on how to show us the right kind of support
Does your baby sleep through the night?
He wakes up only to nurse.
Does he cry a lot?
Whenever he needs something. Babies cry.
Does he play well on his own?
He has his days where he wants to explore and other days wants to be held more.
Oh, wow. He’s a good baby.
Have you tried…?
I can’t tell you how many times I have had this conversation.
As a mother I’ve noticed people tend to grade a child based on how well they sleep at night, level of independence and emotional.
I have gotten more advice than necessary.
People have a natural desire to say anything they can think of to you about parenting, babies and motherhood.
They give unsolicited advice.
They assume they know best.
And honestly, they don’t.
They may or may not know children but they don’t know your child.
Here’s what not to say to mothers.
Is your baby sleeping through the night?
Please stop asking us this, really.
Can you imagine if we asked each other this question?
Picture this conversation below between two adults:
Are you sleeping through the night?
Yes, I am getting good sleep.
Oh wow, what a good person you are!
It sounds ridiculous.
Public service announcement: statistics show 50–70 millions US adults have a sleep disorder.
It really doesn’t make much of a difference if our baby is sleeping through the night or not besides that we get to sleep more.
It doesn’t reflect how well-mannered our child is.
It doesn’t reflect how we are as a parent.
Asking us this question only deflates our confidence and makes us feel as if we have failed at motherhood already.
Breast if best.
Ah, the good old breastfeeding question.
How is breastfeeding going?
I made this mistake and assumed my friend was breastfeeding.
I felt like a complete ass out of myself after because she was struggling with breastfeeding.
Many of us new mothers may not get breastfeeding down right away or ever for a variety of reasons.
Asking us this question can immediately make us feel incompetent, embarrassed or ashamed.
Breastfeeding has shown to incredible benefits for our babies’ development and immune system.
However the truth is not all mothers will breastfeed, can breastfeed or want to.
A better question may be:
Are you breastfeeding?
We want to feel supported in doing what we can for our child regardless if we breastfeed or use formula.
Please refrain from discussing baby weight with us.
“Oh you will bounce back!”
“You will lose all the weight with breastfeeding”.
These comments are not encouraging for a new mother — especially if she is struggling with breastfeeding.
Pregnancy is a personal journey and so is postpartum.
We go through a lot to carry, labor and birth a human.
Many times we don’t want to discuss baby weight because it is a personal subject.
Does your baby cry a lot?
What does it matter if our baby cries a lot or not?
Babies cry. It is their only form of communication.
It is an irrelevant question and one that many mothers don’t want to answer or explain.
Babies are adjusting to their new world outside of a cozy warm home.
Imagine moving to a place you’ve never been to before.
No one understands you.
And you can’t speak their language.
I think you’d be a little frustrated.
Have you tried this…?
If a new mother isn’t discussing the details of her motherhood with you please don’t offering her solutions.
I was 4 weeks postpartum when someone suggested I get my son on a schedule.
I got so upset and felt like I was doing something wrong.
As a new mother, it is hard enough trying to learn our child much less add new ingredients to the mix when we haven’t even figured out the basic ones.
Mothers find their own voice in the journey and don’t need more unsolicited tools to add to the list.
Unless we are specifically asking you for advice, please don’t give it.