parent opinion

40 new mums share the one piece of parenting advice that *actually* helped them.

Parenting is a tough gig. 

For new mums especially, the first few months of parenthood are often spent in a wave of confusion, judgement and a whole lot of dirty nappies. 

As such, most women turn to parenting books or good ol' trusty internet forums for advice on how to get through this challenging new period. But no one quite knows what to expect like mums who have survived it before (and even then, no one really knows what they're doing). 

Watch: The Mamamia team confess times we were bad mums. Post continues below. 

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So, to help you get through this particularly messy, albeit rewarding period of your life, we asked the Mamamia community for the golden nuggets of wisdom they would give to first time mums. 

Here's what they had to say: 

1. "Everything that’s hard is only a phase and it too shall pass, so don’t get bogged down in a tough patch."

2. "Don’t be afraid to say no to visits while breastfeeding and bonding is being established."

3. "Trust your instincts. You're doing better than you think you are."

4. "Prioritise self-care and don't expect yourself to be the perfect mother and wife."

5. "Don’t be scared to ask for help. It doesn’t mean you are not an amazing mum!"  

6.  "Postpartum period isn’t just six weeks."

7. "You aren’t selfish for wanting to spend a week or two or more resting and bonding."

8. "You may not have that instant all-consuming 'love' for your child. That's not to say that you don't care for them just that it can take time to 'fall in love'."


9. "Trust yourself and go with what you feel is best. No one knows your baby like you do."

10. "Instead of having to be the one taking photos of everyone visiting your baby, get them to take a photo of you and your baby no matter how tired you think you look. You’ll look back and love the photos."

11. "Every baby is different, what works for you might not work for someone else and vice versa."

12. "The days are long, but the years are short." 

13. "I still don’t know what the f*ck I’m doing most of the time! But I gave my baby great cuddles, I’m present and I listen." 

14. "Breastfeeding is tough, bloody tough. It’s like learning to ride a bike when you start. And when the wheels fall off it hurts like hell and it’s a hormone-induced emotional mess. But... when you finally get the hang of it and the training wheels come off, the feeling of achievement is huge and it’s incredibly rewarding."

15. "You can listen to other people's advice, but you DO NOT have to follow it."

16. "Treat opinions like an all you can eat buffet... take what you're hungry for, leave the things you don't like and walk away feeling content."

17. "Get out of the house once a day."

18. "The chores can wait. Enjoy the time you have with your baby. Enjoy the cuddles as long as you need to."

19. "You’re allowed to be tired, find it tough, want a break, need to vent."

20. "The beginning is tough. For everyone. And just because people aren’t talking about it doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling too. But there will come a day when you can’t imagine life without your little one and they fill you with joy/pride. You’ll get there!"

21. "Your body will change forever and it’s okay to find that hard."

22. "Build a network of parents who have babies the same age. Talk about everything. Don't be scared. Chances are they are feeling the exact same way as you."

23. "It’s okay if you're not doing okay, this mum gig is hard."

24. "Be confident in the choices you make. You know more than you realise."

25. "To the dads: Mum’s job is to nurture baby. Yours is to nurture mum, for she is newly born as well."


26. "I’m only five months in but I tell other first time mums to not spend too much time reading about pregnancy/birth, but read more about breastfeeding. It’s bloody hard and I wish I was equipped with more knowledge."

27. "Get away from the books and the apps and be with your baby." 

28. "Sleep is overrated!" 

29. "When people ask what you need - tell them food. If others cook for you in those early days, it's heaven on earth."

30. "Get on the floor and watch your baby play, have tummy time and just be amazing."

31. "Enjoy the snuggles/bonding... binging on Netflix while eating chocolate and don’t feel you have to get out and about too early."

32. "One for the mums to be: pack your hospital bag well and truly before you think you will need it!"

33. "Try to look after yourself and your partner, just as well as you look after your tiny bundle."

34. "Everything is a phase. If it’s bad, it’s a phase, if it’s good, it’s a phase, if they’re teething, it’s a phase, if they’re not sleeping, it’s a phase."

35. "Read all the books if you want to, but remember that your baby hasn’t read the books."

36. "Life is now different, and it will never be the same, but that doesn't mean it won't be fabulous."

37. "Don’t compare yourself to others, especially those projecting motherly perfection on social media."

38. "Invest in a good exercise ball. It was a lifesaver! You can bounce baby to sleep and it’s so much easier on your back."

39. "My advice is fed is best. And if you can and want to breastfeed... great. But if you can’t or don’t want to, you’re still an amazing mum that’s feeding your baby."

40. "No one actually knows exactly what they’re doing, they’re just trying things and seeing what works and what doesn’t over and over again."

Read more: Monique Bowley has shared the 13 things every mum needs to pack in her hospital bag.

Do you have any parenting advice for new mums? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature Image: Getty.