On Giving Advice to New Parents

When my husband and I were expecting our first baby, we were pretty dang excited. Sharing the news with our family and friends was thrilling. Our hearts were racing, our adrenaline pumping and a perma-smile plastered our faces. We almost spilled the beans to anyone who would listen.

And our family, too, was just as excited. This was the first grandbaby/niece/nephew on both sides so the excitement was in full force.

What we weren’t expecting, though, were some of the negative remarks and the non-solicited advice from acquaintances and strangers once the belly was pretty apparent.

When asked how I was sleeping, no matter what my answer was, whether good or not so great, I would receive the advice about how I had better cherish it now because once baby arrives, it would all go downhill.

Umm… thanks? I’ll try…

And I would smile and somehow dodge the rest of that conversation, because it felt so negative.

Once baby was here, we would be asked how our nights were going. Whether we were waking up every two hours, or waking up only once or twice a night, I wasn’t left with hope in sight.

Because next came growth spurts. And “Ohhhh, just wait until your baby goes through those. All predictability goes out the window.”


And again, I would be left feeling weird.

And after growth spurts came teething.

“No teeth yet? Yeah that’s the worst. Screaming all night.”


And it didn’t stop with just our first baby, either.

“Oh, two kids? Yeah, no more napping when baby naps for you!”

Right, thank you for reminding me.

And even after having our third, it continues.

“Three? Yeah that’s when you’re outnumbered now.”

I can do math. Thank you.

Or my favorite, “Oh, you’ve got your hands full!”

My hands may be full but you should see my heart! is always my reply because let’s just stay positive, shall we?

The Hubby and I have discussed this throughout our parenting experience and are dumbfounded why some feel the need to project their negative experiences on others who may not have gone through the same things yet.

We understand that maybe some are just trying to warn us what might be ahead, but that’s really just it.

It MIGHT happen. And it MIGHT not. So why make new parents, or those not as far along, feel frightened or anxious for what the future with their child holds?

What about all of the good? Why not, “Oh! Just wait until the first time she smiles at you.”

Because THAT is something I want to look forward to.

Or, “Hearing that first giggle will just melt you.”

Because I am almost positive that happens to everyone who hears a baby’s laugh.

And two kids? How about “You are giving your child the best gift imaginable. A sibling.”

And three? How about, “That baby sure is lucky to be coming into the world with so many helping hands… and love!”

This is something I try to do every single time I talk to new parents. To lift them up. To praise the good. To put a smile on their faces for what is to come.

Sure, there are some times when parenting isn’t so glamorous.

But holy crap does the good outweigh the bad.

So let’s celebrate and share that!



  1. Love this! All very true! I received so many negative comments when I was pregnant and people found out it was with twins! So rude!!! I’ll take the positive vibes only!

  2. Love this idea. It’s true, no one ever mentions the warm baby cuddles or anything along the lines of bonding and first experiences. Parenthood shouldn’t be clouded with “oh greatttsss” and “oh goodsss” but “its amazing” “best of luck”. Babies aren’t all created the same, so how can every child be expected to act the same?

  3. So true – I can remember all the “good” advice we got when we were expecting. One thing I learned becoming a mom was to listen to my inner voice and to trust my feelings when it comes to the well-being of my daughter. You can never go wrong listening to your gut feeling!

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