Things parents shouldn’t say to each other

This is just my opinion. I couldn’t sit on it much longer though, because it’s starting to drive me mad! As parents, I know that most of our advice comes from other parents who have been there and done that. I know I often seek advice on various aspects of parenting and I hope that when I am asked for advice, I give it in an unbiased way. That said, there are times when advice is not necessary. Like, when you don’t actually ask for it!

Since having Isobel I have been given some gems which I thought I would share with you. So here are ten things- I believe- parents shouldn’t say to each other.

I think I'm doing alright...

1. “You’re making a rod for your own back.”

I hate hate HATE this phrase. Maybe I like to have a rod on my own back; it helps me to stand tall and proud, knowing I am doing the best I can for my child. Or something. But seriously, how can one person possibly comment on my sleeping arrangements with my baby when they do not even know me? Since when has co-sleeping been a rod for your own back? Loads of parents do it and its been proven to help babies sleep peacefully. Babies who co-sleep rarely startle themselves during their sleep (this is the case with Isobel), they rarely cry at night (also the case with Isobel) and they actually grow up to develop long term positive sleep patterns. Not sure on that one yet, so I’ll let you know. My points aside, co-sleeping is a personal decision. Please don’t judge me for it.

2. “You’ll spoil the baby if you pick her up when she cries.”

How on earth can you spoil a baby? Babies cry for a reason- maybe they are hungry; maybe they are tired; maybe they are in pain; maybe they just want some attention. I’ve yet to meet a three month old who rubs her hands together in glee whilst thinking of their next attention seeking scam. Isobel cries to get my attention and it’s my duty to make sure I give her that attention. It’s also my job to be able to decipher between her cries. If I know that she is tired and simply shouting at me, maybe I won’t pick her up. Perhaps instead I will hold her hand or stroke her head until she settles off to sleep. If she is crying because she wants me to pick her up, I will pick her up because I want her to know that she can trust me and count on me to be there for her. So excuse me if I ignore your advice on this one; I prefer to meet my baby’s needs as best I can, thank you.

3. “She should be taking a bottle by now.”

Um, why? If all concerned are happy with breastfeeding, why the hell should we mess with that? I have absolutely nothingย against bottle feeding (I did it with my second) but I am happy breastfeeding. It’s working really well and I feel no need what-so-ever to introduce a bottle right now. Maybe I’ll ask your advice if I change my mind.

4. “Doesn’t she sleep through the night yet?”


5. “Can she breathe properly in that contraption?”

Referring, of course, to the baby wearing. Isobel loves to be in her wrap sling and I love to have her close to me. Do you honestly think I would do that if she couldn’t breathe? I know that there have been deeply tragic events linked to baby wearing but I also know how to do it safely. Here are some guidelines if you’re interested.

6. “Why don’t you try giving her a bit of baby rice before bed?”

Because she is only 14 weeks old. Because she doesn’t always hold her head up well. Because she doesn’t always sit up straight. Because she can’t make chewing motions with her mouth yet. Because she is only 14 weeks old.

7. “You won’t want to be using cloth nappies for much longer.”

Why not? She doesn’t have half as many poo explosions as she used to these days and I coped fine when she did. Why would I want to suddenly stop using cloth nappies?

8. “When are you having another one?”

Can I deal with this one first please?

9. “Why don’t you just let her cry it out?”

Oh no. I hate to hear this piece of advice. She is only 14 weeks old. Also, see number 2.

10. “It worked for me…”

Maybe it did. And that is exactly my point. What worked for your baby might not work for mine. And even if it might, it’s up to me to work it out. Yes, I appreciate advice and I think as parents we will never really know the ultimate answer to our dilemmas. But I also think that questioning the way one parent is bringing up a baby if it is different to the way you are doing it is just wrong. Unless a child is being neglected or ill-treated, its none of our business. We should respect that we are all just trying to do a good job in a difficult situation and there really is no right or wrong way to do that. Also, I HATE the phrase with the rods and the backs so just, you know… don’t say it.


