Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Advice: Babies!

 

Seven months ago (no, not to the day, we missed our chance to gain a dependent on Independence Day), @kidcoder and I produced our first offspring, so here are a few brief analyses of common advice people give.

Sleep when the baby sleeps, do laundry when the baby does laundry, drive when the baby drives, etc.:

This one actually gets a bad rap. Mothers hate it because they say that nap times are the only times that they can get any actual tasks done. But in the beginning, time isn’t real, so if you don’t sleep enough at night then you really need to sleep during the day. If you’re lucky, you can simply extend your night clear through to the afternoon.

Your baby needs socks and blankets when going out on a hot summer’s day:

No. There is no logic here whatsoever. Why do you think there is? You’re wrong.

“I think that has alcohol in it.” (to a visibly pregnant woman):
Why yes it does! *sip*

Learn about childbirth before you do it:

Excellent advice! Also, learn in general. Don’t just depend on your doctor or your child’s pediatrician to tell you what to do or what to worry about. Odds are, whatever they think they know about proper procedures and timelines in normal, healthy situations is outdated. I could do a whole post on medical advice I’ve happily ignored since I started this journey.

Sleep train/don’t sleep train:

In the end, it doesn’t matter. Sleep training doesn’t harm children and skipping it doesn’t sentence them to a life without sleep. It’s mostly about the sanity of the parents. And speaking of them:

Don’t judge other parents:

It depends on what you mean by “Judge.” I firmly believe in watching and learning. But should you say anything? Probably not.

Any contradictions from outsiders about what your baby needs at this moment:

Excellent, maybe they can take over childcare for a bit.

Have fun!
Thanks, I will!

There are 32 comments.

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor

    All sounds pretty good to me! You go, mama!

    • #1
    • February 4, 2020, at 4:22 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  2. jzdro Member

    Congratulations! Best wishes to you and your family.

    I Shot The Serif:

    “I think that has alcohol in it.” (to a visibly pregnant woman)
    Why yes it does! *sip*

    That’s the spirit. “Time, place, proportion, and moderation” seem to be unheard-of concepts to many new parents of this era. They end up being harder on themselves than they need to be.

    I admire your nonchalance about your own sleep schedule – that was not attainable for me.

    Are you equally nonchalant about nosy questions?

    Enjoy the ride!

     

    • #2
    • February 4, 2020, at 4:22 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  3. Housebroken Thatcher

    I wasn’t around, or I don’t remember, or both. And you are probably a long ways from this, but maybe some others aren’t: When do you begin to train children to a regular meal schedule? Or do you?

    • #3
    • February 4, 2020, at 4:32 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. Seawriter Contributor

    Babies are good. They are an investment in the future. When they grow up, they are your comfort in old age.

    • #4
    • February 4, 2020, at 4:42 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  5. I Shot The Serif Member
    I Shot The Serif

    jzdro (View Comment):
    That’s the spirit. “Time, place, proportion, and moderation” seem to be unheard-of concepts to many new parents of this era. They end up being harder on themselves than they need to be.

    I think it’s the new-fangled ‘parenting’ nonsense! They want to start it from the womb.

    jzdro (View Comment):
    Are you equally nonchalant about nosy questions?

    Yes.

    • #5
    • February 4, 2020, at 4:58 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Randy Webster Member

    When we were raising the kids I always comforted myself with the fact that most people are pretty OK though they were raised in a myriad different ways.

    • #6
    • February 4, 2020, at 5:35 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  7. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    At least you could give us an in progress baby pic.

    It’s a Tradition, (at least in the PIT)

    • #7
    • February 4, 2020, at 5:57 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  8. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    Children are wonderful, and worth practically any sacrifice. In large part because they are the only natural route to grandchildren. (:

    • #8
    • February 4, 2020, at 6:10 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  9. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Children are wonderful, and worth practically any sacrifice. In large part because they are the only natural route to grandchildren. (:

    Here Here!

    Both boys are now married and have no excuses. They have been fore warned if they take too long, free child care from the “rents” will end up being curtailed due to gerontological limitations.

    • #9
    • February 4, 2020, at 6:15 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  10. ShaunaHunt Coolidge

    Congratulations! I love your post! 

    • #10
    • February 4, 2020, at 7:45 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  11. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Never read any books about babies or child care. You will get massively contradictory advice, which gets changed and updated all the time. You want to know about babies? Ask an older mother. Even your own will do.

    Oh, and take lots of pictures, every day. They change so much, you will be pleased to chart all the progress.

    Congrats!!

    • #11
    • February 4, 2020, at 8:09 PM PST
    • 1 like
  12. Bruce Caward Thatcher
    Bruce Caward Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Wait. You are the girl? I always thought I Shot the Serif was a dude. 

