Today is a big day at Newbie Mom Site: It’s my 100th post! I decided to celebrate by collecting 100 pieces of advice from parents.
I know what you’re thinking: “Uh, Newbie Mom, isn’t your blog tagline about how you DON’T do advice on the blog? And now you’re giving out advice?”
Oh, you read that, huh? Well, um, yes. But, it is a special occasion, after all. Maybe the tagline should be no advice except every hundred posts, when I’ll throw out all the advice I can think of. That’s catchy, right?
Anyway, I talked to many of the wonderful people in my real and virtual life, and they gave me a wealth of great tips for life as a parent. The names of these terrific people appear next to their advice. Any advice without a name is mine.
Here are 100 Pieces of Advice for New (And New-ish) Parents:
Or anyone who likes advice, really.
Babies and Pregnancy:
1 Enjoy your baby. Mommy and Daddy know best. – Martha W.
2 Clothing that smells like you can help comfort a baby. – Sharon P (Aka. Newbie Grandma)
3 Get the stroller with cup holders. (Because coffee.)
4 Invest in a good thermometer, ours has a green, yellow and red indicator. It really helps in the middle of the night! – Suzanne C.
5 If you are bottle feeding, use room temperature water. They get used to it and know no different. It’ll save you when you don’t have access to warm water because you can even use bottled water if you run out. Saved us a bunch during long road trips. – Chagali
6 For pregnancy, reset your hips before bed by lying with your legs straight up the wall (butt against the wall). My massage therapist sister suggested this, and it really helped with lower back and hip pain – worth the trouble of getting in and out of that position even when huge. – Michelle R.
7 It’s okay not to enjoy pregnancy. You are not a bad mom if you hate being pregnant.
8 Motion sickness arm bands are helpful for severe morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarium. You can find them in most drugstores.
9 If you are obviously pregnant and someone says, “Wow, you’re huge!” just stare blankly at them and ask them what they mean. It’s fun to watch them squirm.
10 Each pregnancy is different. Do not assume that someone else is not experiencing something just because you didn’t experience it.
11 Pregnant women know they look pregnant. Don’t tell them.
12 When deciding on a name for the baby, make sure to say it when you’re angry or tired. Yell it up the stairs when you’re running late, say it when you’re upset with someone. If it isn’t easy to say then, you may have a hard time with it after they arrive.
13 If you are not a close friend or family member, do not ask about their delivery. They probably don’t want to talk to you about their lady parts.
Travel with Kids:
14 Use a carrier in the airport. – Caroline H.
15 Ask for an extra seat on the plane when checking in (if travelling with an infant). We have found the airlines very accommodating of this. – Caroline H.
16 I have a bath organizer caddy thing that I filled with drinks snacks and little things to keep them busy in the car. It cost $1.25 and it holds their drinks and snacks too. – Erin B.
17 Try to time long car rides with baby’s naps. – Caroline H.
18 For our trip to Europe last summer I made binders for the kids, printed colouring sheets, worksheets, blank paper, stickers and put a line of Velcro on the inside cover. Then I took the wind down style crayons and put a Velcro dot on the side of each one so they didn’t need a pencil case. Everything was handy and compact. – Katie V.
19 Don’t spend a lot of money on baby things. The only exception would be the stroller. Buy a good quality stroller, especially if you live in a city and/or walk a lot. – Caroline H.
20 Get a little Rubbermaid bin to keep in the car with typical diaper bag essentials so that you don’t need to carry them around everywhere. Mine generally has a change of clothes for each kid, diapers, wipes, and snack food. In the summer I’ll throw sunscreen in there as well. – Nicole M.
21 Travel often! – Suzanne C.
22 If possible, when travelling with little kids who nap, get a hotel room with two separate spaces. (1 bedroom suites are ideal.) This allows the kids to nap and Mom and Dad don’t have to hide in the bathroom. (Unless you want to.)
23 When packing for a trip with babies, put everything they need for an outfit together, roll it up and secure it with an elastic. Throw in a few extra single items as well. That way, you don’t have to sort through a suitcase for multiple tiny pieces of clothing to get the baby dressed in the morning.
