I think I've figured out why we've settled into parenting in a relatively fuss-free, non-paranoid way. Since both of us are in our mid-30's, most of our parent-friends are on their second or third child, so our role-models are way past the fretful, Don't-let-that-dirty-thing-near-my-baby phase. It was well-illustrated in an email Andrea got:
When the first-born drops their pacifier, the parent will wash it, sterilize it, then give it back to the baby.
Second child: Wash it, then give it back.
Third child: Wipe it on your pants, quickly suck it off themselves before giving it back to baby.
Fourth child: Give it back to baby.
I can imagine many first-timers seeing this and being just mortified. “Germs” are to us what “Demons” were to our medieval ancestors.
Which brings me to vaccinations. I'm kinda conflicted on this, as both sides of the argument – for and against – have valid points, and both use a lot of fear-mongering. It was easy to be idealistic about other people's kids, but my own little bundle of joy & spit-up has confused the issue immensely! Even more confusing, I understand that a huge percentage of medical professionals aren't getting flu shots. WTF?! Would you drive a Ford if their CEO drove a Chevy? So, are Tetanus and Polio shots OK, but H1N1 should be kept at an arm's length? This is where I should ask around, and it starts here, Please shed some light on this!