kids

The five pieces of advice every first-time parent gets (and doesn’t always listen to).

Dymadon®
Thanks to our brand partner, Dymadon®

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were promoting their mental health campaign recently when they said something that every parent eventually realises.

They were talking about the first few days and weeks with little chubby-cheeked Prince George.

“Having a child, particularly your first child, is such a life-changing moment. Nothing can really prepare you for that,” Duchess Kate started. “Remember the first few days with little George? You have no idea what you are really doing, no matter how many books you read, nothing can prepare you for it.”

Prince William agreed: “There’s no rule book, there’s no training that teaches you, you’ve got to learn from previous generations and hope that translates into what you want to do.”

My little girl is 19 months old now, and from day one I feel like I have been fumbling through it all. Sure, I feel like a little bit of a professional in some areas (changing a nappy, heating a bottle to the right temperature, knowing every word to every song created by The Wiggles), but in others, I still feel like I have absolutely no idea what I am doing.

As William said though, I am surrounded by people who have the most amazing words of wisdom to get me through the times where I feel like I’m failing.

Okay, I admit, I have rolled my eyes plenty of times at the (unsolicited) advice I have received through my pregnancy until now. There have been times where I felt as if I was drowning in advice, even conflicting advice. Here’s the thing though, here’s the part that gave me that “ah-ha” moment.

“Hope that translates into what you want to do.”

There is so much worldly knowledge about raising little humans. While as a mum-to-be and then a mum, I think I’ve heard almost all of it, it’s about seeing if it works for you. If it doesn’t, trash pile it goes. If it does, well, it really makes parenting so much easier. Thank you to the following people and their wisdom, which has made my life easier:

It doesn't get easier, but you get better. Image: iStock.
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1. “The best way to study for an exam is cramming the night before.”

My teachers would be horrified at my obstetrician’s advice but it saved me so many months of worrying over something I had no control over.

At my 20-week scan I found out I had Placenta Previa – basically the placenta was blocking my bub's way of getting out. Clearly, I was worried. My obstetrician put my mind at ease.

It's always a good idea to trust an expert's advice. And when you need to know more, study up and don't worry your head off.

2. “Sleep while you can.”

Waking up feeling refreshed is a distant memory. Image: iStock.

If you are pregnant, you WILL be told this.

I heard this from the Thai takeaway lady, the old lady in the fruit section at the supermarket, in line at the bank, on the bus. All I wanted to scream was, “Have you ever tried sleeping when your bladder becomes magically full every two hours!”.

What they meant is, rest while you can. When you have nothing to do, do nothing. Watch the movie. Lie in bed all day. Something I definitely should have done more of.

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3. “Don’t listen to anyone’s advice.”

This is from a colleague. I was asking for everyone’s best parenting advice for an article.

She warned me of the ridiculously huge amount of advice that was about to come my way, all well-intentioned, but potentially overwhelming as a new mum. While everyone is happy to try help with telling you how to do things, make sure it works for you and figure out (quickly) how to block out the noise.

4. “Trust your mummy instincts.”

My bub had a cold for a week and it didn’t seem to be getting any better. I desperately didn’t want to overreact. So, as I was talking to my former boss about work, I asked her how you know when your bub is sick enough to go to the doctor. She said to listen to your mummy instinct and trust it.

I hung up the phone and went straight to the doctor who knew exactly the right treatment my sick baby needed.

Nobody knows your little one better than you do. Trust your instincts. Image: Supplied.

5. “Totally normal.”

I have this amazing friend who is my mummy lifeline (every new mum needs one of these in their life). Every time something happens to my little one and I have no clue, I text her… “Is it normal when…?”. She always responds with “totally normal” followed by advice if I need it.

When you’re a first timer and you have nothing to compare your parenting experiences to, having a friend who has been there and done that, priceless.

What's the best advice you've been given as a new mum? Share with us in the comments section.

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Dymadon®

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