Being 6 months pregnant with my third child, I don’t really feel the need to read parenting tip articles anymore. But over the last few weeks, a headline on the cover of a pregnancy magazine kept catching my eye: “9 WAYS TO RAISE A HAPPY BABY.”
Now, I’m all for parenting tips. And some of them were really helpful when I was a new mom. But a headline and article like this one? It’s basically setting up a mom for failure. Don’t have a happy baby? Well, apparently you aren’t doing it right.
Here are the paraphrased tips, along with my helpful feedback:
1. Play with your baby for 10-15 minutes before you leave for work. Make sure it’s quiet and peaceful.
Yeah, because the morning routine is where I have a lot of extra time. I wake up at 5:00 already and don’t get to work until 7:30, adding 10-15 minutes of play time isn’t exactly feasible. And is this for each of my three kids? So I really need 30-45 minutes?
2. Play with them after eating
Apparently all babies are happy after eating, so you should play with them. I’m not totally sure how this contributes to raising a happy baby, but okay. I guess if someone is too dumb to figure out that they should play with their baby when they are happy (as opposed to screaming and crying), then they might need this tip.
3. Sing and talk to your baby when they are in the stroller
Remember that time you went for a walk because you were so exhausted and hoped that your baby would finally go to sleep in the stroller? Well, you were supposed to be singing to them. The whole time. It would have made them happier.
4. Play with them while you do chores
I guess you shouldn’t only have play time with them, you are a mom after all, and you need to do your chores. Heaven forbid you do them when your baby isn’t around (since you’re missing out on a key time to raise a happier baby) or that your husband do them.
5. Bring them in the kitchen while you’re cooking
I was just going to leave them unsupervised in the other room, but I guess I should keep them in the same room as me. Weird.
6. Play with them after their nap
Babies. Nap. All. Day. When is it not “after nap”?
7. Play with them when you are in a waiting area
Oh, I was supposed to try to entertain them while I was at the pediatrician’s office? I thought I should just sit there, with no interaction at all, and let them scream the whole time. But now that I’ve heard THIS tip, things will be WAY different for baby #3.
8. Play during the bath
What? I thought they were just supposed to get clean in the bath. Is this what bath toys are for?
9. Play quietly before bed
Wait, I’ve played with them all day, you want before bedtime too? I guess I was just phoning it in before.
Now that I’ve read this article, I’m pretty sure all the tips boil down to “play and interact with your baby.” So if you try to play with your baby and they are still cranky, I guess you aren’t doing it right. Clearly you should just try harder. I mean, it’s not like all babies are born with different temperaments or anything.