When my daughter told me she was using cabbage leaves to dry up her breast milk, I thought postpartum depression had struck and she’d lost her mind. We were in the produce department when she felt up six cabbage heads, looking for the largest leaves. She carefully placed them in the cart. “How do you know about this?” I asked seriously.
“I read that the sulfur in cabbage does something to halt milk production,” she said sounding so informed.
“Won’t your boobs have a cabbage odor? It seems a bit dreadful to me.”
“Mom, trust me. This works and it’s all natural.” I zipped it.
I couldn’t get past the smell of wet cabbage. I got shivers knowing that my daughter will smell like ham and cabbage, without the ham. “Can’t you just get that shot they used to give women to dry up their milk?” I asked, sounding like a dinosaur.
“Mom, they don’t do that anymore,” she replied.
So many things have changed since I had my youngest baby thirty four years ago.
We used to give baby water in a bottle even if we were breast feeding. Sometimes we put a pinch of sugar in it. No more!
I used to put my kids in the basinette on their stomach or their side. I’d seen too many flat headed babies. I presumed this was from lying on their back too much. Sometimes, if they were wobbly, I’d put a little pillow against their stomach to keep them in place. No more!
We were instructed to let a baby cry. It was supposed to help develop their lungs. I never could do that. One look at a quivering lip and I had that baby in my arms. And that was during the day.
The baby needed to stay in his or her bed. Well, I failed that one too. If baby fell asleep while I was propped up on my pillow, I wasn’t going to risk any movement. Even a slight whimper and I had that baby attached to my breast so fast, there wasn’t time for a second whimper. I needed my sleep and if baby fell asleep in my bed, so be it.
I didn’t sleep eight straight hours for years. My husband managed, but I did not.
That is how I flunked the second chapter of “No Children in Mommy and Daddy’s Bed.” With five children if a wailing baby woke up even one of them, it was a disaster. Naturally the one that woke up was so curious she woke up her sister to find out what was wrong with baby. On the way down the hall, their chatter woke up their sleeping brothers. Even the dog came running along.
A baby’s neck must be supported at ALL times. I failed that one too. When I let my daughter hold her sister for the first time, her head bobbled. (I bet that was the inspiration for Bobble Heads). Somehow her head did not fall off, as expected. By all means support baby’s neck. There is a little wiggle room on this one, so to speak.
If our kids had runny noses, we gave them a little purple antihistamine when they were eighteen months old. The beauty of that was the antihistamine made them sleepy. They got the rest they needed to kick the cold. It also gave mommy a chance to nap with them. No more! Now two years is the acceptable age so one must follow the child with a box of tissues or spray stain remover to remove the boogies on their sleeves.
It’s a wonder babies survive the different methods, but they do.
I guess the old saying it true. The method doesn’t matter.
All babies need is love… and sometimes mom really does know best.