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June 15, 2010

so, i think we can all agree that we receive scores upon scores of unsolicited advice– from strangers, from your mom, from your dad's cousin's great grandmother, from that lady on the second floor of your office building.  and well, it's crap.  the advice is generally unwelcome, not well received, and often... wrong.

but– in a stirring twist of events i have actually received excellent advice that stuck with me.  (like, once... but still, it's possible.)

when we first brought jude home jon was talking on the phone with his grandmother, who is just the dearest and the sweetest, and she heard jude crying in the background.  she asked if we were breastfeeding, and jon said yes.  and she said, "if he cries, just feed him. you can't over-feed him right now."

it was in the very first days, the days when the doctor tells you to write down every move your baby makes, to time your feedings on each side and blah blah blah.  they make it seem so complicated and you're exhausted and in an unfamiliar world.  that tiny bit of advice carried me through some long long nights.  jude would cry and i would be in a panic.  he only ate an hour ago!  in my sleep-deprived condition it was literally more than i handle to use my common sense.  and i would think of her and suddenly remember. YES!  let's try that.  and 90% of the time it got us back on track.

have you ever received some excellent advice (parenting or otherwise)
that has saved your ass?




One of my best friends gave me the best relationship advice ever. Background: She was in love with a boy and never told him. That boy was then killed in a motorcycle accident. She has never been the same. And she once told me that the fear and pain of rejection will never ever be as great as the guilt you'll have if you never get that chance. Since she's said that, I've told people when I've wanted to be with them, when I've like-liked them. And sometimes it didn't work out. The times that it has? Worth it.

Ky •

Oh, this is fun!

1. "You can't spoil a newborn." (My sister told me this.)

I held Lila and cuddled her to PIECES for those first months of her life... and I'm so glad I did. Why? Because she's the anti-cuddler now. My constant cuddling didn't produce a constantly-wanting-to-be-held child; instead, she's uber independent and I love it.

2. "You're the mommy now, speak up." (My best friend.)

For some reason when I became The Mommy I didn't feel overwhelmingly empowered. Then, somewhere along the way I realized that this was MY baby to protect. I think I just needed someone to give me an excuse to be VERY forward.

3. "The advice of our mothers, sisters and family members IS annoying... but they've been there and they've done it. Just listen."

When I realized I shouldn't FIGHT the advice, I should just absorb it - it got better. I no longer was aggressive to anyone who told me other ways to relieve gas from my baby. I mean, maybe they had a point...

(I could go on and on with this one, but I shall shut up since this is YOUR blog and NOT mine.) :)

Adam D.

The things that pop into my mind to post feel too obvious, as if I have to come up with some grand, show-stopping nugget. But really, the one thing that became a game-changer was the advice we received about establishing a sleep schedule. Changed all three of our lives!

Adventures In Babywearing

"Babies don't keep." (cleaning can't wait 'til tomorrow)

"Spit out the sticks" (take in the advice from family, friends, doctors, books, magazines and keep what works for you and spit out the stuff that doesn't.)

"Be informed." (and what you do with that info is up to you, and only you.) :)


Biggest one for me is a long term one, really - 'you'll get out (of your teenager) what you put in (to your baby) - that's really stuck with me and has actually shaped most of my parenting choices.

The other one is to take responsibility. But that has to start during pregnancy already - what you put in to your body, what you believe about and how you go through your birth experience and that search for knowledge then goes on in to your child rearing. The way I see it no one cares as much as you do, about you, your baby or your lives... take responsibility.

Great post!


when we first brought suzanna home, alexander had a rotten cold. he was full of snot and coughing everywhere and i was terrified he would make suzanna sick. i brought it up with our pediatrician during suzanna's 2 day checkup, and my doctor said "you've got two kids now. just do the best you can.". i revisit that piece of advice often and i've found it remarkably calming during times of stress.

Kristen @ Motherese

That is good advice! That always worked for my boys too.

Good advice? Let's see...

"Never wake a sleeping happy." (I know that doesn't exactly go with La Leche League rules and regulations, but, with a healthy and healthily growing baby, it saved me a lot of unnecessary worry and exhuastion.)

"If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

"Date night"

Amber, The Unlikely Mama

I've never really gotten any advice...but I think I made it clear that we were doing what we wanted...and people kinda steered clear :P Well, people in real life anyway.

More than anything, it was support that helped me. Peter always telling me I could stop if I wanted, or whatever. I think that's what saved me. I would be at my wits end, and he would say that I could stop (breastfeeding, cosleeping, etc). I would always say no of course, but it was just nice to know he was there no matter what I decided :-)


I don't know who I heard it from, but it was basically the same advice as your grandma (in-law) gave you. I threw the boob at Hollis constantly and it worked just about every time. And contrary to popular thought he did NOT become clingy, needy, or fat. Just happy :)

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