Parenting Tips I’ve Received Along the Way that Have Actually Been Helpful
One thing new or expectant parents start receiving as soon they start letting people know a baby is on the way, is parenting advice. This advice may come by asking other parents for their tips or unsolicited, which seems to be the most popular.
You know the type, the sweet lady behind the counter at the dry cleaners who keeps giving you tips on how to carry twins. You smile, as you have told her numerous times, there is just one baby in there. The mom who says you should have this type of stroller, and only this type. What to eat, drink and when to feed the baby advice. The list is endless.
After some time, you may do a silent eye-roll or two when these tips are shared, but the truth is, in the fray of some crazy advice, you will find that someone along the way gave you a tip that becomes a lifesaver, a gift. And you'll be thankful.
We asked a few mamas, what was the best parenting tip someone shared with you? Here are some of our favorites.
Take those date nights early.
Take date nights when you can. During the first few months, you may be able to sneak a dinner with your significant other while your baby naps. They can join you in the restaurant and the background noise will help them sleep. You won’t be able to do this once they are able to sleep through the night and have a set bedtime!
Mandy, mom of two
It’s okay to cry.
Everyday is a new day. It’s ok to cry (as a mom). If you feel like you are going to snap, put the baby down and walk away to breathe. It gives you a moment to relax and jump back in to the chaos with a more calm state of mind.
Laura, mom of three
Size up diapers overnight.
When your baby is nearing the next size of diaper, start using the bigger size overnight for extra absorbency.
Trust your gut.
As a NEW mom, this was the best advice: Stop caring what other people think. Listen to your gut, let your baby cry in public (or on a plane), and remember that if you are doing the best you can, that is all that matters. All that matters is your relationship with your baby; not what the people around you think.
Maria, mom of two
Wait out the rough periods.
My college roommate’s advice was super useful: Wait a week. Whatever is up with the baby, a week from now it will probably be different, so don’t gloat or weep too much, or spend too long trying to figure out why. It all changes so fast all the time.
Briar, mom of two
Feed your baby the same foods you are eating.
When our little guy was starting to get his teeth and could eat real solid foods, I wasn’t sure what was good to start with. A dear friend with two of her own said: “Around 18 months, we fed ours whatever we were eating, just cut it up very, very small.” So our now 5-year-old regularly eats things like zucchini, feta cheese, wild salmon, prosciutto, arugula .... get them used to regular “adult” food when they’re young!
Kathy, mom of one
Chic decor goes a long way.
I was told, "Get a few very good looking baskets to stash things in." Sounds odd that some of the best parenting wisdom was also interior design wisdom, but it really was great advice!
Amber, mom of 2
My high school boyfriend gave me the most important - yet only one word piece of advice about becoming a parent just before I gave birth to my first son. He said, “Patience.” I’ve thought of this advice often more than anything else I’ve ever read or been told about parenting. (And I’ve read a lot!)
Cheryl, mom of 2
Hang in there if you’re breastfeeding.
The best advice I got was about breastfeeding, and it was to never give up. Even on your hardest day. I took that advice to heart and am 5 1/2 months exclusively breastfeeding and still going strong.
Mary, mom of 2
Own your own motherhood.
Own your own motherhood. Every child develops at a different pace and it's easy to get caught up in what the other kids are doing, but it's really important to focus on what is best for your child and your family.
Barri, mom of 1
It’s okay to ask for help.
It's ok to admit you are overwhelmed and need help. Parenting a newborn is so hard and no one will judge you if you ask for a hand.
Danielle, mom of 2
No need to tip-toe.
You don’t need to tip-toe around a sleeping baby. If you do, any noise you make will wake them up. Having a level of background noise means you can go about your daily life (vacuuming, watching TV, or catching up with your partner) without worrying about waking up junior.
Shirley, mom of 3
Everything is a phase.
Everything is a phase. Just when you get used to something it will change. That goes for the good and the bad.
Lindsey, mom of 1
Early bedtime is key.
Early riser? Try an earlier bedtime. As crazy as it sounds, an overtired baby will sleep less. Putting them to bed earlier can often help them sleep longer.
Jackie, mom of 2
Always have a diaper.
Always have a diaper with you. It will come in handy when you least expect it.
Corrine, mom of 2
Label their medicine.
If your baby is sick, but a label on their medicine so you can easily keep track of when you gave them each dose.
Rachel, mom of 1
Don’t buy too much.
Don’t buy too much before the baby arrives. You won’t know exactly what you need until after the baby is born. Each baby is different and all want different things.
Sally, mom of 2
Whether you take parenting tips with a grain of salt or write them down for the future, know that most advice given to you as a parent is coming from a genuine place. This is the beauty of parenting; we're all in it together. And as I mentioned earlier, while advice may come to you when you least expect it, there will be that one A-HA moment when you've realized you took one of the many tips you were told and used it. This is all part of the parenting adventure we are all on. Yay for moms!
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