Babies can’t be spoiled, only loved

By Tammy Keith Published March 19, 2017 at 12:00 a.m.
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One thing a pregnant woman can be sure to get — besides stretch marks — is a lot of advice.

From the second a woman finds out she’s pregnant, it begins: Take your prenatal vitamins; don’t gain too much weight; don’t get an epidural; an epidural’s the only way to go ….

My daughter-in-law has had two wonderful baby showers, and Kennedy’s room overfloweth. The tiny outfits, with ruffles, roses and rabbits, even ones with a Red Wolf and with a Razorback, are adorable. She received beautiful blankets, books and bibs — even a couple of bathing suits.

We had a wonderful time at both showers. At the first one, the hostess had wooden alphabet blocks, blank except for a letter in each corner. Guests were asked to draw pictures on them corresponding with each letter.

I declined to play, given my history with unidentifiable drawings in the game of Pictionary (is it a monkey? a horse? a volcano?). Some people were really good at it, and Kennedy will have those to enjoy and keep forever.

At the family/work-family shower, guests were given a little piece of paper to write advice for the mommy-to-be.

I thought it was a great idea.

I started writing one, but then I stopped. I wanted it to be perfect, so I slipped a piece of paper in my purse to take home and write later. (Despite the stereotypes, mothers-in-law can have good advice.)

My first thought was something I was told when I was pregnant the first time: Sleep when the baby takes a nap. If Kennedy has the sleeping habits of her daddy, they will be zombielike and sleep-deprived for months. He woke up every 1 to 1 1/2 hours to eat.

My other piece of advice was to tell her not to worry about spoiling Kennedy for the first few weeks. I basically held John for my entire nine-week maternity leave, and I don’t regret one second.

That was the advice my mother — the great-grandmomma — wrote in her perfect handwriting: “Remember that babies can’t be spoiled! Rock her and love her because time really does fly by quickly!”

The theme of time flying by came up a lot. Another woman wrote: “Trust your instincts, and don’t stress over not following the ‘books’ all the time. Time flies by, and you will never look back and think, ‘I wish I’d started rice cereal later.’ Snuggle more; clean later. Cherish every second!”

My brother’s wife, mother of two boys, had this advice: “Enjoy every cuddle, laugh, sneeze, smile and even the cries. I promise you’ll miss all of it — the good and bad. Practical advice — Sleep-train ASAP! Everyone will be happier!”

Another one, from the mother of daughters: “Enjoy every single moment with your precious princess. Don’t take one minute for granted — she will be borrowing your clothes and asking you to curl her hair before you know it!”

I asked my husband what his advice would be, and he thought for a second and said: “Pay attention. Pay attention so that everything will be ingrained and you don’t forget all those moments.”

I agree with him. It’s easy in the exhaustion of new motherhood to just try to get through the day, but those days will pass, and before you know it, your baby will be all grown up, married and having a baby.

And I plan to enjoy every minute of it.

Feel free to email me your advice — either for the parents- or Mimi-to-be.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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