The Only Baby Advice You Really Need

I found the only baby advice you really need. It's the advice I wish I had known before my daughter was born, something I have to remember daily, and still true if your baby is 2, 10, 25, or 45.
(Last Updated On: April 14, 2016)

I believe I found the only baby advice you really need. It’s the advice I wish I had known before my daughter was born, something I have to remember daily, and still true if your baby is 2, 10, 25, or 45.

So last week I traveled across the country for my sister’s baby shower.

She is expecting a much prayed over, long-hoped for baby. Part of her baby shower was that we were asked to share our best advice on these cute onesie cards.

However, the longer I do this parenting thing, the less qualified I feel to give advice.

I can tell you how I got my kiddo to sleep through the night or eat peas or quit whining or how I dealt with colic, and hope you find success in that technique as well, but giving general parenting advice is so challenging because so little of parenting has turned out the way I expected.

I found the only baby advice you really need. It's the advice I wish I had known before my daughter was born, something I have to remember daily, and still true if your baby is 2, 10, 25, or 45.

My precious, precocious lovable child spent most of the shower being rambunctious and generally difficult. I was upset and saddened that instead of my sweet girl they saw an overly emotional meltdown. Dealing with a difficult child was painful when I wanted to visit and enjoy the shower festivities. I struggled against tears with no way to remove her from the situation and tried to do my best to give her limits and discipline (and less sugar).

But that is the reality of parenting.

Sometimes, it is a disaster. Sometimes, even when we know what to do, it doesn’t work. Sometimes, you just have to roll with the punches, even when they are embarrassingly public. (And your victories are mostly when no one is around to see.)

Her behavior was a good dose of humility for me,

And prompted me to share the best baby advice I have to give.

Parenting is a journey. You know you are getting a child at the end of your pregnancy (even if adopting). Other than food, sleep, and basic necessities, you really have little idea what to expect. Even if you have done your research, you’ll constantly be surprised.

Learning your child is a journey of discovery. You will have to learn YOUR baby and all the wonderful and terrible ways your child is completely unique. Every new stage will be terrifying and joyful with new accomplishments and challenges.

You’ll never get done learning this job. Parenting is perpetual. I’m 45 and still need my parents; my daughter is almost six and just about when I feel like I’ve successfully navigated her current stage, she changes.

You will have to learn your new identity as a parent and partner. Being a parent changed me completely. I never knew I could love so much or be this tired for so long! Our marriage has had to adapt and overcome adding another person as well. Our little universe shifted focus for a few years, and we have to be spouses and parents and people all at the same time.

Parenting is a challenging journey of discovery, learning yourself, your child, & family. Click To Tweet

So, listen to everyone’s advice and their best tips because you never know what gem will work during a 3 a.m. scream session, but carefully and prayerfully choose what works for your child and your family.

And don’t feel badly about ignoring well-meant advice that doesn’t suit your baby or your home.

. . . but keep listening.

There is no better gift than a humble, loving parent in a family who is willing to discover the world anew.

So my advice is embrace the journey and take all the tips you can get, just don’t take them to heart.

(that being said) My three best tips for expectant parents:

  1. Swaddle and put baby down drowsy with music from the beginning. Sleep is not overrated. Alone or together, teach your baby to sleep in a way that works for your future five year old, too.
  2. Gas drops – Better to have them and never need them, than need them and not have them. Because invariably colic happens at midnight.
  3. Take the time to enjoy this child: the midnight feedings, the rocking chair reading, even the colicky bouncing. It goes too fast.
  4. I know I said 3, but seek God in all of it. The rest will be your adventure.

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17 thoughts on “The Only Baby Advice You Really Need”

  1. Amen! I totally agree that parenting is a journey. In my case, I feel that it’s God’s way of showing me how patient He has been and is to me as His child. Parenting is a picture of our relationship with God as our perfect Parent! Thanks for sharing your heart. It’s a blessing!

  2. Yes, seek God in it all, through it all… especially in those times where we, as parents, feel like we are just plain failing. Because promises to be with us through every step, stage and season even when we stumble, get disorientated, or simply are worn out. It is such a journey.

  3. Once I had my second kid, I realized more than ever that what worked for one kid may not work for another kid. Different kids, different personalities, and different parents, different living situations, styles and parenting methods….

    Very good post, thank you for sharing! I clicked to tweet! 🙂

  4. Great adivce for new parents!! I have a lady in my small group who just had a baby Sunday and we all gave her advice and one of the lady’s said as long as your baby is getting fed, and you and him/her are sleeping you are doing good. Lol we all died laughing

  5. Thank you for sharing this. My husband and I are just coming to a place where we believe we are ready to start trying for a family. A huge step for us. So this post came very timely for me. Thank you for being open and sharing.
    Anna Harris recently posted…Faith: Real TalkMy Profile

    1. How exciting! I hope that you found the post helpful because it’s a learning process that you can’t prepare for but somehow knowing that helps me feel a little better prepared.

  6. What a sweet post and so true. I know exactly how you felt at the baby shower when your daughter was misbehaving and my heart goes out to you. Another thing you gain when becoming a parent, solidarity and absolute empathy for other mom’s. Great advice about swaddling and putting the baby down while drowsy with music (although we had better luck with white noise). The bedtime routine worked wonders and still does and my boys are 3 & 5 now.

    1. We actually used a mobile that had lights and sounds that would shut off in 20 minutes with a lullaby cd playing quietly in the background, so when the mobile shut off there would still be some noise for another 30 minutes or so. Worked wonderfully, and we play Christian CDs and Bible stories for her, which had lead to her knowing her bible so incredibly well. And she still goes to bed easily most of the time (minus the I need a drink stage).

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