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Jessica Tomes is a wife and mommy to three precious (but rambunctious) little girls. She has a degree in broadcast journalism from Texas Christian University, and a nerd-like love for political science. She is passionate about writing, marketing, social media management, and this wonderfully beautiful mess we call parenthood. She happily lives in beautiful Houston, Texas, and also sells real estate!
Without fail, as soon as you announce your pregnancy, the (mostly unsolicited) parenting advice begins rolling in, from all corners of the globe. You can’t avoid it. Everyone has an opinion. Family, friends, the random lady behind the deli counter at the grocery store. Everyone has something to share: whether good, or not so good, and lots of side-splitting funny. Or maybe that was just me? (The constant contradictory advice I find especially endearing.) At any rate, sometimes we have to decide to laugh at ourselves, so that we won’t drown in our own Chardonnay-soaked tears. Am I right?
Here’s a fun little list we’ve compiled of the “best parenting” advice we’ve received over the years. (Including some from actual Baby Chick readers.) Enjoy!
1. A Personal Favorite: “Don’t worry. I did it (insert nonsensical parenting advice) with my kids, and they turned out just fine.”
2. Combatting a Biter: “When he bites you, bite him back.”
3. On Sleep Training a Newborn: “’Add rice cereal to his bottle — it will help him sleep all night.’ I’m still getting this and he’s four months old!”
4. On Horror Movies and Teething: “Don’t watch horror movies while pregnant. You will curse the baby. Give them a chicken bone for teething.”
5. On Surviving Life as a New Parent: “Sleep when the baby sleeps!”
6. On Increasing and Maintaining Your Milk Supply: “Start pumping in the hospital. Try feeding baby on each side, then pump ‘em empty. Repeat 50 million times a day. And don’t forget to eat balanced, healthy meals!”
7. On Maintaining Your Sanity: “Drink lots of wine. Hide the good candy and the Oreos for emergency situations.”
8. On Making the Most of Every Season: “Enjoy every minute because they grow up so fast. Enjoy every phase. You will blink and they will be graduating from high school.”
9. To Avoid Spoiling: “Stop holding your baby so much. You’re going to spoil him.”
10. General Parenting (The Early Days): “Run to her cribside as soon as she starts crying. Better yet, as soon as she lets out a whimper. She will know that she is loved, and that she can trust you to be there for her.”
11. General Parenting (The Early Days): “Let him cry it out. Wait at least 30 minutes to an hour before checking on him. He’s just testing you to see how far he can get.”
12. On Creating a Positive Sleep Routine: “Baby should never, ever sleep in bed with you. Baby should always sleep in her own crib — with no pillows, no blankets, no bumpers, and no stuffed animals. Think as sterile as possible. The crib mattress should be neither too soft nor too firm.”
13. On Creating a Positive Sleep Routine: “Baby should only co-sleep in bed with mom and dad. This is the only way to establish a lasting bond with him. Don’t you want him to thrive?”
14. General Parenting: “Watch your babies’ eyelashes grow. It’s amazing to see the change! Listen to your mother’s intuition. It is always right!”
15. On Dining Out: “Always check under the table before leaving a restaurant. You never know what you might leave behind!”
16. On Encouraging a Love for the Written Word: “Read to them often. This helps develop language skills and a love for literature from an early age.”
17. General Parenting: “Do what you think is best for your children. If you’re wrong, you’re the one who will suffer the consequences.
18. Potty Training: “You don’t have little Johnny potty trained yet? I had Susie completely potty trained by fifteen months. With no accidents.”
19. On Teaching Resilience: “Let your children fail. When they fall down (as they inevitably will do), brush ‘em off and send them back on their way.”
20. On Creating a Positive Sleep Routine: “Be strict about bedtime.”
21. On Teaching Them to Eat Adventurously: “I am not a short order cook. You will eat what I make, or you won’t eat at all. This battle won’t last long.”
22. On Getting and Holding Their Attention: “Louder isn’t always better. Sometimes all they need is for us to get down on their level, look them straight in the eyes, and tell them exactly how it’s going to be. Try lowering your voice instead of raising it.”
23. On Maintaining Your Sanity: “Don’t be a martyr for the sake of martyrdom. Some arguments are not worth having. You are a person, too. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and your needs in the process.”
24. On General Parenting: “The backseat of your SUV will soon be unrecognizable. Don’t buy nice cars or furniture again until your kids are in college. Just don’t do it.”
What are some of the best and worst parenting advice you have ever received? Share in the comments section below. After all, it takes a village! Good luck parenting, Mommy Chicks! We know you’ve got this. xoxo