If you're like me, you may find yourself utterly confused by all the parenting information available to you. You may also find that depending on which friend or family member you talk to, you get many different types of advice about childrearing even from those you love and trust. I've found in my own personal life, all of this confusion causes me to doubt myself more and the times that I feel most certain about my decisions as a mom are the times that I trust my maternal instincts. When in doubt about a decision that I need to make or whether or not, I'm doing the right thing, I remind myself of these things to help me believe in myself more.
Every child, every parent and every situation is different. Because of this, as a mom, its easy to find yourself in a position where following the advice and instruction of others causes more frustration than it helps. Whether its what bottle is best, how to potty train or how to get a picky eater to eat, there really is no one solution or an exact right way. Furthermore, each solution needs to take into account each families individual personalities and how that impacts the situation. There have been many times that advice was given to me, but it just didn't work well with my personal situation. This doesn't mean that it was bad advice, it just wasn't a good fit.
Google is not the know all, be all source of information and I'm convinced that the amount of information that we have available at our fingertips contributes sometimes does more harm than good and contributes to self-doubt when it comes to making decisions as a parent. When relying on Google, there's so much crap to filter through and much of it conflicts one another. Google is a valuable resource that I use often, but I always try to use it as a supplement to my gut. More of confirmation to what I was already feeling or what I already suspected. Much of what's on the internet is opinion and not fact and should be taken with a grain of salt. Many, many, many years ago all moms and dads had to rely on was their gut. We should be thankful for the wealth of information available to us that our ancestors did not have, but just like with everything else, we should not depend on it solely and abandon all common sense.
If you think about all of those times that you did use your instincts, you'll probably realize that most of the time, you were right. Maternal instinct aren't some magical force that causes us to know everything there is to do with babies but we typically know when something is off. When you go to the doctor, unless it's a scheduled wellness visit, you're typically going because something feels off. You know your baby and when something just feels different. You're going to the doctor to confirm what you already feel inside. You're also going so that they can properly diagnose whatever is wrong. Any time I've taken my daughter to the hospital, I'm going just as a "better safe than sorry" precaution. I typically know that there is something wrong or what is wrong and 9 times out of 10, the doctor does absolutely nothing to help. The doctor's visit is simply for peace of mind.
Your baby grew inside of your belly and chances are that from the time you delivered until your maternity leave was over (or later if you stay at home), you spent most waking moments with your child. You know their routines and you know their typical behaviors. You're so in tune with your baby that you can probably anticipate all of their needs before they can talk. You can predict what they'll do next to the degree that people would think you were a psychic. You know your baby best, better than anyone and this should NEVER be discounted when it comes to making decisions that are in your baby's best interest.