parents

The seven most useless pieces of advice about motherhood.

When you’re pregnant or have a new baby, everyone gives you advice. The shop assistant, the kind old dear walking past, the work know-it-all… you name them and they’ve got an opinion. I had two babies in under 18 months so, boy, have I heard more than enough.

And as far as I’m concerned there are some that you can really just take or leave…

BadParentingAdviceImageSupplied
Image: Supplied

1. “When you have a newborn, just don’t worry about doing house work.”
Bollocks. Easier said than done. My child needs clean onesies and the family needs to eat.

2. “Sleep when the baby sleeps.”
Great idea, in theory. But then when would the complete mess of a house get sorted, when would I eat or shower, and when on earth would I get just five minutes of ‘me’ time?

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“Sleep when the baby sleeps.”

3. “You NEED this bassinet/pram/bed/latest-greatest-baby-product.”
Nope, you need the basics. You could keep buying baby products until you were blue in the face and still find there’s something you don’t have that everyone says you MUST get. Once the basics are covered, the rest are optional extras and sometimes a big fat waste of money.

4. “Keep the baby in their own cot in your room for the first 6-12 months.”

Yes, I know it’s a SIDS and Kids recommendation, but what about how damn noisy babies are, making it pretty hard to sleep? And what if you want to have some couple time and reclaim your bedroom? If you follow all the other SIDS recommendations, and use a good baby monitor with a sensor, I don’t see the harm in moving them prior to the six month mark, and if it means you get a better sleep and are more capable during the day then it’s a win win.

WATCH what we first thought when we first saw our baby. Post continues after video…

5. “Don’t give them a bottle too early, they’ll get nipple confusion.”
Many midwives and doctors will say this, and that it can wreck breastfeeding. Then some others will say one bottle a day, given by Dad late at night so Mum can go to bed early, won’t hurt. There’s always conflicting advice on many things to do with babies. For me, one bottle a day did no harm for our first born (and so far so good with our second). And it meant I got to sleep more and enjoy the odd glass of wine. I’m sure babies are clever enough to work out the difference between a nipple and a bottle (and what about all those new-fandangled bottles that literally look and feel the same as breasts?). Hello sanity.

6. “Dummies are bad.”
No, dummies can save both you and your baby a lot of heartache. My husband and I swore we wouldn’t ever use dummies. I think it was around the third week in with our first born, during a particularly bad crying-for-no-reason session, that we were desperately reaching for the pack of dummies we had stashed somewhere “just in case”. They help settle and soothe, and also tide a baby over for a few more minutes while you’re getting their feed ready. SIDS says there is strong evidence that dummies are associated with a reduced risk of sudden infant death when used consistently. And if it’s only to sleep or settle, what’s the harm?

7. “Breastfeeding is natural.”
It may be natural in that women were born to do it, but it’s by no means easy! Many new mums often say that they wish someone had told them how problematic breastfeeding can be, and how even though it’s what nature intended there’s no shame in it not working out. Yes, “breast is best” but fed is better! Whatever works for you.

Did we miss anything? What would you add?

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