weeding through the advice

Today’s post is part of the series of posts I’m doing with Huggies to discuss pregnancy and baby’s first year. I wanted to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of getting so much advice when you’re pregnant and after your baby is born.

What kind of advice did you receive when you were pregnant or when your baby was born? How did you weed through the good advice and the advice that drove you crazy?

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  1. step moMster says:

    omg, how cute are you both?!! another fabulous bridier necklace? i look forward to reading more comments, too. i don’t (yet) have a baby, but i’m basically telling no one that we’re trying to conceive. i might be missing our on some wonderful advice, but i live in fear of being innundated with “relax…it will happen” or high risk pregnancy/older mom negativity in the form of advice from people. i have enough of it swirling around in my own head!

  2. I pretty much let things go through one ear and out the other if it’s people who I don’t know or people who may not be similar to me in ideals/personalities. (Does that make sense?)

    The best advice I ever received was about Moms on Call … and that was from my best friend (E’s godmother) I was so thrilled about it and knew that I’d want to do MOC from the second Emmy was born. What a wonderful blessing it was/is!

    I think I’ve said before that I think the whole “You’ll never sleep again” is so ridiculous, especially since I haven’t missed out on much sleep in her 13 months of life. I think “negative” advice like that is just others trying to put their own issues onto you. :)

    PS: You look so cute.

    PPS: Hayes is pretty cute, too!

  3. I was the worst at weeding through advice during my first pregnancy. There was so much going on but as my confidence grew I learned to ignore most advice. I used my doctor to answer questions when some people were trying to convince me that I wasn’t doing something right…let reaching to get things out of the pantry or not allowing bottles to be warmed in the microwave.

  4. Catherine Prell says:

    You are both so so cute!! I love when you do a vlog — it’s fun to hear your cute southern accent!!

    One of the hardest things for me when I was pregnant was moms who chose to share their terrifying, horrible, scary birth stories. I struggle with anxiety (which kicked into overdrive when I was pregnant), and these stories would keep me awake at night — especially when the stories had horrible outcomes and they knew of a mom who lost their baby at full term, after a perfect pregnancy (etc.)

    My firstborn is now 11 years old, and I had a beautiful labor and delivery with him. I love telling moms to be (not ones I don’t know!!) about how wonderful my experience was. For some reason, I think the moms who had easy labors don’t share about them, OR those are not the stories that get circulated.

    As a general rule, I really try to not give any advice unless I’m specifically asked as a mom to do so. I have had too many frustrating moments as Mom myself when I got that advice I just didn’t want or need.

    Thanks for letting me share, Erin! Hope you have a wonderful day!! :)

    Catherine

  5. Jennifer says:

    The not-so-helpful bits of advice:
    1. Sleep while you still can
    2. Schedule an induction/ c-section so your water doesn’t break in public
    3. Tape a nickel over the baby’s belly button to make sure it’s an inny
    4. Don’t hold the baby too much, because you will spoil him/her
    5. Use the back of a spoon to force baby’s teeth to cut through the gums (ouch! I would never do this to my poor baby!)

    The helpful bits of advice:
    1. Sleep when the baby sleeps (when you can, of course)
    2. Trust your instincts
    3. Try to enjoy the first few weeks, because even though they can be stressful, they fly by!
    4. Take plenty of pictures, you can never have too many

  6. I got tired of the “you should do this and shouldn’t eat that” yadda yadda advice- oh, and the people always wanting to compare. I just let it in one ear and out the other!

  7. Courtney H. says:

    You are absolutely correct about the “sleep now, b/c you won’t once the baby arrives.” comment. Trust me, they WILL sleep through the night. What advice I give out is to enjoy your showers while you can–pretty soon, you’ll realize how a long, warm shower is few and far between. You get used to 5 minute speedy showers, so you can get back to making sure your toddler isn’t getting into trouble or your baby has figured out how to un-baby proof your house!

  8. I also did not like the “sleep now bc you will never sleep again” cooments or any “your life is about to change forever” type of comments. I thought encouraging comments were helpful and comments/advice from people who have young children tend to be helpful. My biggest pet peeve right now (my daughter is 6 months) is when we are at a church or large family gathering, Margot is fussy, tired, or cranky, and everyone feels the need to tell me what to do or take her so they can calm her down. As if some, well intentioned, lady from church Margot doesnt know is going to have more luck calming down my cranky baby than I am. Drives me crazy!