    Love your handle, you both rock.

    • #12
    • February 4, 2020, at 8:09 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. I Shot The Serif Member
    I Shot The Serif

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    Wait. You are the girl? I always thought I Shot the Serif was a dude.

    Love your handle, you both rock.

    I am! I don’t hide it, but any username on the Internet that is not specifically feminine is read as male.

    Thanks!

    • #13
    • February 4, 2020, at 9:04 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  14. I Shot The Serif Member
    I Shot The Serif

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Never read any books about babies or child care. You will get massively contradictory advice, which gets changed and updated all the time. You want to know about babies? Ask an older mother. Even your own will do.

    Oh, and take lots of pictures, every day. They change so much, you will be pleased to chart all the progress.

    Congrats!!

    Oh, I don’t ask my mother. I ask my fellow new mothers online. :- ) Things do change, even if the babies themselves don’t, and we’re all in this together. It’s fun. For example, one new trend that I subscribe to is the omission of the spoon feeding / food mashing stage. I give my baby lots of foods that my mother sees as choking hazards. Of course, they aren’t! I want the kid to survive to adulthood just as much as she does!

    I take plenty of pictures. :- )

    • #14
    • February 4, 2020, at 9:37 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. Stad Thatcher

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Children are wonderful, and worth practically any sacrifice. In large part because they are the only natural route to grandchildren. (:

    When my wife and I got married, her mother told her, “Now, please don’t innundate me with grandchildren!”

    She was joking (I think). But even if she wasn’t, she would have loved our kids had she lived . . .

    • #15
    • February 5, 2020, at 6:12 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Old Bathos Moderator

    We have eight kids (all grown) ten grandkids (with three!!! count ’em three!!! more on the way this year). Best advice is that (a) just because babies are crying it does not mean you have done anything wrong; (b) parenting is 99.5% showing up and enduring and (c) special insights and techniques are from people trying to sell books. There really should have been a biblical parable about people who offer superficial advice from a safe distance versus those who offer to hold a crying baby. I say unto you that the kingdom of heaven is for the latter.

    When I am on a plane or in a restaurant with my supermom wife we both tend to laugh when babies or toddlers begin to fuss because of our shared joke/realization that the sound of other people’s kids acting up is strangely soothing for us. We try to let struggling young parents know we are not offended and to laugh and smile as a tacit suggestion/example that they try to do the same. Babies do not care if they upset you and even seem to resent a lack of parental serenity. Chill and endure, grasshopper. 

    • #16
    • February 5, 2020, at 7:55 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  17. Stina Member

    I Shot The Serif:

    Your baby needs socks and blankets when going out on a hot summer’s day:

    No. There is no logic here whatsoever. Why do you think there is? You’re wrong.

    Lol. My kids were all born with so much hair and two were born in April and May in Florida. I remember taking the first to the doctor and the doctor commenting he needed a hat to keep his head warm.

    What? All that hair! I refused. Whenever it was on him, he’d get sweat drips in his mane.

    My mother in law also commented on his lack of socks one time. I was like he’s not COLD! Why put socks on him??? But, I did keep a spare set of baby socks in the diaper bag  just in case his toes got a bit nippy. But yes, generally a ridiculous piece of advice. I learned instead how to use cold water to quickly cool off a baby that looked over heated.

     

    My only advice is to not knock any advice you do get. Be respectful, nod along. And if you don’t need it, shove it into storage. It might be that the advice has a use at some other time or with some other child. Or maybe it can be one you can share that fits another mom’s situation. We need to equip our tool boxes :)

    Congratulations though!

    • #17
    • February 5, 2020, at 8:29 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. Stina Member

    Slow on the uptake (View Comment):

    I wasn’t around, or I don’t remember, or both. And you are probably a long ways from this, but maybe some others aren’t: When do you begin to train children to a regular meal schedule? Or do you?

    Somewhere around introducing solids or purees, I would change up meal presentation at meal times and still formula or breastfeed if they were hungry between meal times. For breakfast, I’d give them rice or oatmeal mixed with breast milk or formula (in a bowl, not a bottle – spoon fed).

    When they started talking in sentences is when I became rather more stringent about meal times. Three meals + 2 snacks.

     

    • #18
    • February 5, 2020, at 8:34 AM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    To really please the baby’s grandparents, you should subscribe to TinyBeans and send lots of photos. That’s how I keep track of my new great-grandchildren.

    • #19
    • February 5, 2020, at 9:38 AM PST
    • 1 like
  20. I Shot The Serif Member
    I Shot The Serif

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    To really please the baby’s grandparents, you should subscribe to TinyBeans and send lots of photos. That’s how I keep track of my new great-grandchildren.

