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Best and worst advice you were given before becoming a parent?(24 Posts)
Worst for me was definitely "enjoy the sleep while you can" when I was 40 weeks pregnant, not sleeping well anyway and desperate to meet my baby.
Also, not to introduce a bottle until 6 weeks plus (even expressed milk), in case it interfered with breastfeeding. We waited, then baby flatly refused to ever take a bottle so all the nights were down to me and I couldn't get any proper time to myself for the first six months really.
Also, everyone said "don't bother with a birth plan it all goes out the window".. while it's true your birth doesn't go up any sort of plan, and mine certainly didn't, going through the process of talking through your preferences with your birthing partner and what's really important to you is really helpful.
Best - that it's totally normal to cry all day on day 3. I didn't even know this was a thing until someone from NCT said it, and my goodness it hit me badly.
Another best - you can never have enough muslin cloths, and make sure you get a range of sizes.
Advice I would give (if asked for, I've had my fill of unsolicited advice ):
- nappy bins are so cheap because they make their money on the refills
- dresses aren't practical on babies that can't walk yet, they ride up and get in the way
- a next to me / snuzpod / crib with the side down attached to the bed is a must have
Best advice I was given was how to feed my breast to a tongue tied baby so they could latch onto it. It was from a breastfeeding volunteer who really knew her stuff. It allowed me the confidence to stop expressing which I hated.
Second best piece of advice was to get down on the floor and play with my baby to boost their development. I couldn’t do it on the early days but since I started a few weeks ago he has really come on in terms of development.
Worst advice - leave them to cry for 5 minutes before you pick them up (baby was 2 weeks old)
Best advice - let the advice go in one ear and out the other.
Best advice (from my mother): get a sling
Worst advice (from my mother, a month after getting the sling): you’re carrying the baby too much. Use a pushchair
Worst advice - pierce her ears as soon as she's born as newborns can't feel pain (didn't do this BTW)
Best advice - smile and nod when people give you advice, then do what you feel like doing.
I fucking hated all the advice from people I hadn't asked for it. I've always been much happier following my instinct.
Worst advice - get baby used to lots of noise etc so that they can sleep anywhere. I was so worried about having a baby that had to sleep in silence that I tried this for weeks. It turns our DD2 needed a quiet, dark room to sleep in, no matter what I wanted her to do!
Best advice- give her a dummy (I was so against this, but it really helped me get some rest, as DD wanted to be on my boob 24/7!)
Get someone to help you in the early days of breastfeeding who knows their stuff. Not a midwife or even a volunteer NCT person but a lactation consultant.
Get baby checked and checked again for tongue tie.
Go to bed early a few times a week when baby does arrive. Trying to stick to a normal evening routine as a couple (staying up later, watching tv having dinner etc) exhausted me. Having the odd early night made a massive difference.
Sleep in the day when baby sleeps - just for one of those naps. Chances are baby sleeps better with you anyway!
Co sleep. I set it up properly with my second after fighting it with my first and again I felt better even with dealing with a toddler and a newborn.
Get out every single day regardless of weather.
Worst - 'enjoy the cuddles'. Makes you believe that you'll have a very content newborn, when is reality you could have a very clingy colicy one. It still gets on my nerves when I see people saying this to people who have posted something about struggling with a newborn
Best - swaddle, swaddle, swaddle!
Worst - breastfeeding advice from someone who has never had children, also a man telling me how to give birth and that his partner actually did it wrong
Best - no two babies are exactly the same
- wait a month before you give a dummy to avoid nipple confusion.
- don't be quiet when baby's napping or they will depend on quiet (he literally couldn't nap unless it was quiet as it turned out!).
- he's too young for a routine (we put him in a routine at 8 weeks and it was the best thing we did)
- try nipple shields (wouldn't have been able to breastfeed without them... didnt realise he had a massive tongue tie until 1 month old).
- get a next to me crib
- try the Little Ones programme (the routine we used)
- it really does get so much easier!
Second @surreygirl1987 about the routine. We introduced one at 8 weeks and its the best thing
also a man telling me how to give birth and that his partner actually did it wrong
LOL - I didn't realise doing it wrong was an option. What happened? Did the baby come out the wrong orifice?
Worst - you will never drink a hot drink again. Emm no unless I forget when I'm working. Took DD out plenty of times and had a hot coffee while she had milk and/or stared at the surroundings and/or entertained by strangers.
Best - get a sling. Made it easier to get on public transport particularly buses. Made it easier to go shopping at supermarket. Makes it easier to calm toddler down.
