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10 Pieces of Parenting Advice I'm Ignoring

By Katie |

Having a new baby, much like being pregnant, is the prime time for people to give advice. Sometimes the advice is truly helpful, other times, not so much. I always assume the advice is well intended (well, unless it’s coming from my mother-in-law, in which case I assume that it’s given to make me feel like an idiot) and never turn down people who want to help, but I freely admit that I don’t use a lot of it.

It’s not that the advice isn’t good, it’s simply that every baby and every family is different and what works for some doesn’t work for all of us. While I totally respect all these ideas and the people who suggest and follow them, these are the 10 most common pieces of parenting advice that we are ignoring.

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Advice From Other Parents you Can Ignore

Never Co-sleep

I know I'm opening myself up to crazy criticism here, but we've co-slept on the couch, for at least a few hours, every night since we came home from the hospital. We both sleep better this way, we are being safe and it works for us. I know it doesn't work for everyone and some are totally opposed, and that's okay. (Note: this picture is not a real picture of us co-sleeping, this was a 10 minute nap my husband and baby took together, we are A LOT more careful at night!)

What pieces of parenting advice do you ignore?

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About Katie



Katie is a former teacher, part-time PT, wife, and first-time mother to the baby with the best ears on the Internet. You can find more of her grammatically questionable writing at her blog, Overflowing Brain. Read bio and latest posts → Read Katie's latest posts →

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21 thoughts on “10 Pieces of Parenting Advice I'm Ignoring

  1. In my family for generations, instead of clipping baby’s nails or filing them, for some reason everyone just bites their nails. I’m not sure of the reasons exactly.

    I like your 10 rules that you’re not following. There are no definite rights and wrongs in parenting, but what feel right to you when you parent your child. Every parent is different, as is every child.
    Your Eli is a cutie-pie!

  2. I meant to say that I like that you’re not following those 10 rules.
    Meh. It’s like past my bedtime here in the UK. I’m allowed to make mistakes.

  3. Anon says:

    Who are the crazy people telling you this stuff? Don’t take the baby out for two months? Put a newborn down sleepy but awake? Always feed the baby at every peep? Don’t eat beans? You need new advice.
    @Becca_Masters- Clippers are relatively new; especially baby sized version. As are nail files. (at least good ones). So people are and were probably just doing what they were taught to do by relatives.

  4. Jenni says:

    Some of the advice worked for me and my kid. Some didn’t… but, I had certainly heard it all! We took our kid out in public from the first day we left the hospital (which, by the way, probably had more germs than any place we went!). Target was a neccessary (yet, unexpected) stop on the way home from the hospital. Kiddo is now 10 months old, strong, and happy.

    I couldn’t have done it without my husband at night though… kiddo woke every 45 minutes for the first 3 months, every 1.5 hours from months 3-8, and every 3 hours from month 8+. He is 10 months old now and has slept 6 hours one time and 8 hours one time. My hubby and I had to take shifts in the beginning!

  5. Another Katie says:

    Yes to all of these–although we swaddled a lot longer. But for the first month, my nighttime routine was: hold baby in my arms until he was dead asleep and would transfer to our bedside cradle. Go to bed. At first waking, move to living room so not to disturb DH. Cosleep (with all kinds of precautions) on the couch for the rest of the night. He’s four months now, and we’re working more on establishing good sleep habits, and he definitely spends the whole night in his cradle. But for those first few months? I am a huge proponent of doing whatever it takes to get everyone the most sleep possible.

  6. heidi says:

    I can’t believe people don’t take their babies out before 2 months. REALLY? Oh, god, I would have LOST MY MIND. We were out every day. Sure, just around the block while I recovered (stupid c-section), but out in the neighborhood as soon as feasible, and certainly on errands. We were on an airplane at 6 weeks (got his shots a little early, to be on the extra safe side). Staying inside sounds crazy-making. Plus, fresh air is good! (I have a spring baby, I know it would have been different in the winter).
    and, yeah, up until 5 or 6 months? Just do whatever it is you need to do to get through the day & night. the rest will come.

  7. TK says:

    I agree with most of these, but I have to comment on your comment about co-sleeping. While I am a huge co-sleeping advocate, it is generally not safe co-sleeping pratices to be on the couch and co-sleeping. Too many cushions, not firm enough surface, and lack of space for parent are generally listed as the reasons why it is not advised. That being said, I don’t know you, or your couch, so you be just fine, but I need to point that out for others considering co-sleeping.
    Also – The pic of your little guy in the carseat – it doesn’t look like his straps are tight enough. Again, I could be wrong (maybe he was attached to a stroller and not in the car), but I just have to point it out.

  8. Denise says:

    It seems that everyone has an opinion, but come on, the car seat? RJeally. Without being in the room, car ect why try and point out things that may or may not be wrong? Could it be the cameras vantage point, sure could. So bravo to mom doing things her and her child’s way.

  9. Hollie says:

    My husband bit our first child’s nails and they immediately got infected, with tiny green scabs on every tiny nail. Never again.

  10. Alisa says:

    hahaha…I, too, ignored every one of the items on this list! We gotta parent in our own ways, as long as we have the child’s best interests at heart….