24 When we had only one kid and were young enough to stay awake, we drove through the night so the baby would stay asleep. Later when we had more kids we would leave in the evening, stop for dinner and change everyone into pajamas, and then crash at a hotel later and finish up the trip in the morning. – Leslie S
25 The most important thing is making sure the motel has free breakfast! – Leslie S
26 Plan one sight or activity per day. Anything else that gets done that day is bonus.
27 Every kid is different. Parent accordingly. – Crystal F
28 No phase lasts forever. Your kid will eventually sleep through the night/crawl/eat something other than breastmilk/etc, so find the enjoyment in each fleeting phase. – Michelle L.
29 When I was about to have my second child I was really concerned about trying to spread myself and my love any further. I was sure that both my first and the new baby would suffer as well as my husband because I simply didn’t have any more of myself to give. When I told my friend this, she said, “You have to account for the love they give each other. You will have to divide yourself up more but they will make up for it by loving each other enough to fill the gap.” Mind. Blown. And it’s true. I’m not responsible for completely filling everyone’s love bucket. They contribute love too. So the more kids you have, the more you divide up your love and time and attention but it always equals out because there is a new person contributing. Callie K
30 When you lay down at night, remember 3 parenting successes you had throughout the day. There are always 3, no matter what! And know that tomorrow is a new day! – Meredith B. N
31 No one knows your kid better than you, so don’t let other people tell you how to raise your kid – Sarah C.
32 Don’t spend the whole weekend cleaning. Get out and do things with your kids. Spending time is more important. – Kathy V.
33 Kids will remember the things you did with them more than the things you gave them. Memories and traditions are the most important.- Kathy V.
34 Your kids will not be good at everything and that’s just a part of life.
35 Not everything your kids do is a reflection of you.
36 Some of my strongest students are not the ones who are the smartest or most talented – they’re the ones who keep trying when things get tough.
37 The Arts are valuable. Encourage your kids interests in the arts. Yes, it is important to learn things for future employment, but it is also important to learn things for future life enrichment.
38 No one will do things with your kids exactly the way you do. No babysitter or grandparent or teacher will do everything you would do. But isn’t that better? It teaches your kids that there are different ways of doing things successfully.
39 Kids fall down and get hurt. Kids get dirty. Kids get sick. They’re gross, dangerous and messy but surprisingly resilient little buggers. They’ll be fine.
40 More than talent, intelligence or looks, praise your kid’s efforts and determination.
41 Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do. (Dr. Spock) – via Leslie S
42 Everyone has issues that they are working through. Nobody is perfect, so always be kind. We are all works in progress. – Jess L-E.
43 There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. Get good quality rain gear and winter gear.
44 Change the things you can and don’t worry about the things you can’t. – Kathy V.
45 If someone offers to help, let them. They feel as good about it as you. – Sharon P.
46 Make a will. – Sharon P
47 If you have an uneasy feeling about a situation, it’s usually for a reason. – Sharon P.
48 No one else notices most of your mistakes.
49 If you admire or appreciate someone, let them know! – Sharon P.
50 Never agree to something at work right away. Listen to the details and say you will think about it.
51 Don’t pee in the wind. – Roger P. (Aka, Newbie Grandpa and the source of this post on Slightly Inappropriate Life Advice Slightly Inappropriate Life Lessons from my Dad)
52 “This too shall pass” true for the good (so enjoy it) and the bad (so don’t worry!) – Colleen K.
53 I always like Dory’s advice: “Just keep swimming”. I think on that one a lot – Keli S.
54 Worry is a wasted emotion. – Kathy B.
55 Everyone’s an expert on themselves. When meeting someone/making conversation, always ask the other person questions about themselves. – Christine
56 It all gets done, somehow. – Tammy A.
57 Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. – Tammy A.
58 A good sense of humour will get you a lot better life than almost anything else.
59 Stop carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. – Tammy A.
60 Follow hour heart and dreams – Christine M.
61 Just breathe. – Kara B.
62 You only live once! Travel and so I did and now I have no regrets ! Still so much I want to see but I definitely got the travel bug out in my 20s – Lindsay S-W
63 Don’t count your chickens until they hatch –my parents are in real estate and my hubby is in sales too! – Lindsay S-W
64 Keep on keeping on. – Jennifer A.
65 Try to find the positive to every situation. It may not be a positive situation, but there is probably something positive that can be learned.
66 My dad once told me that if you are worried about something it just means it is important and that you need to take it seriously. It’s helped me get through many difficult choices, event and situations in my life. – Natalie M.