    Oh, we have our own ultra-secure photo-sharing system for grandparents, courtesy of @kidcoder. :- )

    • #20
    • February 5, 2020, at 9:53 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Jan Bear Member

    Something I wish I had learned sooner: All those “perfect” kids you see? They’re not. And neither are their parents. 

    • #21
    • February 5, 2020, at 9:53 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  22. Seawriter Contributor

    Jan Bear (View Comment):

    Something I wish I had learned sooner: All those “perfect” kids you see? They’re not. And neither are their parents.

    My kids were never perfect. That was okay. They were my kids. I wasn’t perfect, so I did not expect them to be. As long as they stayed within some pretty broad lines of behavior, I let them be. If they tried wandering beyond them, I would growl and cuff them back inside.

    • #22
    • February 5, 2020, at 10:02 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. I Shot The Serif Member
    I Shot The Serif

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    We have eight kids (all grown) ten grandkids (with three!!! count ’em three!!! more on the way this year). Best advice is that (a) just because babies are crying it does not mean you have done anything wrong; (b) parenting is 99.5% showing up and enduring and (c) special insights and techniques are from people trying to sell books. There really should have been a biblical parable about people who offer superficial advice from a safe distance versus those who offer to hold a crying baby. I say unto you that the kingdom of heaven is for the latter.

    When I am on a plane or in a restaurant with my supermom wife we both tend to laugh when babies or toddlers begin to fuss because of our shared joke/realization that the sound of other people’s kids acting up is strangely soothing for us. We try to let struggling young parents know we are not offended and to laugh and smile as a tacit suggestion/example that they try to do the same. Babies do not care if they upset you and even seem to resent a lack of parental serenity. Chill and endure, grasshopper.

    I never minded other people’s crying babies on airplanes until I had one, and they started to play off of each other!

    • #23
    • February 5, 2020, at 10:30 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. Old Bathos Moderator

    I Shot The Serif (View Comment):

    I never minded other people’s crying babies on airplanes until I had one, and they started to play off of each other!

    Simple physics/cosmology. The universe cannot have two centers.

    • #24
    • February 5, 2020, at 10:49 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. Blue State Blues Member
    Blue State Blues Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Most importantly,enjoy these years – they will be over before you know it.

    • #25
    • February 5, 2020, at 11:12 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. Seawriter Contributor

    Blue State Blues (View Comment):

    Most importantly,enjoy these years – they will be over before you know it.

    Trust me on this one. They are more fun the older they get. Even after they become adults. There is nothing more satisfying that working on a joint project with an adult child.

    • #26
    • February 5, 2020, at 11:37 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  27. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Babies are good. They are an investment in the future. When they grow up, they are your comfort in old age.

    Or not. I was amazed to find out that at the age of 60 I had acquired a third overly strict parent. (And just when I was finally free of the programming handed me from my original two parents.)

    • #27
    • February 5, 2020, at 2:31 PM PST
    • 1 like
  28. I Shot The Serif Member
    I Shot The Serif

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    We have eight kids (all grown) ten grandkids (with three!!! count ’em three!!! more on the way this year). Best advice is that (a) just because babies are crying it does not mean you have done anything wrong; (b) parenting is 99.5% showing up and enduring and (c) special insights and techniques are from people trying to sell books. There really should have been a biblical parable about people who offer superficial advice from a safe distance versus those who offer to hold a crying baby. I say unto you that the kingdom of heaven is for the latter.

    When I am on a plane or in a restaurant with my supermom wife we both tend to laugh when babies or toddlers begin to fuss because of our shared joke/realization that the sound of other people’s kids acting up is strangely soothing for us. We try to let struggling young parents know we are not offended and to laugh and smile as a tacit suggestion/example that they try to do the same. Babies do not care if they upset you and even seem to resent a lack of parental serenity. Chill and endure, grasshopper.

    “Chill” is what I strive for! Pretty good at it so far.

    • #28
    • February 5, 2020, at 3:38 PM PST
    • 1 like
  29. Blue State Blues Member
    Blue State Blues Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Blue State Blues (View Comment):

    Most importantly,enjoy these years – they will be over before you know it.

    Trust me on this one. They are more fun the older they get. Even after they become adults. There is nothing more satisfying that working on a joint project with an adult child.

    Oh, don’t get me wrong – I love my sons, they’re awesome adults (28 and 25). But I don’t know where all those years went.

    • #29
    • February 5, 2020, at 8:29 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Great first hand advice! This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under the February 2020 Group Writing Theme: “Advice.” Stop by soon, our schedule and sign-up sheet awaits.

    Interested in Group Writing topics that came before? See the handy compendium of monthly themes. Check out links in the Group Writing Group. You can also join the group to get a notification when a new monthly theme is posted.

    • #30
    • February 6, 2020, at 5:28 PM PST
    • Like

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