When my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first baby, we were ecstatic. However, pregnancy for first-time moms can be overwhelming. I did all the research, read the books, and soaked up all the advice I could from other moms. I received a lot of great advice from those sources but also bad and impractical advice.
The Top 7 Worst Pieces of Advice I Received as a New Mom-to-Be!
Sleep when the baby sleeps.
Yeah, this is good advice if you want to live in a hurricane of toys, clothes (clean and dirty), and unknown sticky surfaces. Sleep when the baby sleeps really means sleep during the only time you have a quiet moment to yourself. This was the most common phrase of advice shared with me (a million times) among my fellow moms. Although it may work for some moms, it was very impractical for me. I still had a home to maintain, dinner to make, and laundry to do, and those things didn’t get done when baby was awake. Also, sometimes it’s just nice to watch one uninterrupted episode of my favorite show.
Don’t forget to be intimate with your husband.
This was the last thing on my mind when I had a baby. It’s recommended to wait 6 weeks to return to intimate activities, so this one just confused me. Often moms don’t feel comfortable even at 6 weeks and wait weeks or even months longer until they are emotionally and physically ready. Thankfully, my husband was also too busy with diapers, baby baths, and other real-life issues to worry about this (at least for a while!)
Let people babysit.
I get this one, and I know many moms who would have a babysitter come over so they could sleep and shower. But speaking for myself, I would rather have people help with cleaning and cooking so I can bond with my new baby stress-free. Family and close friends will have numerous opportunities to babysit and have that special time when baby is older. I wanted to be with my newborn as much as possible and felt anxiety about leaving her in someone else’s care. It is your baby, and you know best for your child, so don’t feel pressured to allow it if you aren’t comfortable doing so.
Eat only healthy foods.
This is impossible with a newborn, not to mention the breastfeeding cravings! I survived those first couple weeks on a steady diet of cheesecake and salad – it’s all about balance, mamas. Try to eat healthy, but don’t beat yourself up about it if you are craving something. I mean, moms satisfy those pregnancy cravings when baby is in utero, so is it really any different when the baby is outside the womb?
Have date nights with your significant other.
Going on dates was impossible for me until my daughter was at least 3 months old. Also, the thought of dressing in something other than yoga pants was downright unpleasant. My husband and I were on the same page with this and kept our marriage alive with takeout and movie nights (it was just as fun, I promise)!
If you co-sleep, your child will never want to leave your bed.
I am sure she will want independence at some point, and since she sleeps through the night in my bed, that’s where she’s staying.
Try really hard to breastfeed.
I know, breastmilk is magical (we get it), but sometimes, for various reasons, a mom may decide not to breastfeed, and that’s okay. Feeding baby is what’s important, and although I did pump and bottle feed, my supply stopped after four months, and I was happy with that.
So, don’t despair, new mama-to-be! There are excellent pregnancy-to-parenting resources for you. And while fellow moms are a gold mine of information, everything you’re told may not work for you, and that’s perfectly okay. Making informed decisions to the best of your ability and finding your own way is what makes motherhood so diverse and wonderful!