There’s no doubt that pop singer Shakira and her soccer star lover Gerard Piqué are thrilled to pieces over the birth of their first child, baby boy Milan Piqué Mebarak, who was born on January 22, 2013 in Barcelona. But as well-meaning as the happy first-time mommy and daddy are, they may need be in need of some parenting tips. Here, Mamiverse obliges.
BABY’S DAY OUT?
Shakira raised eyebrows when she brought newborn Milan to a soccer game in Barcelona to watch his pop play. Was it a mistake to take her baby to a crowded soccer stadium? Depends on who you ask. Your abuela may take the traditional view that newborns should be kept away from crowds because of the myriad germs out there. More modern thinkers might not blink at the idea of exposing baby to a crowd. But newborns have developing immune systems and aren’t yet vaccinated against certain illnesses, so they may be especially vulnerable. Parents should use caution and good judgment when deciding where to take them.
LOSE THE SHOES
There’s no way Shakira and Piqué expected little Milan to start scoring goals hours after birth; the cute sneakers they put on their newborn were just for a fun photo-op. But a word to the wise: even babies on the move don’t need shoes with heavy-duty support. “[Baby’s] muscles need room to develop and strengthen all on their own,” cautions What to Expect. “When you’re dressing your baby, stick with socks or booties to keep her little piggies warm when you need to, but let her go barefoot whenever you can.”
Read Related: Top 10 New Mom Questions
DON’T STRESS YOUR POST-BABY BODY
It’s possible that Shakira is simply one of those lucky ladies with an elastic-like body and machine-worthy metabolism. That would explain her slender post-baby body just three weeks after giving birth, as seen on Us Weekly’s website last month. But if the pop star is pushing herself to get skinny too soon, she should slow down! New moms need to focus on their baby’s health and their own well-being and inner beauty, instead of stressing over getting their body back to pre-pregnancy status—an unrealistic (and possibly dangerous) goal.
ALWAYS USE A CAR SEAT
Last month, Shakira and Piqué were photographed driving with baby Milan—who was in his dad’s lap instead of a car seat. No matter what the laws in your city, state, or country, there’s no question that a car seat is the safest place to be for a child in a car. Just look at the statistics: according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, “Car crashes are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States.” And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website reports that “Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants, and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years.” Sneakers and soccer games are one thing, but there’s no wiggle room when it comes to keeping babies and children safe in cars.
GET AN EARLY START ON GIVING BACK
We want to teach our children about giving, and our kids learn from watching us. While baby Milan may be too young to know what’s going on now, there’s no question that his proud parents were modeling philanthropic behavior when they asked that their fans make donations to Unicef when they debuted Milan’s first public pic! (Shakira—a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador—and Piqué requested that donations be made to Unicef in Milan’s name.) It was a great gesture of generosity, and when it comes to teaching their son the value of giving, they’re on the right track!