Ask EPA while ago on Facebook, I asked parents who had been through the whole newborn thing what the one piece of advice they would give to new parents was.  At a time when schedules and fear pervade parenting, some of these struck such a chord with me and many others that I felt they should be shared.  After all, supportive advice that seeks to inform and not fear is exactly what most new parents need.  So without further adieu, I present to you…

The Best Bits of New Parenting Advice (from Other Parents)

On survival:

“Do what works. If that means holding your baby for every nap because they sleep longer that way, or letting your toddler rip up a whole roll of toilet paper so you can take a shower in peace – do it.”

“For the first three months, it generally gets easier every week. So when it feels like you can’t possibly keep doing this, remember that you don’t have to do *this* forever–just get to the end of this week.”

“One phrase: ‘This too shall pass.’”

“Patience is a virtue!!!!!! It’s so true! Be patient, and during frustrating moments always know that ‘this too shall pass.’”

“The days are long but the weeks are fast.”

On how you parent:

“You cannot spoil a baby, they cannot and do not manipulate you or develop ‘bad habits’ they operate on instinct so it makes sense for us to do the same.”

“Forget everything you thought you knew about parenting and watch your baby, not the clock or books!”

“Everything you thought you knew has probably changed. Things you judged others for, you will now do yourself. It’s okay. Trust your instincts and know you are going to be okay.”

“Whatever happens, roll with it.”

“Follow your instincts. If it feels wrong, don’t do it, even it if is the social ‘norm’. Follow your heart, you can never love too much.”

“Babies change constantly. Just when you think you have it (sleep, feeding, whatever) under control they change it. It’s nothing you’ve done and you often can’t change it but you have to roll with it!”

“Follow your baby’s routine. Don’t feel stressed when others compare their babies or babies’ routines to yours.”

“Never brag that your baby slept through the night. Others will either shun you for it or your child will never sleep through the night again for another 6 months.”

“Listen to your baby/ child above anyone else when it comes to what they need.”

On keeping up with everything:

“If someone offers to help, ask them to do your dishes.”

“The house does NOT need to be spotless 24/7. Don’t even attempt.”

“Sleep when the baby sleeps. The dishes can wait or be done by someone else. You’re going to be getting much less sleep than you used to. Get what little you can.”

“As the mama I wish I would have taken advantage of maternity leave, stayed in bed, skin to skin and nursed as much as possible. Instead I was frustrated because I couldn’t find the time to do all my normal daily duties. And I’ll never have those first weeks back with my precious first son.”

“Don’t try to do everything yourself.”

“It’s okay to ask for help and tell the husband that if your wife talks to you about feeling down or depressed etc. (but then the next day or whenever says something like… oh it’s not that bad/ I think I was just overreacting… etc.), find her a professional to talk to… go with her… stand by her side… it may be nothing, but it very well could be something. Postpartum depression can happen to anyone!”

On what you “need” for your baby:

“All you need is a boob and a blanket. Screw the Baby Industry, that’s all you need.”

“90% of what you “need” for baby… you don’t need.”

“Don’t buy all the junk the internet tells you to buy! Stop, think about how you want to parent and then only buy what you’ll need. I knew I wanted to wear my baby and yet I ended up buying FOUR strollers that we never use!”

“In the first few months, you will need approximately 1/20 the amount of things you will buy.”

On breastfeeding:

“Breastfed babies don’t sleep much. That’s normal. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.”

“9 times out of 10, you do not need to supplement. Many doctors push formula instead of educating on breastfeeding.”

“That too many people are grossly misinformed about breastfeeding / conditioned to advise in ways that are sneakily derailing to successful full-term breast feeding.”

“If you want to breastfeed then find a breastfeeding group to join. Other mums have so much knowledge, and the support and company are great… Plus someone will probably make you a cuppa.”

“That you *can* gain weight from breastfeeding.”

“Not everyone can breastfeed. There are some conditions that you may or may not know about that reduce the water in the body available for breastfeeding – Food intolerances and Celiac Disease are two. If you can’t feed, don’t beat yourself up and take advice on supplementing.”

“If nursing hurts to the point of tears, that’s not normal; see a specialist and clip tongue/lip ties!”

“That babies breastfeed around the clock for the first few months and this is normal!”

On being a parent:

“You can be wrong. And you probably will be countless times. Instead of beating yourself up and continuing to do what is wrong, change. Learn from your mistakes.”

“Your baby thinks you are as perfect as you think they are.”

“Find yourself a group of mamas you connect with. They will be your life line.”

“Give yourself some grace. No one is perfect, but just do the best you can.”

“Expect overwhelming emotions…. And talk about them. Cry if you have to!”

“Things will change and that’s how it’s supposed to be. Go with the change, trust in you and enjoy each and every minute of it… for you will never get those precious moments back.”

“You will accidentally hurt your children both emotionally or physically at some point in their life and that is okay. You will accidentally bang heads with them or hurt the feelings or something like that and it’s okay. Just apologize and give them some love to make them feel better and they’ll be fine.”

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Most of all, good luck and try to enjoy all the moments for they are the basis of a lifelong relationship with your child.