a similar problem, look at a few different sources and start experimenting until you find out what works for you. As per advice from in-laws and your own parents, feel free to ignore it completely. I remember having to tell my mom that her turn was over long ago and that it was mine now – to screw it up, or otherwise. Yeah it was a bit harsh, but you can rest assured that she did the same thing to her parents and so forth back generations. For Grandma, it’s a right of passage. In the end, you’re going to have to find your own way through parenting. If you catch a good piece of advice from someone else, so much the better, but if I can suggest anything with certainty, definitely favour your cohort when it comes to the early years!