67 If it doesn’t make you nervous, you don’t want it bad enough. – Sarah P.
68 Not everyone will like you. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean you are unlikeable to everyone.
69 The voice inside is who you are. – Joshua C.
70 My friends mom said to always trust your instinct, meaning if you feel scared walking down a street etc don’t second guess you self, just run…always trust those instincts – Christine L.
71 Sometimes you need to take a step back to see the path better. – Amanda G.
72 Listen more than you talk.
73 Take 5 minutes everyday to do whatever you want. (This is easier some days than others.)
74 Life is too short to make your bed. It’s the most useless chore.
75 No one is good at anything the first time they try it.
76 Never, NEVER tell anyone what their own job is like or how easy/great their job must be. If you do not do the job, you do not know the job. End of story.
77 It’s only a bargain if you use it. – Newbie Grandma
78 Say yes to trying new things – especially if you may not get another chance to try it. This is how I got to fire a crossbow, fly a plane and be an extra in a Bollywood movie. You might love it or wind up regretting it, but either way you will have great stories to tell.
79 You never know who is connected to/related to/dating who at work, so be careful about who you complain about in the break room.
80 No one has to do anything for you. No one has to give you anything. Appreciate anything they do decide to do or give you.
81 Your dress size does not define who you are as a person or your worth to the world.
82 Be with someone who brings out the best in you. – Sharon P-C
83 Admit it when you say something stupid.
84 My mom once told me to make sure to sleep with a man before I married him. – Tammy A.
85 Apologize when you are in the wrong, but don’t feel compelled to apologize because someone else thinks you should.
86 Just because a friend is no longer in touch with you doesn’t mean they don’t think about you. Not all friendships are continuous, but they may still be lasting.
87 There are lots of different ways to manage money as a couple: you can have joint accounts, separate accounts or a combination. Whatever you do, always make time to talk about money.
88 Try to do or say one thing that makes your spouse’s life better every day. It might be as simple as starting a coffee for them as they walk down the stairs or saying that they look nice.
89 There is never a need to “win” at the expense of your partner. – Newbie Dad
90 Learn how to accept a compliment from your spouse rather than brushing it off. They don’t always want something. Sometimes they are just trying to be nice.
91 Communicate your needs clearly and calmly. No one can read minds and no one likes to play guessing games with feelings.
92 When buying lemons or limes or oranges or grapefruit, pick heavy over light. More weight means more juice. Which you want. – Elizabeth S. at http://guiltychocoholicmama.blogspot.ca/2016/10/dear-children-25-things-i-think-you.html (Used with permission)
93 When buying chocolate, the following words are good: cocoa butter and cocoa liquor (which has nothing to do with alcohol). The following words are bad: hydrogenated oil. Bad chocolate is sad, whereas good chocolate will change your life for the better. – Elizabeth S. (Used with permission)
94 When baking, you can always add time, but you can’t take it away. Check early. With brownies, check even earlier. – Elizabeth S.
95 Eat food that makes your body feel good. Sometimes this might be a salad, sometimes it might be cake.
96 Always write down those favourite family recipes.
97 Don’t try making a dish for the first time in front of other people. Stick with the dishes you know. – Newbie Dad
98 When travelling, don’t be afraid to try new food. Try the dish for which the region is known. Even if you don’t finish it, at least you tried something new.
99 The sentence, “Do you know how many calories are in that?” is never helpful. Keep it to yourself.
100 There is absolutely no point to low fat cheese. Just put it back.
Thanks for reading my 100th blog post and for any of the others you read. I hope you got something valuable from any of them. I am so appreciative of all the likes, shares, comments and encouragement I have received since the beginning of the blog. You are the best!
2 thoughts on “100 Pieces of Advice for New (and Newish) Moms”
Okay, so it’s IMPOSSIBLE to choose a favorite here. Because the hits just kept on rollin’ right through to the very end. (#100? This is SUCH right thinking. Just walk away, people…walk away.) But #9 is brilliant, and I wish, wish, wish I’d had it at my disposal when I was pregnant with #2 and a stranger took one look at me and said, “Wow, when are you due? Any day now?” It was May. And I was due in August. Thank you so much for the honor of being included in this centennial celebration!
Thank you for your words of wisdom! I never understand why someone has to tell pregnant women how big they are. Uh, thanks jerk, they know already.