24 Comments on Things parents shouldn’t say to each other

  1. Notmyyearoff
    May 24, 2012 at 10:37 am (4 years ago)

    I knooooow I knowwwww!!! I know exactly where you are coming from. Why can’t people just be supportive and smile. I think people forget how hard it is and forget that every single baby is different and needs different things. I used to get it all the time and I cried a lot at first probably because of hormones, I was clueless and I was exhuasted. But I hope if/when we have a second I’ll be a bit stronger. And cuddling your baby lots definitely doesn’t spoilt them…Babycenter told me so ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Notmyyearoff recently posted..Picture PostcardMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      May 24, 2012 at 11:00 am (4 years ago)

      Haha well if babycentre told you…!! I am getting really annoyed with all the ‘advice’ to be honest. Grr!

  2. Honest Mum
    May 24, 2012 at 10:42 am (4 years ago)

    This is probably the best blog post in the world. Everyone needs to read this! Well done you x

    • ghostwritermummy
      May 24, 2012 at 10:59 am (4 years ago)

      Wow high praise indeed! I feel like that should be my new strapline!

    • ghostwritermummy
      May 24, 2012 at 10:58 am (4 years ago)

      Haha thank you!

  3. Lisa |
    May 24, 2012 at 11:29 am (4 years ago)

    Love this list! I try to refrain for giving advice to new parents because I know how annoying it was, but one thing I can’t help whispering to them is “You can’t spoil a newborn no matter how anyone threatens you that you will!”
    Lisa | recently posted..Wednesday Window: Let the sun shine!My Profile

  4. Kate Buckley
    May 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm (4 years ago)

    Brilliant post and I agree on every point. Love ‘Isn’t she sleeping through yet’ Pooh Bear is 13 mths and still wakes but since we co-sleep I couldn’t tell you how often. People are obsessed with baby’s sleep patterns. As long as we’re all functioning, where is the problem? ๐Ÿ˜€
    Kate Buckley recently posted..Consider myself well and truly told (by a 2 year old) !!!My Profile

  5. Helen
    May 24, 2012 at 12:25 pm (4 years ago)

    Fab post! I cuddle Henry all the time partly for him and partly for me – it won’t be long before he doesn’t want cuddles so I’m enjoying them while I can! The piece of advice I always get is to drink Guinness to boost my iron and get the baby to sleep better as they “used to give it in the hospital”.

  6. cartside
    May 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm (4 years ago)

    Well said well said! I had more grief from the nursery – the staff had difficulties understanding that my daughter hadn’t had a bottle, they didn’t know how to deal with that. I actually don’t get it, why would you use bottles if breastfeeding is going well? They were very supportive of cloth nappies though in their defence!
    cartside recently posted..So Breastfeeding is Harmful NowMy Profile

  7. Maria @ Feisty Tapas
    May 24, 2012 at 3:32 pm (4 years ago)

    Great post! Why does everyone think they get a say?

    Instead of your number 8 I get asked: “you won’t (want to) have another one, will you?”. I believe that’s down to my husband and I but, since you ask, had you actually given me a hand, that is helped the way I wanted/needed you to, yes perhaps I would have wanted to be pregnant by now but, since we have had no help whatsoever and all people like you do is cause trouble and not actually help at all, given that, then no I am not ready and in fact what you should be asking is: how can I help so that you’re not always exhausted and can at least wee without company in the toilet once a month. Not to mention have the same alone time with the other half of my baby making endeavours.

