The arrival of a baby is always exciting and brings people together. You could be an aunt, a friend, a colleague or acquaintance. Or maybe you’re the parent who has to deal with the overwhelming job of taking care of your little one while fending off unsolicited advice. Whatever the case may be, there are some “priceless” pieces of advice, examples and experiences best kept to ourselves when a new parent is trying to navigate the newborn days. Although you may be meaning well, keep in mind that all families are different and what worked for you may not work for them. Besides, don’t you remember how busy those days were?
So, take a moment and refrain from giving parents these 6 pieces of advice:
1. You Should Eat More To Produce Enough Milk
Many well-meaning older relatives, including your own mum might have advised you to eat more while breastfeeding in order to produce enough milk to feed on demand. But it is hard to take their advice when these are the same people who will beret you for putting on weight and “letting yourself go” a couple of months down the line. Also you don’t literally have to eat for two when you are breastfeeding if you don’t feel the need to. The best course of action is to eat everything in moderation and stick to what works for you.
2. Sleep While The Baby Is Sleeping
Becoming a mother unfortunately does not free you from your other duties and responsibilities. Sometimes this little tit-bit can come from your partner, right before they complain about how messy the house is. That’s right, an additional member means additional mess to clean up! Some babies are easy to do chores with. They don’t move around much and settle for staring at you or the very interesting ceilings you must have. Other babies don’t like to be separated from their parents and will scream the house down if they are snatched away from your arms. This leaves moms with no choice but to wait until the baby is asleep to do everything else. This is why they need your support, not your advice.
3. If Your Child Can’t Share Everything, They Will Grow Up To Be A Greedy Person
This is one thing you got wrong. It’s okay for kids to have boundaries. There can be things that they are okay with sharing and some things they’d rather keep to themselves. This does not make them greedy or bad. Imagine if someone wanted to drive your car and thought you were selfish for not complying, it’s the same concept. If an item belongs to your child and they don’t feel like sharing it, that’s their right.
4. Make The Most Out of Maternity Leave And Stop Wasting Time
You can’t waste time you don’t have! Many people have a rose-tinted view of maternity leave. They think mums just sit around, snuggling with their baby and taking naps. This can’t be furthest from reality. Babies, especially newborns, are a lot of work. Moms are often sleep deprived and running on sheer willpower so maybe advising them to catch up on some reading or take a spin class is not the best move. It’s a pity that well-wishers only want to help with words and not actions. Another set of hands around the house would be appreciated.
5. Have A Second Child Soon So Your Firstborn Has Someone To Play With
This is just plain annoying. How could anyone else know what would be best for your child and your family? People are quick to comment that “it’s high time you had another child” but will not take into account how much additional work that entails. Not to mention that some kids don’t get along easily from the start. Having another baby takes the attention away from your first child which they may get upset about. They may not like the idea of a play partner. Another child also means added financial strain. This isn’t a decision to be made lightly. Parents must wait until they are ready and stable enough to have a second child.
6. Don’t Carry The Baby Too Much
Babies cry as a way to communicate their needs with the world and most of the time they want to be in your arms. Why wouldn’t they? It’s the safest place to be. There is no such thing as carrying the baby too much. Paying attention and catering to the needs of your infant is important. Besides, there’s only a short window of time to do so. Coddle your little one while you can!
Now that you know what not to say to new parents and advice that you should readily discard, being a supportive friend to them will be easy. What are some pieces of advice you wish people didn’t give you when you were a new parent? Let us know in the comments section!