How To Choose & Evaluate Reliable Sources As You Begin Your Parenting Journey

Ariel Rubin is a certified Lactation Counselor & Postpartum Doula.  She is the mother of four children, including a set of twins! She is passionate about helping families during the postpartum period with a focus on feeding issues including breastfeeding, pumping, & bottle feeding.  Contact her here!

If I had to sum up all of the advice in the eight or so care of  twins books I read, it would be easy: keep the babies on the same schedule.  Feed both babies at the same time.  If one wakes up, wake the other.  And that seems like good advice, especially if you have two preschoolers at home and a partner with 7 days of leave accrued.  And then I had twins with a three pound weight difference and radically different personalities and I discovered that not only did they never sleep at the same time but I really disliked tandem nursing.  And more importantly, I actually really enjoyed being able to focus on just one baby at a time, even if it meant a good deal less sleep for me.  If you are having twins this week, or if you are awaiting the arrival of one darling first baby, more useful than planning your not-yet-arrived child’s sleep schedule is to think about how you will filter all of the competing advice you receive as a new parent.

Everyone from the crazy old guy behind you in line at the grocery store to your grandmother will have parenting advice, and I strongly recommend that you smile and nod and enjoy all of it.  But then you get to decide whether that advice goes into the total discard bin, maybe a hint of something useful there, or absolutely, sign me up.  Even surrounded by wonderful friends and relatives, it is quite possible that the advice they offer will be out of date or just does not fit your parenting goals or your particular baby.

These are the sources that have been most helpful to me over the years:

  • A support network of professionals including a doula and a lactation counselor who know you and your plans and can support you along the way
  • A pediatrician who listens to your questions and has 24 hour support to offer advice
  • Evidence-based, well-researched books or classes on childbirth, newborn care, and feeding
  • A few friends whose kids are a little older and have the big-picture perspective on parenting. The type of friends who can’t remember when their babies got teeth or walked, but do know that a family tradition of hot chocolate for the first snowfall of the year is more magical and important than what type of swaddle you use

And while they can be useful, the following advice may need to be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism: distant Facebook friends, prying neighbors, neighborhood listserves, the attending doctor who keeps forgetting your kid’s name, or your relatives who love and care about you but may not have held a newborn in decades.

And for the record, those tiny twins are now in school and they still have different sleep schedules and they still eat different foods and it’s been fine.

Depending on your parenting goals and needs, here are some books & other resources you may find helpful


"The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding," by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, and Teresa Pitman. A La Leche League Publication

"Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family" by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Linda J. Smith, and Teresa Pitman. The La Leche League International essential sleep guide.

"Safe Infant Sleep: Expert Answers to your Cosleeping Questions" by Dr. James McKenna

"Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting" by Janet Lansbury.


Evidence-Based Birth

Find a La Leche League Group near you

Check out Balanced Birth Support's Blog Post on breastfeeding resources

Postpartum Support International

Author: Renee Corbino

Renee keeps Balanced Birth Support organized and amazing as the Administrative Manager. She lives in Sarasota, Florida with her husband and two cute little boys. She is a breech birthing mama and supporter of empowering births.

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