First-time parents often have to deal with overbearing friends and family who assume that they know what’s best for their baby. This is especially true if you admitted weakness during pregnancy – when you tell family members that you don’t know what you’re doing, they’re going to interfere with your newborn. Of course, they’re just trying to be helpful, but it’s probably getting on your nerves.
To stop family from interfering with your newborn, you’re going to have to get tough. As a parent, it is your job to decide what is best for your baby, and no one else should tell you otherwise. Parenting, like anything else, is a learning process, and your family members had to do it with you. Just remember that you can take care of business and that your baby relies on you.
First, in order to stop family from interfering with your newborn, you must have confidence in yourself. If you are constantly calling your Dad or your Mother-in-Law for advice, they are going to assume that you’re scared out of your mind. This doesn’t mean you can’t seek assistance with problems as they arise, but try going to an adult who knows how to back off.
Furthermore, you must also realize that you don’t have any obligation to take advice from family concerning your newborn. Advice can be dispensed, but it’s up to you how you use it. I’ve found that the best thing to say is, “I appreciate the tip, but I think I’m going to keep doing it my way.” That way, the advice has been recognized and you’ve made it clear that you have your own ideas.
What your family probably doesn’t realize is that your baby is different from all the other babies who have come before him. Just because your mother-in-law raised your husband doesn’t mean that she knows what’s best for your son. You are the one who feeds, clothes, bathes, changes and cares for your child, so you know what’s best.
When family starts to interfere with your newborn, it’s time to take a step back. You might want to walk into another room with the baby and calm down, then re-emerge when you’re ready to stand up for yourself. It can be difficult to “talk back” to people who are older and therefore believe they are wiser than you, but now that you are a parent, it is your responsibility to care for your baby.
Just remember that you don’t have to justify yourself to anyone; how you care for your newborn is your business. You can feel free to accept or reject advice as it is delivered, but you don’t owe your family obedience. Just continue learning about your baby and the best way to care for him or her.