Jacob Lund/Fotolia

7 Reasons You Should Absolutely Ignore Every Single Bit Of Parenting Advice You Hear

Ad failed to load

Parenting advice is plentiful. If you simply open your internet browser and type in your question, millions of people with different thoughts on how to raise children will flood your computer screen. Then, in addition to the endless world of the internet, your friends, family, and sometimes even perfect strangers will offer you their advice, tall tales, urban legends, and anecdotes. That's why, in my humble opinion, you should ignore every single bit of parenting advice you hear and do your own thing.

When I was a new mom, no one close to me was also a mom. All of my friends were either single or newly-married, so I was doing this new mom thing all on my own. So I was terrified, clueless, and completely on my own. I was also learning. A lot. Figuring out what works and what didn't work for my baby was party of my new daily routine, as was following crappy advice because I didn't know any better. In my new-mom mind, all advice about newborns was created equal. I mean, how different can newborns be? So, I listened to anyone and everyone, implemented their suggestions, and parented in a way I didn't realize was potentially harmful to my kid.

But, hey, we live we learn, I guess. And I learned. I learned that even newborns are totally different from one another and that what works for one will not work for all. I learned that each baby needs to be handled based on their own unique personality and not based on some archaic advice as to how children "should" be raised. And I learned the most important lesson of all: ignore the advice.

Ad failed to load

Because Every Child Is Different


Every mother believes her child is special. And while "special" has numerous denotations, in the truest meaning of the word, every mom is correct. Every child is special and unique and has varying temperaments and personalities. What works for one child may backfire for another. Even siblings are very different from one another. How often have you heard parents of twins say that the kids are "night and day"? So, sure, while some parenting advice may work for some children, most parenting advice won't work for most children.

Because Every Parent Is Different

Parents, just like their children, are different, with different values and beliefs. What one parent thinks is right for her child could be completely wrong or ineffective to another parent. Parents also all view their children in a different light. While some parents are self-aware and confident, others may not be and they may cling to potentially hurtful advice just because they are unsure of how to proceed.

Because Implementation Varies


I often hear, "Well, I tried that once and it didn't work." And when I do, I have to keep myself from saying, "Maybe you should have tried it more than once?" The implementation of the advice is way more important and crucial than the advice itself. People interpret what they hear according to their own biases and adjust the advice to fit their needs and their personalities.

For example, the "cry it out" method is very much left to the interpretation of the implementer. Some people think of "crying it out" as something to do for a few days and give up, while others stick to it for months.

Ad failed to load

Because Circumstance Matters

While some parents may be privileged enough to not send their child to daycare, other parents may not be. Then again, some families may be privileged enough to afford to send their child to daycare, while other parents may not be.

And because everyone's circumstances and familiar situation is different, one advice does not fit all. For example, one cannot advise every woman to breastfeed their children until their children are 2-years-old, because some women may not have the luxury to breastfeed past six weeks due to lack of maternity leave or other financial circumstances.

Because There's Too Much Misinformation


Today, regular people, not medical professionals, believe they are qualified to give medical advice to strangers. Just because someone claims to have done "their own research" does not make that someone a pediatrician or a scientist. "Doing your own research" does not suddenly give one a medical degree from an accredited university.

Sadly, internet is full of those who have "done their own research" and now hand out advice like it's their job.

Because Times Change

What worked in the '80s may not work in 2017. As society evolves and the people learn and science and technology advance, there are more than a few pieces of parenting advice that become archaic and antiquated. So, when your grandmother tells you kids older than 2 do not need carseats because no one ever used carseats in the '60s, you know better and you ignore that bit of advice.

Ad failed to load

Because Everyone Is Just Winging It


At the end of the day, who really knows what they are doing? Most parents are just winging it anyway, and every parent can find research that supports their particular choices. There's only on thing that remains true about raising children: at the end of the day, if you're doing your best and consistently worried you're failing, you're probably doing everything your child needs.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills