baby

The best parenting advice the Mamamia team has ever received.

Terry White Chemists
Thanks to our brand partner, Terry White Chemists

God knows, there’s no shortage of advice for pregnant women and new mothers.

The trouble is, much of it is unsolicited and a fair chunk of it is either wrong or completely useless.

Take that old chestnut, ‘sleep when the baby sleeps.’ As if sleeping in hour-long bursts in broad daylight is somehow a replacement for a solid seven or eight hours of sleep overnight in line with one’s circadian rhythms. Pfft, as if the baby is actually sleeping at all.

Or, ‘enjoy it while it lasts’. Ugh. What’s to enjoy about nappy changing and wiping spit up?

Don’t get me wrong, like most people I appreciated the sentiment of those who offered me these charming little nuggets of advice as I sat before them in three-day-old trackies and hair that hadn’t seen even a can of dry shampoo let alone a shower. They wished me well, and hoped I would soon pull myself together.

On occasion, someone would offer me something useful. Not joking, I will be eternally grateful to the person who said to me, “Babies are like dogs. They can smell fear.” I’ll leave that with you to figure out.

Anyway, sifting through the rough advice to find a small diamond of value can be a pain in the bum. But, we’ve taken the hassle out of it and compiled the best baby advice the Mamamia team have ever got.

1. You got this. For real, lady. There are going to be hard days. Often times you will not really know what you’re doing. But you got this.

Alys Gagnon: Fashionable and factual. Image: supplied.

2. When the baby is hungry, feed it. Be it breast, bottle or a combination, feed the baby. However you choose to feed your baby is the right choice for you.

3. Take time out for you, even if that’s only five minutes to sit quietly on the loo. To look after other people, you have to look after yourself first. Failing that, try chocolate.

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4. For a teething baby, ask for help. There’s plenty of it to be had. We recommend teething gels available at pharmacies, paracetamol or ibuprofen if baby has a fever, and gin. The gin is for you, to be clear.

5. If you need help, ask for it. That’s a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness.

6. Now is not the time to give up coffee.

Don't give up now. Image via iStock.

7. There is only one ‘should’. You should love your baby. That’s it. No ‘should’ feed him this way, no ‘should’ put her to bed that way, no ‘should’ use this pram or that capsule. You should just love your baby as best you can.

8. On nappies, there are these flaps around the leg holes. You have to turn them out otherwise the nappy will leak and you’ll get wee everywhere.

9. Dummies are the best. Unless your baby won’t take them. In which case, dummies are the worst. But really, dummies are the best.

10. Go to Mother’s Group. I skipped mine and then I found I got really lonely without it.

11. If you want to rock your baby to sleep, do it. If you want to try controlled crying, do it. If you want to try cry it out, do it. If you want to have a crack at attachment parenting, go for it. If you want to have a crack at the French-children-don’t-throw-food method, what the heck. You do what works for you.

What’s the best parenting advice you ever received?

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