New research at the University of Warwick into 50 years of motherhood manuals has revealed how despite their differences they have always issued advice as orders and set unattainably high standards for new mums and babies.
Dr Davis found although the advice from these experts changed over the decades,... it was given as an order with a threat of dire consequences if mother or child failed to behave as expected.
"Levels of behaviour these childcare manuals set for mothers and babies are often unattainably high, meaning women could be left feeling like failures when these targets were not achieved. [emphasis mine]
and all this conflicting advice just leaves women feeling confused and disillusioned.
Exactly why I stopped reading baby manuals after my first. When you are there in the moment with this new little person relying on books and experts over much causes you to question your own instincts.
I do however still occasionally read books espousing particular (positive) discipline ideas because it helps me remember my ideal (even though I only sometimes reach that ideal) and focus on being more mindful in general. I'll admit to needing help in that regard.