Easier said than done

With my head hung low I must woefully admit that being a pediatrician sometimes stops when you become a mom. Why do I say this? Well, I do not always follow the rules. For example, because they look so darned cute, I have crib bumpers in baby L’s crib. I keep looking at them and wanting to take them out, but he seems to be doing fine and well, they look so darned cute! And when he is up and walking in his crib I like the idea of the padding being there. I know the facts and the things to be concerned about, and still I do not follow the recommendations. Still I go off and do my own thing, which seems to make perfect sense to me.

And with other rules, I can only say that some things are easier said than done. I now understand why moms have such a hard time breastfeeding exclusively and still taking the baby back and forth to their crib, lying them on their backs to sleep each and every time, and managing to put them to sleep awake so they drift peacefully off to sleep. It is pretty darned hard to follow every recommendation 100% of the time and even though things may work in “the books,” they still don’t work for everyone. Babies don’t usually read the books, do they?

So it gave me great relief when L’s pediatrician didn’t yell at me for all the bad things we were doing at home – instead he laid out the recommendations as usual but was still supportive – and he engaged us in conversation about why walkers aren’t recommended instead of saying flat out that walkers are bad and you shouldn’t use them.  The conversation definitely changed the way I think I am going to approach patients. It still pays to go by the recommendations, but I at least want them to share with me what they are choosing to do so that I can at least help them with the information I have.  And the last thing I want to do is to alienate the families who I want to help – and I certainly run the risk of doing so in my interactions with them. I remember one family vividly which was very averse to my recommendation against TV watching. Because the child enjoyed the TV watching the parent planned to continue this, and when I recommended strongly against it and looked cautiously worried, the parent closed up entirely.  It got to the point where even when I explained the reasoning behind the recommendation against TV – that screen time often substitutes the human interaction which is essential to proper development – the parent had already moved on and was just waiting for the appointment to get over. I was not to be herad. I need to remember that they are parents and know their children, and as much as I think I know best they are living their lives every day as families, and some interventions are best addressed at different times, depending on the family.

In other news there is much to cover – the joy of a pleasant weekend visiting family members and friends, the challenges of administering medicines to an infant boy, the pumpkin semifreddo that was made today (sorry folks, based on a secret family recipe so I can’t share!!), laundry woes of turning all my son’s clothes pink . . . . and the joy of that tentative standing alone and the first waves . .ah so amazing. But I better count my blessings that I was able to cover this much, and off to bed!! Oh, I hear the little one crying . . . not quite off to bed!