unless you have a (half) dozen children i don’t want to hear it

Posted on: 17 November 2012

In the early months, most of the unsolicited parenting advice I received revolved around breastfeeding and having enough milk. Lately it’s all about … standing?

See, Ashelyn mastered pulling up at around six months. She loves being upright, loves to stand and walk while holding onto our fingers. I’ll set her down in the crib or playard, and three seconds later she’s peering at me over the edge.

So I’m getting a lot of flak from people who say that it’s too early for Ashelyn to stand, that because her legs aren’t yet fully developed standing will cause them to become crooked. And then I’ll have a bow-legged child. Once I was even told that any standing before the age of one would stunt her linguistic development.

Seriously, where does this stuff come from? Because my understanding was that it’s normal for babies to be a little bow-legged from being squished inside the womb. And that the legs will straighten soon enough – helped along, in fact, by the redistribution of weight that comes from standing and walking!

Besides, how am I supposed to keep Ashelyn from bearing weight on her legs if that’s what she wants to do? Am I to push her over when she pulls up? Because I can hear the resultant screaming already.

That’s my complaint about this kind of alarmism, I think. New mothers tend to have pretty fragile psyches, and words like that – well-intentioned as they may be – stoke issues of fear and insecurity. Then, in the drive to be safe over sorry, to do everything right, all the joy is drained out of baby’s first year.

That’s a lot of joy to be cheated out of, really.

So I discard a good 95% of what people tell me, without guilt, and I’m able to relax and savour this brief time. I heeded my midwives, I trust our family doctor, and I have a robust filter for internet misinformation and pseudoscience. And I know my daughter.

She’ll be fine.

1 Response to "unless you have a (half) dozen children i don’t want to hear it"

I have never heard that its not good to stand before age one? Wow. I’m adding that to “shit people tell me to raise my kids.”

You’re right; she’s *your* daughter and she will be fine. You know.

P.S. Humnoy is an excellent communicator and he was walking at 8 months. 😉 Myth debunked.

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