Was All That Baby Advice Really Helpful?

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Now that my little girl is six months old (Before I know it, she’ll be off to college!) and I have half a year of being a dad under my belt, I’m reflecting on the waves of advice parents and non-parents alike gave us before Addy came into the world.

  • “The best advice I can give is to not listen to any advice.” -Isaac Slade, Lead Singer of The Fray
    • Does that mean taking his advice means NOT taking his advice? Regardless, we’ve found this to be helpful. Every baby is different and what works for one baby just doesn’t for the next. That’s why parent shaming is not just unhelpful, but narrow minded.
  • “Enjoy sleep while you can, because you’ll never sleep again.” – A dad of a fourteen year old in Falls Church, Virginia
    • Really? Advice like this distilled the fear of God in me in becoming a dad and isn’t helpful. It’s like replying to a friend upon hearing about a promotion at work, “Congrats, but you’ll probably get fired in a year.” Yes, sleep isn’t as long as before, but it does NOT go away, even at the beginning.
  • “Continue to invest the most in your marriage and support your partner in every way possible.” – A dad of two little boys in Grand Rapids, MI
    • I get how this gets ignored with the adrenaline of having a newborn, but it is important to work as a team in parenting and being sensitive to how each of you is handling a big change.
  • “Don’t talk about anything serious with your partner during the middle of the night feedings. It never ends well.” – A three time dad from St. Joseph, MI
    • Gold. Solid gold.
  • “At first, it’s hard to feel helpful because the baby relies on his/her mother, but don’t let those feelings of inadequacy manifest.” – A three time dad from Seattle, WA
    • I struggled with this. I love being helpful and playing a role. When I couldn’t comfort our baby or couldn’t feed her in the beginning was a struggle. I felt useless and insufficient. Those feelings are valid, but do give them life.

I could go on and on with advice I’ve written down in my Moleskin. Us humans LOVE to give advice. QUESTION: What advice did you get before becoming a parent?

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