Worst - have two close together- they bring each other up
Incidentally ( not because of this advice) had two one year apart, it was, and still is 9/10 years later a bloody nightmare.
Also from MIL - you must slather baby with sudocreme after every change.
Again, from MIL " You must lay him flat- he's uncomfortable". NO. He's got terrible reflux and he must not be flat. He is not uncomfortable. He's sound asleep.
Best advice- Take no advice from anyone who isn't a health professional or who hasn't had a baby themselves in the last 5 years.
Worst - Follow Gina Ford routines. They are stressful and she is overly focused on the baby sleeping through the night. Personally I would prefer to get up for 20 mins in the middle of the night rather than spending all day every day clockwatching and disturbing them
Best - get a moses basket. Great for moving baby between rooms in the evenings.
Best - next to me crib, go with the flow, read up on safe co-sleeping even if you don't intend to do it.
Worst - put cushions/pillows round her in the crib so she doesn't move and wake herself (suggested multiple times by MILs (childless) husband, despite being told it was really dangerous.
He also commented 'you'll have to stop feeding her yourself when she gets teeth' to which MIL did say 'don't be daft' before I could even reply. Oh, he also thought babies were born with their eyes closed like puppies He's a lovely bloke but will advise on subjects he knows nothing about with the utmost confidence, you learn to take it with a pinch of salt. We were once out when she was about 2 weeks and someone asked how old she was and he said the date she was born and got it wrong, I corrected him and he said 'are you sure?' He's a great Granpa though.
I can relate to so many of these..
@Spied that's really interesting about having two close together.. I honestly can't think of anything worse than adding another into this madness but my mum / nan / friends are telling me to just get it out of the way!
LOL - I didn't realise doing it wrong was an option. What happened? Did the baby come out the wrong orifice?
He was saying that she pushed at the wrong time so it was her own fault she tore, and that if she'd listened to him she wouldn't have (he was timing contractions and telling her when to push). While he was telling me this she was just rolling her eyes in a long suffering kind of way - I'm surprised she didn't slap the fucker!
Best advice before my baby was born was from my mum to follow my instincts with my baby and ignore any unwanted advice. Although the best advice I’ve since had was to keep in my mind that everything’s a phase; it’s helped me through some bad times and reminded me to make the most of good times
Worst advice - get them into a routine as soon as you’re home. Maybe some babies are open to that but neither of mine were until at least 3+ months and it caused me a lot of stress.
Best advice - buy a sleepyhead. I didn’t, but everyone else in my NCT group did and their babies slept like cats whilst mine rolled and thrashed around, even when swaddled. I eventually got one.
Worst advice - let visitors do the housework whilst you cuddle the baby. I had no idea how ‘touched out’ I would feel with cluster feeding, and 10 minutes to unload the dishwasher and make my own cup of tea made me feel like a normal person again in the early weeks. I appreciate that the gist of that particular advice is to not stress about the housework, but it made me feel much better!
Worst advice - don't read anything about parenting, just ask your mother instead.
Best advice - none of the unsolicited "advice" I've been given has been helpful and always felt like a new angle for criticism. But reassurances were always welcome and helped with confidence so the only unsolicited "advice" I give to parents is that they're doing well and their child is lovely.
Best advice: “Remember that everything is a phase” and “babies don’t read the books”
Worst advice: “Sleep when the baby sleeps” - I would stress so much about trying to fall asleep while my baby napped (all cat naps in the beginning), it would have been better To have just used the time to watch a bit of TV or get a cup of tea
- “Just let the house get messy” - being stuck with a clusterfeeding baby was bad enough but doing so in a messy house just made me feel worse. I found tidying up a very positive thing to do for my mental health
I also echo the “don’t introduce a bottle until 6 weeks” as crap advice! We gave my DD a few bottles here and there from two weeks and I breastfed her to just shy of 11 months (pretty much exclusively until 6 months, other than the odd bottle of formula when I needed sleep and hadn’t pumped). But a good few of my friends who waited really struggled with bottle refusal x
Best advice: it will be ok, you will find your own way of doing things. Which i found true. Babies don't come with instruction manuals, best to just figure out YOUR baby.
worst but we'll meant: don't worry about getting the house right before birth (we'd had some lazy minute renovations and house was upside down and it was stressing me out. I ignored it and we got the house into some order, but perfect but some. We certainly wouldn't have had time to do that after the birth and is have been extra stressed out trying to do that whilst juggling being a ftm!
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