  11. Keri M. says:

    LOL people are NUTS about other people’s kids, worry about your OWN!!! Like, ya know, maybe how neurotic you’re making them, following RULES for their childhood!! ROFL, that being said, we did ALL these things, my daughter is a happy, healthy little girl who is VERY smart for her age, none of these made her a bad baby. You can NOT spoil a child as young as your Eli, so mama, you hold him as much as you want. And so what if he gets spoiled being held by his mommy? What, you people don’t hold your kids? So where does your kid think they should go when they get a boo-boo? “up” is the most commonly heard word in my house right now and I don’t care a bit, I happily pick her up most of the time, and the rest of the time, I tell her no, I’m busy and she goes on with her day. I went to Wal-mart with her….man was it even a week after we got home? Suffered like hell, lemme tell you, *I* was not ready to walk that long, but SHE was certainly fine:P Dumbest rules EVAR. Also, the biting the babies nails, I could see, those damn things are tiny and hard to see and so thin you can’t tell if you’re cutting nail or skin most of the time, with your mouth you can feel what you’re doing, but I also imagine you could risk infection, it never occured to me to bite her nails, just seems gross. Swaddling, Scar wouldn’t put up with it, hated it, so I didn’t do it. The first few months of her life, she slept on my chest on the couch aaaaaaaaaaaaaall the time. And ya know what? I fell asleep sometimes too! No, I DON’T care what anyone has to say about how safe or not it was, she lived, mama was happy, both of us got snuggle time, and poo to you if you don’t like it. Doesn’t work for you, don’t do it, worked for me, so deal. I HATE all this crap over our kids, she’s MMMMMYYYY child, I don’t care for anyone else’s opinions.

  12. Amanda says:

    I think that not taking the baby out for 2 months would do more harm than good! My baby was born in November (in Ohio) and we took him out every day if it was over 35 degrees and/or not snowing! We just bundled the heck out of him with about 20 layers and he was totally happy. Cold fresh air helps them sleep (like a baby) and I think it’s better than sitting inside in recycled air with who-knows-what floating around in it. In Scandinavia they park the strollers outside for the babies to take naps as a general rule. I never understood why people in the US were so afraid of cold air!

  13. Ali says:

    I didnt wake my daughter for feedings. I would get up with her when she let me know she was hungry. I actually had someone tell me that I was dehydrating her. Low and behold, her growth is just fine and she is a good sleeper.

  14. Samantha says:

    I brought baby clippers to the hospital with me. Newborn nails are crazy.

  15. Summer says:

    I nursed my daughter to sleep for most of the first 15 months. She also cried as soon as we put her down if we just waited until she was drowsy. When she weaned, we replaced nursing with a book and she went down just fine. I also didn’t swaddle her for very long, as she didn’t seem to care for it. She’s almost two now and we’ve honestly had very few problems with her sleeping. I think that some “rules” are subjective. It’s much more important to listen to your intuition.

    Oh, and I actually had a nurse in the hospital try to tell me that I was spoiling my day old daughter by holding her so much. Please. Babies need as much affection as you can give.

  16. bwsf says:

    We too did not wait 2 whole months to take our son out of the house. We’d have gone insane! I also just nodded and smiled when my step-brother’s wife said, “You only have to breastfeed for six weeks, that’s all they need.” Yeah, ok. And the Boppy pillow said not to let them fall asleep on it, but I totally did. All the time. Most of his 3-6 month naps were on the couch next to me, laying in the Boppy. And we (GASP) used blankets to cover him up occasionally.

  17. Sara says:

    this piece of advice I ignored was wait as long as possible to introduce the bottle if you wan t to keep breastfeeding. This may be good advice since my baby was done with the boobs within weeks of getting a bottle. She always prefers to eat and play/watch things so the boob was never a good fit for her. And although sometimes I wish I had BF longer I am grateful not to be the only person who cold feed her.

  18. Amanda says:

    I never listened to anyone’s advice except my mother’s because she did it the way I wanted to. My daughter is 18 months, I haven’t gotten her out of the bed yet but I feel like we are closer for it. She needed to be close to us when it was bedtime because she wasn’t one for swaddling. She needed to be FREE! I had to take mine out before 2 months because she was born on Dec. 6th and we weren’t going to miss Christmas. My husband always offered to get up with the feedings but he also stayed home with her during the day while I was student teaching and I didn’t want him to use the bottles/frozen milk we had stored up so I did the feedings. People are often quick to judge the other parents (especially for COSLEEPING) but my child is a secure and happy confident baby with no fear of anything.

  19. Jodie says:

    Wow I think you ticked all my boxes – and I drink normal Coke too!
    My second baby is 8 days old today, we took her grocery shopping yesterday, I’ve bitten off a few of her scratchy nails cuz she scratched her face, we’ve co-slept most nights cuz I think she likes the company not the bassinette. It’s also winter here and really cold so she’s slept in my arms or bouncer most days.

    That being said I did most of this with my first, infact I fed him and rocked him to sleep til he was 2 because that’s what worked for us – and only me and my mum for some reason could do it successfully. He’s now 2yrs8mnths sleeps in a big boy bed, and regardless of what people say, you forget those things, or kind of miss some of them – he doesn’t stop much anymore so the rocking him to sleep only happens when nasty nightmares and sickness occurs.

    Do what’s good for you, ignore everyone else! and good luck, time goes so fast

  20. sarah says:

    worse piece of advice EVER is “enjoy every moment.” not only is that irrational and IMPOSSIBLE to do when you’re a parent, trying to do so will just make you crazy. having bad days and being able to talk about them and get through it is much better advice.

  21. goty says:

    can i add that “sleep when the baby sleeps” is also crap advice. when else are you supposed to shower, eat, run errands and eventually go back to work?

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