  9. Best advice I received, was hands down about Mom’s On Call! That was from you. I’d pay mounds of gold for how it changed our lives. My son is a champion sleeper and I feel so great because of it.

    I always got so mad/angry when FB friends would throw out baby advice. They were giving me advice like I’d not thought of some of these common sense approaches. It always made me feel like they thought I was stupid or something. Then I told everyone to stop giving me advice because I didn’t want it. I would ask my family and trusted friends for advice if I needed it. Now nobody gives advice ;) I don’t feel bad about it either. It was getting ridiculous.

  10. Cristina says:

    I think part of the reason some people are so forward with giving advice is because motherhood is hard! When your baby doesn’t sleep through the night, when they’re fussy with tummy troubles, when they’re teething, when they start throwing tantrums – there are so many things that can drive a mom a little crazy at times no matter how much you love your baby!! So, when you find a product or a tactic that helps your baby and saves your sanity as a mom, you feel like you want everyone to know about it! The problem with that is that every baby is different and every mom is different. That’s just what I always try to tell myself when I receive unsolicited advice from others, especially when it may differ from what I think is best for my child. I say just listen, it doesn’t hurt, and use your instincts. You may think their advice sounds great so go ahead and try it, and if you think it sounds terrible, just say thank you I’ll think about that, and go on your way. The three people whose advice I will always listen to: my mom, my sister, and my pediatrician.

  11. Well I’m expecting my first now! And the unsolicited advice has been… interesting thus far! Unfortunately, I’m not certain what is good advice & what is not-so-awesome advice yet. I’m not a big fan of the “it just gets worse!” comments. It’s like, I’ve already had a rough pregnancy thus far (I was really sick & in a lot of pain), someone should tell me IT GETS BETTER!! :(

  12. Natalie says:

    OMG I just saw you and Hayes while I was reading the news online! You’re famous! :)

  13. I find it so interesting that rather supporting each other as women and mothers through pregnancy and motherhood, we often are quick to use it as a time to one up one another with “this worked for me” or “my baby is perfect at this,” etc. I know your topic was mainly unsolicited advice, but I have found that with that advice often comes just un-helpful comments in general. Now that isn’t to say every piece of advice I received while pregnant was bad, rather I think we should keep in mind that pregnancy and new mommihood is an overwhelming time in general, so as moms ourselves maybe remind ourselves how we felt before we just say whatever comes to our minds. Maybe instead we can ask our friends/family if they have any questions or concerns we can put at ease, I know I always appreciated friends who gave me open and honest answers when I asked questions instead of just telling me how much it was all going to “suck,” because that was never helpful.

  14. Great video! Hayes is too adorable!

    The best piece of advice I got was to just relax and not worry about every little thing. I think being a laid back newborn mom helped Hudson to relax and be laid back.

    The worst is when people tell me that because Hudson was such an “easy” baby #2 will be a nightmare…why would you say that to someone??

  15. Becky says:

    My least favorite advice is always from my MIL, who thinks she is the ultimate authority on kids. She had TWO kids, 4 years apart and I had FOUR in a little over 6 years so I really don’t think she can be telling me what’s best. And she keeps giving me advice even though I’m almost 9 years into this whole mom-thing now!

    Bottom line is that everyone does the best they can and you should just let them raise their kids on their own. The advice I give to all new moms now is “You are the BEST mom for this baby – know that and believe it, and it will all work itself out.”

  16. Heidi says:

    I haven’t really gotten a whole lot of unsolicited advice. I think I give off some kind of “it’s not welcome” vibe…I don’t know, but it’s kind of nice! For years before my husband and I even thought about starting our own family we intentionally watched families interact. We both stored away information on what to do and what not to do. We only asked/took advice from people who 1) had kids and 2) had kids we enjoyed being around. We figured if we truly liked being around someone else’s kids then the parents must be doing something right, and it was in our best interest to learn from them.

  17. Laura says:

    another post of yours that i starred in my reader.

    your hair and makeup look wonderful! and hayes is cute as always!

