Mums Reveal the Best and Worst Parenting Advice They’ve Received

Parenting advice. It comes with the territory when you become a parent, especially during the first few months when everything is a blur and you’re not sure what day of the week it is.

While most people mean well when they share their pearls of wisdom, sometimes it doesn’t seem like this. And often, their well-meaning parenting advice is just plain terrible, dangerous, or not your cup of tea. 

We recently asked some of the new mums in Baby and Toddler Mums Australia about advice – the good, the bad, the ugly. And we were a little shocked at what we received back – especially on the worst parenting advice front. 

The worst parenting advice new mums received

Here are our top 11 most cringeworthy answers we received: 

1. “If he bites, you bite him back”. 

This one was actually really popular! I’m not sure why some parents think it’s cool to go around biting their babies and toddlers, but hey. 

baby names banned 2018

2. “When my child wet the bed I just rubbed his nose in it, never happened again”. 

Nope. Sorry. Not good advice for a pet.. or a child! 

3. “Gravy Powder is the same as formula but cheaper’”. 

I’m sorry, what?

4. “Let them cry. It’s good for their lungs”. 

The concept of letting babies cry was probably the most popular answer with many people also sharing that they were told that picking up their babies would spoil them or create bad habits. 

5. “We don’t need to put the baby in a car seat. He can just sit on our lap”.

No. No, he can’t. 

6. “Sleep when baby sleeps”. 

Cue the collective groan from every sleep-deprived mum in the history of ever. 



7. “Put rice in their milk and they will sleep better cause it makes them fuller”. 

Rice. Mashed potatoes. Milo. None of these are good choices. 

8. “Just send them to bed hungry. They won’t starve themselves”.

This is a common one when dealing with fussy toddlers and while potentially true, it’s also a little bit cruel. 

9. “When they’re babies, you give them all the love in the world. When they’re older, you rule them with fear”. 


10. “Baby is unsettled. Give them chamomile tea/honey/brown sugar”.

Please don’t. 

11.”Do not look in their eyes when they’re upset because it will keep them going”. 

Eye contact. A terrible terrible thing, apparently. 

And now for the best parenting advice

1. “Listen to your instincts”. 

No one knows your baby as well as you do. And, if you do feel like something is wrong, consult the experts. 

2. “Don’t worry about what other people think/being perfect”. 

Perfection in motherhood doesn’t really exist.

3. “Do what is right for you/your family”. 

Co-sleep, try formula, use dummies, even if others think it’s a ‘problem’. It’s only a problem if it’s a problem for you.

4. “You won’t ‘enjoy every moment’ and that’s okay”. 

Some moments will be terrible and you’re okay to kick, scream, cry or hide in the pantry. You’re not a bad mum because you’re not soaking up every single moment. Not every day needs to ‘count’. Some days it’s just about making it to the next one. And that counts too.

5. “Every child is different – what works for one won’t work for the other”. 

This is one of the reasons why it’s always good to take people’s advice and stories in stride. 

6. “Be patient with yourself and your baby”. 

Baby mode isn’t as fast-paced as regular human mode. It takes time to get used to this new role, for everyone involved. Ditch the schedule, the hectic pace and the ‘shoulds’ and sloooow down. 

7. “Ask for help”. 

Find your ‘hood’ in motherhood. Swallow your pride and let others into your safe space and messy home. They’re not judging you – they just want to help.

8. “Get in the photos and get out of the house”. 

Even if you look like dog poo, snap those selfies and ask others to take pics with you in them. And while you’re at it, aim to leave the house every day, even if it’s just for five minutes for a bit of fresh air. 

9. “It’s okay to take time for yourself”. 

Going out for lunch with friends while a relative watches your baby is okay. You are still human and you still matter. Fill your cup and you will be a better parent. 

10. “Don’t stress about the small stuff”. 

At the end of the day, the little things don’t really matter. 

11. “A sense of humour will go a long way”.

Sure, the baby is screaming, your boobs are leaking, the fire alarm is going off because you’ve burned dinner AND the dog just vomited in the house. It’s hard to see it now but you will laugh about this later in life. 

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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