6 Silly Parenting Tips Every New Mom Hears (And Learns to Ignore)
Are you a new parent who is currently trawling the internet for parenting advice because you’ve discovered that friends and relatives are pretty much useless? Or perhaps you’re a new mommy bewildered with all the “do this!”, “no, do that!” coming at you from all quarters?
I’ve been there.
Which is why I know exactly what you’re going through.
Bad parenting advice can be both bizarre and funny. Most often, though? It’s downright frustrating.
Here’s a list of parenting ‘tips’ (utterly unsolicited and flung at you at the worst possible time) which can turn a well-adjusted human mom into a demon.
You Must Say No to Formula
And why, if I may ask? I agree that breastfeeding is pretty much exclusively recommended for the first 6 months. However, it is equally okay to feed formula to your baby.
What if a new mother’s supply of milk is low – or she’s delivered twins and is finding it difficult to breastfeed both at the same time? Are you, the holier than thou matron of the breastfeeding club, going to come and help her?
A mother’s decision to breastfeed or formula feed her baby is a personal one. Don’t butt in.
For all you breastfeeding mommas and their toothy infants, this one is for you.
I was told by my mother-in-law’s friends that if your baby bites too hard during breastfeeding, you must bite their arm back. That way, they’ll know they’re causing you pain and will stop.
I’m sorry, but that’s just not funny!
Sleep When the Baby Sleeps
Sure, that sounds like sage advice – but as anyone who’s ever been a mom will tell you, life doesn’t work to such conveniences.
Which makes this the most annoying piece of advice you will hear.
Hire a Good Maalish-Waali (Professional Masseuse)
No, no and a BIG no! In my experience, a good maalish-waali in India is not even close to a bad midwife hired abroad.
An Indian baby masseuse knows absolutely nothing about the soft skin of a baby, or their delicate organs which are still developing. Moreover, let’s cut to the chase – babies don’t NEED massages to (as you will be told) improve circulation, build bones or ‘shape the body’ – such as making the nose sharper and the head rounder – etcetera, etcetera.
I’d never let a traditional maalish-waali touch my baby. I will, however, press his legs down gently sometimes, as well as give him a good head massage to appease him.
Don’t Let Your Child Cry
If your idea of a good mother is someone who keeps her child happy, then you’d better not come visit us, EVER.
The first few months after my boy was born were the hardest. I was often told that I should be hugging my child to sleep all night, every night. I’m afraid I prefer the opposite. It is completely fine to put your baby in the cot or on your bed and let them cry for a bit. Crying isn’t going to pose radioactive damage to their little souls.
In fact, it helps your baby to breathe in and for the lungs to open up and take in air.
The More Awake He is in the Day, the More He’ll Sleep at Night
Before you hasten to try this one out, let me tell you that I already did. One fine day, I didn’t let my 8-month-old sleep at all during the day. As a result? He got extremely overactive and didn’t sleep through the night too! And now, after having lived through two years of sleep issues, I don’t even know what to say anymore.
(Founder of The Champa Tree, Vaishali is a mother (and on-the-job-learner), a communication consultant and now a full-time-slave. The Champa Tree was conceived in May, 2014 – around the same time that her son was born. TCT is a blog on motherhood and parenting.)