“Sleep when the Baby Sleeps” and Other Unwanted Advice For New Moms

My son was born on Thanksgiving Day. Since then and even before if I’m being honest, I have been inundated with advice from friends, relatives, coworkers, and can you believe complete strangers in stores and public places. He is in fact my second son. My first was born when I was 17 and my second at 39. My entire pregnancy I joked that I only have children at non traditional ages. My point is I learned to sleep when I can a long time ago.

There’s not a moment that new moms don’t think about sleeping. I had the most wonderful nap in the hospital waiting room 5 weeks after he was born. Trust me if you have a newborn you will sleep when they sleep. You can’t help but to sleep when they sleep.

A couple years ago, a radio friend of mine was having a baby. Her producer thought it would be fun to ask people in the building for advice for the new mom and create a montage to play on air. When it came to me I said truthfully, “take everyone’s advice and put it somewhere safe. Every person and every baby is different. You’ll find what works for you.”

It’s true. All the talk about Baby Wearing, Feeding on Demanding, Crying it Out, or something called Elimination Communication (google it!) in the end baby techniques are like diets. Maybe it worked for you, maybe it won’t work for me. Sometimes what worked for a baby yesterday doesn’t work today. Every mom figures it out for themselves.

I don’t know of any mother on her first or 12th child needed to be reminded to “enjoy it” or that “it goes fast.” (Let’s be honest sometimes aren’t you happy that it goes fast? Those round the clock feedings won’t last forever.)

One of my first solo excursions with my son was to the bank. I was taking a while getting out of the car and I apologized to the woman getting into the one next to me. I told her I was getting used to the whole car seat thing. She asked how old he was, complimented me on the carseat bunting and then told me: YOU ARE ROCKING THIS MOTHERHOOD THING! I didn’t even know her and it made my day. From now on that’s what I’ll say to any new parent I meet. I’ll compliment them and tell them they are doing awesome.

By Rebecca Romo