10 Pieces of Parenting Advice I'm Ignoring

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.

  • Never Co-sleep 1 of 10
    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!)
  • Put the baby to bed drowsy, but not asleep 2 of 10
    Put the baby to bed drowsy, but not asleep
    This is great advice and helps develop good sleep habits, but, Eli isn't ready for it yet. He typically needs some good snuggling to get to sleep and putting him down while awake pretty much guarantees crying. I guess we're not ignoring this advice as much as just holding off on it a little while.
  • Feed him when he cries 3 of 10
    Feed him when he cries
    There are absolutely times when my son cries, loudly, for food. However, there are other times where he cries without needing to eat. Instead of immediately popping a bottle in his mouth, I usually see if I can comfort him, check to see how long it's been since he's eaten, look for other hunger signs (hands to mouth, usually), listen to his cries, and check his diaper. If he needs to eat, I'll feed him happily, but I'd rather make sure I'm addressing what's bothering him than covering it up with milk.
  • Don’t hold him while he’s napping, you’ll spoil him 4 of 10
    Don't hold him while he's napping, you'll spoil him
    My child is 5 weeks old, sometimes he won't nap anywhere but in my arms. While I know that he can develop bad sleep habits, I just don't believe there's such thing as spoiling a one month old child. We're trying to get him to sleep in a variety of places, and snuggled with his mom is among them. And it may or may not be my favorite.
  • Don’t eat beans, onions or garlic while breastfeeding 5 of 10
    Don't eat beans, onions or garlic while breastfeeding
    Or in my case, pumping. Everyone told me it would cause the baby to have wicked gas or be miserable. So far I've eaten every one of these things without him having any difficulty. I even had a Diet Coke last week, the horror.
    Photo from MorgueFile
  • Make dad get up for all feedings 6 of 10
    Make dad get up for all feedings
    I'm going to tell you a secret- I don't wake my husband up at night. Ever. Yep, you heard me. I'm not doing it to be a martyr, I'm doing it because I don't need his help (yet). Eli and I have a routine, it works for us, and it means my husband is well rested for work and is able give me some relief when he gets home in the evenings.
  • Always swaddle for sleep 7 of 10
    Always swaddle for sleep
    I've never been a huge proponent of swaddling, mostly because I think babies hands should be free to explore and show hunger signs, but I see the merit of it for decreasing startles and making the baby feel secure. That said, we're not swaddling anymore. Eli busted out of all of the swaddles, even tight ones, within minutes, and was never really bothered or unable to sleep because of it. Now we just make sure he's warm enough and tuck a blanket around his lower half and he sleeps like a champ.
  • Don’t take him out of the house before 2 months 8 of 10
    Don't take him out of the house before 2 months
    We went to Costco when Eli was 10 days old, Babies R Us at 7 days. We weren't doing it to be controversial, but we needed things and I needed to get out of the house. Most mothers suggest waiting until the 2 month vaccines take effect, and I completely understand the reasoning, we've just opted to go a different route.
  • Don’t wear the baby before 8lbs 9 of 10
    Don't wear the baby before 8lbs
    Both of our carriers say not to use until the baby is 8 pounds, which seems a little silly to me since weight has nothing to do with head control. And so my full term baby, who didn't crack 8 pounds until he was a month old, was in a Moby well before the 8 pound mark. Sure, I checked his breathing obsessively, but we still did it successfully.
  • Don’t trim nails before 6 weeks 10 of 10
    Don't trim nails before 6 weeks
    I know plenty of moms go with mittens and forego clipping nails, but I don't like covering baby hands. They are in a period of huge neurological growth and development and feeling things with their hands is a big part of that. I filed Eli's nails down on his second day of life and clipped them for the first time at a month. Yes, it scares me and I'm absurdly slow and careful, but so far, so good!

What pieces of parenting advice do you ignore?

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