  18. You look unbelievably gorgeous in this vlog! So happy to see adorable Hayes too! With Charlotte, I welcomed all and any advice because NONE of my friends had started having children and I didn’t know much about pregnancy/newborns…but this time around, I have random strangers at the grocery store giving me advice all the time. Mainly about how to handle 2 under 2. Which I welcome…but sometimes it gets to be a little much. :)

  19. Like Catherine, I also had quite a few people share others’ pregnancy / delivery horror stories and stories of families who had lost their babies. That kind of “advice” is really the opposite of helpful or reassuring.

    The best advice I received was use common sense and to KNOW that, as the baby’s mother, I know what is best for him. There are plenty of people who think their way is THE way, and want to push their advice on you. When you’re a new mom you often doubt your ability, so when others tell you what to do you begin to lose a bit of your confidence in being a mom.

    Also, remembering to take care of myself a bit. I spent so much time making sure my husband and baby were happy / well rested and worrying about others’ feelings who wanted to visit or see the baby, that I would be extra exhausted each day.

    I’m so happy to see that Moms on Call has worked well for so many moms! I just started the “course” yesterday. We put a few of the tricks to use last night (i.e. no night light, no mobile, MOC appropriate pi’s and white noise all night), and I’m happy to share that my son slept from 10pm-4am and 4:10-7am! Moms on Call is great advice!!

  20. I love this blog. Unsolicited advice is one of my biggest pet peeves. I really don’t think I appreciated any unsolicited advice… I do like it when I received unsolicited encouragement. If someone says something uplifting, it makes me want to hear what they have to say about parenting… and even if it’s not uplifting… a bit of “you can do it” goes a long way. For instance, I was recently at a baby shower where they went around the room asking for the women in attendance to offer advice to the new mama. There was a wide range of sleep when the baby sleeps and don’t give up on breast feeding and such… but my advice (while not necessarily uplifting) was to cut yourself some slack. It’s not always going to be fun and you aren’t always going to feel like you’re loving what you’re doing. And that’s normal. The people that say enjoy every minute because it goes by so quickly…. they must have some sort of memory loss. The nights go by so slowly and it’s not really that fun. I remember with my first daughter… she cried all night. Seriously all night. My husband and I would take turns getting up and bouncing around the house with her and she did nothing but scream. I don’t miss that. It didn’t go by quickly and I didn’t love that season of life… even now that it’s over. I think telling a mama that it’s going to be tough, but she’s tough and she will make it through and she’s not a terrible person if she’s wondering what in the world she’s done…. that’s real. Just my two cents!! :)
    After 3 pregnancies, I’ve had a lot of advice and random interactions with people regarding baby advice and just unsolicited comments… I blogged about it here: http://mckeowngirls.blogspot.com/2012/04/things-you-should-never-say-to-mama.html

  21. Best advice…. It’s your baby. Do what works for the baby and your family. PERIOD! When my first son was born, I think I held him pretty much his first 6 weeks of life. Someone asked me “Do you sit around and just hold him all day?” My response, “I sure do! My baby, my choices!”

  22. We are expecting our first child and I’m already tired of hearing people basically tell me our lives are over. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “You just wait” or “You won’t be able to go on trips when the baby is born,” etc. I’ve also been told that I’ll never get any sleep again. It’s frustrating to hear such negative comments/”advice.” Obviously, I realize that our lives are going to change but I like to think it’s a going to be a change for the better!

  23. You are both so cute!!

    One thing I couldn’t stand was when people would tell us, well, you won’t be able to travel or go anywhere. Why do people try to terrify you that your life is over? So ridiculous. Fortunately for us, our first born was very easy going and traveled everywhere with us, his first trip on a plane being at 11 weeks. Guess we proved them wrong….lol

    Now being pregnant with our second, I’ve only received remarks about not sleeping, so far. But I’m sure more will be coming my way. I’ll just smile and let them go as usual.

    BTW, your makeup looks FAB!! Love seeing the smokey-ish eye on you. xo

  24. Jessica R. says:

    Once in a while someone would say something that irked me, but I also tried to remember that 95% of people are just trying to make conversation and connect with you, even if they do it in a way that’s a little bit awkward. In fact, my pet peeve is women who are overly sensitive about advice or comments during pregnancy — most people are just happy for you and want o say something but don’t know how to express themselves!

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