The best and worst parenting advice.
Oh the sweet topic of advice; unwanted advice, loud forceful advice, sweet innocent advice. Sometimes it is so difficult to take advice especially if
- I didn’t ask for it and
- It wasn’t what I wanted to hear.
The worst part about advice is when you do openly welcome it and it backfires. For instance my little L had severe colic. I was told to try this medicine, hold her this way, and switch formulas. Everyone told me by three months or so she would outgrow it. Well, at seven months we were both still crying. While it was much more under control it was still a difficult situation.
I have hounded people for advice on sleeping, eating, potty training, cleaning, sharing; you name it. In the end it all comes down to the overplayed cliché; follow your heart.
Once we finally stopped worrying about everyone else and what they were doing or not doing and how their kids were acting we got it. I mean it just clicked. Life was far more pleasant and now when we ask for advice we listen and store it away knowing whether it is even worth a try or not.
My favorite advice that sticks with me always is from my Mother. As I was crying about something or other she calmly said, “This too shall pass.” Ugh I hated those words but she was so right and as I face other challenges I repeat that mantra over and over until I find some area of calm in my heart and mind.
The worst advice I got was, “they’re twins just give them one big gift.” HUH? Are you kidding me? They are not twins, ok well technically yes they are but in truth they are two little people with the same birthday.
Over the years I’ve gotten slammed with advice; both good and bad and while most of the time I don’t ask for it, I try to be open minded and think “ok, they are trying to be helpful,” and I just store it away.
After speaking with some Mommy friends along with MoMs of Parenting Multiples group and my facebook group “Mommies of Multiples”, I created a list of the top best and worst advice they received.
*this advice is from Moms of multiples and is verbatim.
- be loud around your baby(ies) from the beginning, that way they will learn to sleep through loud situations (thunderstorms, parties, etc)
- Don’t pick them up every time they cry. Especially with twins – they need to learn to be patient. We’ve survived 11 months with our twins (yea!!), and that was one of the biggies.
- Best advice was to simply accept that caring for myself and the girls should be my only focus- forget the house, cooking, playing hostess to visitors
- it’s okay to put the baby down; I was running myself completely ragged trying to make sure both girls were content at every moment (IMPOSSIBLE) … bottom line is not everyone will be happy every minute and you have to adjust to that
- Keeping them on the same schedule and learning how to get them into healthy sleeping patterns
- Don’t be perfect, be happy
- Don’t get trapped inside. The more mobile and independent you get the better.
- You’re not going to breastfeed are you???
- Try to nurse them together simultaneously. That was tough as Ryan was a quick eater and Hannah took her time. I ended up having them take turns nursing, the other would get a bottle of pumped milk
- Don’t worry. She’ll grow out of that…
- Boys will be boys; to excuse bad behavior
- Let him cry, so you don’t spoil him
- “Never wake a sleeping baby.” Whoever said that obviously didn’t have multiples, one up both up or mommy gets absolutely NO sleep.
I was bombarded with an array of advice, tips and tricks but these stood out and were repeated numerous times especially the topics on breast feeding and keeping a schedule.
The one simple truth is this; follow your heart. It is so true. No one knows your baby better than you, no one. Just because that “perfect” parents child, in your play group, slept through the night at one week doesn’t mean her method will work for you. Besides she’s probably lying.
Enjoy your babies!
Let us know your opinions and any advice you have! We would love to hear it and share it!
Sidenote: this was originally posted on Twiniversity in April of 2013 pre second set of twins.