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Our Favourite Parenting Advice and Parenting Tips We've Been Told

There are many times in our lives when friend, family and even strangers want to offer you unsolicited advice


When you have kids, the advice comes by the box full, from those who were your parents to those who have children to those who've never experienced parenthood, and like to observe from their pedestals.

Good (and less useful) parenting tips

Sometimes the advice makes you roll your eyes, while other times it seems sensible enough to consider. Be it hints on how to breastfeed or how to get the little one to sleep, everyone will have different advice. It's key to remember that every child and every parent are different, and the advice that works for one may not work for another.

Good and bad advice often bring a smile of recognition to our faces, so we've rounded up our favourite good advice and bad parenting advice from over the years as well as dishing some advice of our own.

Remember that advice usually comes from the heart or from personal experience and people often mean well, even if the advice they give you makes you think differently. We all want to share our experiences and impart advice when we think we've got the answers, unfortunately we tend to forget that advice doesn't have to be used. Just listen, take it on board and use it if it works for you! the same advice will have a slightly different outcome for everyone who takes it!

Luckily the good advice we were given outweighed the bad! What good or bad advice were you given as a new/not so new parent? And what advice would you give to new parents?

The best parenting advice we've been given:

My Hairdresser Kathryn set my mind at ease when she said "If it is right for you and right for your baby then how can it be wrong." Amanda

When I mentioned to a friend of mine that I was struggling to adjust in the first few month at home with my baby, she told me "It will all get easier after 3 months so hang on in there!" Three months on, I knew she was right! Laura

One of the fathers in my NTC class, who is now a good friend of mine advised me to "Never stand and judge somebody who's having a 'challenging moment' with their children. You have no idea what the history is and it'll probably be you next!" Miranda

After my first child and pregnant with the next I reminded myself to "Make sure to make some time for yourself or you will lose your sanity". Personal experience is paramount! Marie-Alix

"Learn to be aware of your children as individuals, watch their leads and follow and support, listen carefully and answer all their questions, praise successes, provide challenges, and gently teach them that logical consequences are part of life." I think my own parents had these beliefs in raising my siblings and I and I was fortunate to be able to dialogue with my Mum. Kathy

My friend told me, "You have to make your own action!" and it was the best piece of advice she could have given me. I started a playgroup with some moms and babies that were in my pre-natal group. We met often for 2 or 3 years, and our children went to school, and played sports together. Almost 20 years later, one of the moms is still living in my town and we are great friends. Laurie

A mother of 4 herself, my sister said "Whatever stage your children are going through (teething; tantrums; picky eating), don't worry about it, it never lasts forever!" Amanda

"Get your baby into a sleep routine as soon as possible". I don't remember who suggested it but whoever it was, was a lifesaver. Matt

My mother was wise, she told me to "Enjoy every moment as it goes by so fast." As a grandmother, I have to say that's incredibly true! Terry

Someone else I knew who had triplets once said "Pick your battles". It made me realize my job was to grow, nurture and love my babies, if the house wasn't always tidy or i couldn't always breastfeed - that was OK. Save your energy, don't sweat the small stuff and be the best mom you can be. I decided not the sweat the small stuff like a dirty house or not being able to breastfeed completely - with multiples my only job was to grow, nurture and love my babies. Ibo

It wasn't so much advice, but when my sister was pregnant and everybody was fussing over her, she said "I'm not the first person in history to have had a baby!" That stuck with me when I was pregnant and even now with my little one. When it's all happening, you get lost in the excitement and you feel like you are the centre of the Universe, but really you aren't. Be mindful of others and don't put your baby as the absolute focus of all things - keep some back for you: your relationship, friends, work, hobbies etc. I think you become a better mum when you do. Venetia

The best parenting tips we can pass along to you:

"If you are privileged enough to become a parent, devote yourself to them. There is no job more important in the whole world than loving that unique child and helping them to achieve their potential as balanced, confident, and secure people." Kathy

"Know that you know your baby better than anyone else in the world within moments of birth. Hold on to that when you receive unwelcome advice. Ignore what most people tell you, there is no real right and wrong and each child is different. Our first slept through at 10 weeks, the twins are now 3yrs and are only just beginning!" Ollie

"Advice is useful but do what you feel is right and trust your instincts." Laura

"Give your child two 'yes-es' for every 'no'. So, if your little one wants to pull on the pet cat's tail, say, "No, don't hurt the kitty. Here, play with this stuffed animal or this toy car instead." Make sure to actually hand the items to your child, or at least place them within reach." Linda

"Know that you know your baby better than anyone else in the world, even within moments of birth. Hold on to that when you receive unwelcome advice." Amanda

"My advice to other parents is, don't compare your child to any other child - they all grow up differently and at different stages." Amanda

"Enjoy every moment as it goes by so fast and it is a beautiful adventure for you both... breastfeed for as long as your baby wants to... give unconditional love... live in the present moment and really 'see' your child... be with them without distractions for long period each day... and let them go at their own pace, not yours. Love, love, love and cuddle them." Terry

"Change those diapers often.. dry babies are happy babies!" Matt

"Cherish every moment because time goes by so quickly. You think that time goes by before kids, watch-out for how much faster it goes after. Also, you will wonder what you ever talked about with other people before you had kids, because now they're the only thing you talk about with everyone." Ibo

"MUCH easier said than done but 'don't sweat the small stuff' - and it's all small stuff! I know the term First World Problems gets thrown around a lot but I really think it says a lot - we spend so much emotional energy on stuff which doesn't matter, making us uptight and miserable, if you can let it go life is much easier. This also means you have the capacity to deal with real problems with the focus they deserve."  Venetia

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