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The Worst Advice I Was Given as a New Mum

When you become a parent you're given a lot of advice, whether you want it or not - this is some of the worst advice I was given when I was a new mum.

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This funny thing happens when you’re pregnant for the first time… everyone you come into contact with takes this as a cue to give you advice. And what’s better is that you don’t even have to ask for it (that was sarcasm by the way).

Now, don’t get me wrong, some advice is great – like someone told me to take a pair of socks with me to the hospital when I had my son because it’s always cool at night. That’s great advice. But the great advice was often overshadowed by the not so great advice.

So I thought I’d share with you some of the worst advice I was given as a new mum, some of it’s quite funny too.

When you become a parent you're given a lot of advice, whether you want it or not - this is some of the worst advice I was given when I was a new mum.

1 – It’s okay, you’ll be able to sleep when the baby sleeps.

LIE!!! Now, I’ll gladly be proven wrong by anyone on this one – so please let me know if you were one of those mysterious women I hear about who were able to sleep when their baby slept, but to date I’m yet to hear from anyone that this is possible!

If you’re lucky enough to have a baby that sleeps for more than 10 minutes in one go then you’ll most likely be found using this time to attempt some form of self cleaning, washing the absolute mountain of clothes that are forming and making some pass at cleaning what once resembled your kitchen. That’s if you can move past staring into space because of the sheer sleep deprivation.

2 – You only need a handful of outfits for the baby, 5 onesies at most.

Clearly these people never had a baby with reflux. We were lucky if we only went through 5 outfits a day!! If this is your first child then buy whatever you want – you won’t be able to justify doing it again. If you want to dress your newborn up then go for it! It’s adorable. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.

3 – Don’t nurse your baby to sleep. He will never learn to go to sleep on his own.

I’m a little ashamed at how long I believed this for… that being said, I never stopped nursing my son to sleep – I loved it. And now he is two and goes to sleep all by himself. Clearly I ruined him.

4 – Don’t pick your baby up when they cry, you’ll cuddle them too much and spoil them.

It is impossible to cuddle your baby too much. Seriously. And spoil them?? Really?? They are babies. They need to be held close, they need to be cuddled and they need to be shown love. This is one of the worst pieces of advice that really gets under my skin. It is so instinctual to pick our babies up when they cry and there’s a reason for it – because that is what we are supposed to do!

5 – You have to stop breastfeeding as soon as they ask for it.

This makes absolutely no sense to me. We try so hard to work out what our children are trying to communicate to us, then when they can tell us that they want to drink milk, we stop giving it to them?? What message is that reinforcing?

And that’s before I even go on a rant about extended breastfeeding and how the World Health Organisation recommends feeding until 2 years of age and beyond. If I could, I would still be breastfeeding my two year old.

6 – Don’t pick your child up when he wakes at night – let him cry it out, it’s good for his lungs.

This is not a debate about whether crying it out works or not, but even those who are a fans of the actual cry it out method know that a child who is screaming for hours on end is not a good thing. ALL children are different, you cannot possibly categorise them all into one category of what will and what will not work.

My son does not calm himself down once he gets upset, he will ramp up more and more and then throw up. This has only ever happened once and you can bet I felt like the worst mum in the world. I know the difference between my son whinging and waking from a dream and him waking upset and I will never, ever let him cry it out.

7 – When your nursing baby bites you, bite them back.

Are you kidding me? You just told me to bite my child…. My child who is only biting me because they are still learning how to use their mouth properly… my child who can’t even talk, my child who still depends completely upon me. You want me to bite them? When someone said this to me I laughed, thinking they were joking. They weren’t. I walked away.

And this is just the advice I received, it’s not even including all the crazy advice I’ve heard my friends tell me they were given.

I’d love to hear what the worst advice is you’ve received as a parent. It can be anything, not just relating to being a new mum. Leave your comments below and let me know!

8 Comments

  1. I was once advised by a family member that in order to get my three week old baby to sleep through the night, I had to skip meals until they got on a schedule. I’ll just let that sit there.

    1. Oh my gosh!! I’ve heard of people being told to not feed their babies at night and soon they will learn to sleep through because they aren’t getting fed! That’s so horrible!! Some people…. :-/

    1. I completely agree. Some people are so concerned with telling others wha they are doing wrong or how they should be doing things, instead of building them up and being supportive. You’re right… it’s hard enough!!

  2. My children are all adults, one with her own child. I heard all that “advice”. But, the good advice I got, and I have passed on to my daughter, is if you allow a baby to be dependent when they need to be, they will become more independent as they grow. They know you’ll be there when they need you. I ended up with three very independent children.

    1. That is such fantastic advice. It’s so exciting when you see your children start to become more independent and do things for themselves – it’s like a massive parenting high five moment. Thank you for sharing. xo

  3. Hi! I just wanted to thank you for that piece of writing. Was absolutely good reading.. Also, the worst advice i got was actually given to me by a nurse.. She told me i have to feed my littleone precicely after every three hours. Even at night. So when she was in her sweetest dreams and was time to feed and i couldnt wake her just with my talking or so, i could take her clothes away and even put her toes in colder water. I tried one night just to wake her (not with water, just talking) and i could not. So i let her be until she asked for food. Worked just fine for us, as she now turns seven already! Omg.
    Thanks! ml

  4. I was told by a friend of my parents that I should give my then 6 week old daughter water with a teaspoon or two of sugar in it during the night instead of breastfeeding her so that it stopped her waking during the night as much.
    -_-

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