    Sorry for the rant, can’t put it in my blog, until one day I do because I have exploded ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hang in there, everyone tells me it gets easier (that one piece of advice gets me mad, does it?? When??)
    Maria @ Feisty Tapas recently posted..Silent SundayMy Profile

  8. Lucy
    May 25, 2012 at 11:45 am (4 years ago)

    LOVE the ‘making a rod for your own back – helps me stand tall and proud’ that is so well said! I shall share this brilliant post on my Facebook page – everyone must read it! We are totally over-loaded with advice these days (maybe that’s better than being left all on your own as my mum was, but there has to be a balance!) – just trust your instincts – only you know your child well enough to decide what is best for them. I have 2 daughters and they have been completely different so what worked for my first definitely wouldn’t have worked for my second! One size does not fit all when it comes to babies! Thanks for being the voice of reason!

    • ghostwritermummy
      May 27, 2012 at 7:36 pm (4 years ago)

      All three of mine are so different I could write a guidebook for them all. Point is, kids aren’t machines,they are individuals! Grrr! And I like being called the voice of reason. I’ll tell my husband you said that!!

  9. Beadzoid
    May 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm (4 years ago)

    Oooooh don’t get me started! I heard all of this (usually from the same person). Rods and backs, agggh! And yes, let her cry, do this, don’t do that. Sooooo annoying!

    I think my favourite was a certain constant ‘advice-giver’ who actually told my husband off for feeding my daughter once. She hadn’t been home that long and still had a tiny preemie tummy so needed feeding even more regularly than a newborn. However, this person having told my husband off then told him that he should just give her a dummy half the time as she “doesn’t need that much milk but will take it if you giver her it and demand it all the more”. Yeah, how greedy.

    I’m in danger of ranting now so I’ll stop ๐Ÿ˜€ xx
    Beadzoid recently posted..A Day in the Life…My Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      May 27, 2012 at 7:38 pm (4 years ago)

      Oh dear, and when its yours first it can be so upsetting when people do this. You just want to do the best so people should just let you do that!

  10. Kara
    May 27, 2012 at 6:51 am (4 years ago)

    Great post, why do people feel the need to say the things above, whether you bottle or breast, if you like baby carrying, or if your baby slept from day 1(crazy liars) everyone knows every baby is different. It frustrates me people don’t keep these things in their heads, I have a disabled son and people know that but they still say things like “isn’t he walking yet” what the ?
    I hate parents who think they are awesome cause they had a trouble free baby, they are rare
    sorry rant over.
    Came over from BYOBH

    • ghostwritermummy
      May 27, 2012 at 7:32 pm (4 years ago)

      I know! People love to impart their wisdom to new parents. Its like a rite of passage to be given duff advice!

  11. hannah bailey
    May 27, 2012 at 8:24 am (4 years ago)

    thank you so much for writing this. it’s really boosted my confidence in what i’m doing, especially babywearing. i’ve been so worried about what everyone is saying to me, sometimes their suggestions don’t even make sense! :-/

    • ghostwritermummy
      May 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks so much for your comments.I think you should just smile politely or ignore the silly advice because the only person who knows what is best for you and your baby is you. You are no doubt doing an excellent job. And babywearing is the best :)

  12. Catherine Rodie Blagg @CoTaaB
    May 28, 2012 at 12:33 am (4 years ago)

    I LOVED this post! I’m sitting here nodding, and smiling because I feel like this too. Esp number 3. and 4.. and 5.. I’m bookmarking your blog so I can come back and read through your other posts.
    Catherine xx

  13. MotherGeek
    June 17, 2012 at 4:59 pm (3 years ago)

    I agree – whole heartedly with all 10!
    I have shared on google+ too xx
    MotherGeek recently posted..A Poem To My DadMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      June 19, 2012 at 7:29 pm (3 years ago)

      Haha, thank you!

  14. Catherine
    June 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm (3 years ago)

    Totally agree with you on ALL counts. I HATE people telling me i’m going to spoil my baby, maybe I WANT to spoil her!!!
    Catherine recently posted..Silent SundayMy Profile

    • ghostwritermummy
      June 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm (3 years ago)

      I refuse to believe you can even spoil a baby!!


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