Life with a newborn is a learning curve like no other
But along with sleepless nights, endless nappies and a truckload of love, parenthood and life with a newborn brings with it a raft of clichés, expressions, and other eyeroll-worthy tips for newborns that you’ll hear time and time again.
While some parenting tips for life with a newborn baby are simply harmless platitudes, others can be mind-numbingly annoying, downright unhelpful, and at times, upsetting.
Here’s six of the best (worst) tips for newborns that mums are tired of hearing:
Sleep while your baby sleeps
Of all tips for newborns, this is probably up there among the most common advice given to new parents. Why? Because it sounds good – great, even – at least in theory. The reality is though, in practice, sleeping while the baby sleeps is a whole lot harder to achieve. Between trying to shower, getting the laundry done, and drinking far too much coffee, if you’re not doing much sleeping while bub slumbers, you’re not alone.
That said, if you manage to nap while bub does, then go you good thing!
(PS. We’re all jealous.)
This too shall pass
For some new mums – myself included – “this too shall pass” can be a soothing beacon of hope during those trying parenting moments when you’re exhausted and teary and completely out of patience. For others, however, this tip for newborns does little to alleviate the stress of the moment itself, least of all acknowledge how utterly sh*t some aspects of early parenthood can be.
Yes, these challenging times of life with a newborn baby will pass – and thank goodness for that. But sometimes being a new mum is just hard, and it’s okay to acknowledge that, too.
Just you wait
Here’s a piece of parenting advice you’re probably be oh-so familiar with. No sooner have you shared the exciting news that your little one has started crawling, you’ll hear, “Just you wait until they start walking! Then you’ll know you’re alive.”
Once the just-you-waits begin, they don’t slow down. Baby has his first cold? “Just you wait until he’s at daycare, then he’ll be sick all the time.” Finding it hard to get organised enough to leave the house? “Just you wait until you’re back at work.” Life with a threenager oh-so draining? “Just you wait until you have a real teen in your house.”
You get the picture.
Enjoy every minute
If you’re a mum who is genuinely able to “enjoy every minute” with your new born baby or older children, then skip on forward to number five. If, however, this expression also grates on your ever-fraying nerves, then you’re not the only one.
“Enjoy every minute” is often said through the lens of nostalgia by those long past raising little people. But my advice to new (and seasoned!) mums about this tip for newborns? It’s okay not to enjoy the sleep-deprivation that makes your eyes hurt and your limbs ache. It’s okay not to cherish the witching hours with an unsettled bub, rocking and pacing and bouncing to no avail. And it’s definitely okay not to love the deep loneliness that can so often come with early motherhood.
Motherhood is full of joys, but the pressure to enjoy it all is unrealistic. Some days, you simply need to survive.
Is he/she a good baby?
While this is a question rather than a tip for newborns, “Is she/ he a good baby?” is often one of the first things you’ll be asked when you venture out into the world with your new addition.
What people mean by this – and not at all maliciously – is: “Is she sleeping and eating and doing all the things babies are supposed to be doing?”
The problem with question that people ask new mums about their newborn baby is that while babies can have wildly different temperaments, and some might be “easier” than others, they’re not “good” or “bad” – they’re just bubs.
Is dad babysitting today?
Gather round dads, this one is for you.
Sadly, despite the fact that it’s 2023, if you’ve ever been out and about with your baby and a nappy bag and had someone comment, “Ahh, it’s daddy day care today”, you won’t be the only one to have heard this ridiculous comment. Dads don’t babysit – they parent. End. Of. Story.
How to deal with unsolicited advice or tips for your newborn?
Simply put, shake it off. Besides, raising children is busy so it’s unlikely you have time to dwell on it! Pick and choose the advice that works best for you and your baby, but at the end of the day, you do you mama.
By Ariane Beeston.
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