The One Piece of Advice All New Parents Need to Hear

The One Piece of Advice All New Parents Need to Hear

Everyone likes to give advice, and there is never a time in your life where you’ll get more unsolicited advice than when you’re pregnant or you just had a baby. It seems like EVERYBODY has something to say about how you plan to parent or how you are parenting. You’re going to want to tune out most of it. Don’t worry, you’ll come up with your own way of doing things and the sooner you gain confidence in your own parenting choices the easier it is to ignore unwanted advice. Or you’ll learn to smile and nod, a lot. Now I’m going to give you one piece of advice that I think every parent needs to hear. I know I just told you to ignore unsolicited advice, but I really want you to hear what I have to say. It’s just one little thing, but it might just save your sanity one day.

The One Piece of Advice All New Parents Need to Hear

Parenting isn’t always going to be blissful like this.

Are you ready to hear it? Here we go. Words spoken at 3am don’t count. Did you catch that? Words spoken at 3am don’t count. I’m not talking about wonderful first words your baby might say at 3 in the morning. Those count. Those totally count. What doesn’t count are the words you exchange with your partner over a crying baby at 3 in the morning (or any hour after about midnight and before 6:30am). Look, we all have this blissful image of what that first six months or year of having a baby will be like. You’ll sleep when the baby sleeps! Nothing is better than gazing into the eyes of your sweet baby no matter what time it is! Just breathing in the scent of your new baby gives you all the energy you need! No. No. No. Just no.

The One Piece of Advice All New Parents Need to Hear

Babies don’t always sleep a whole lot, or sleep very well. You will be getting up in the middle of the night. Maybe you’ll only have to get up once overnight, maybe twice. Maybe you’ll only be getting up once or twice a week or a few times a month. It doesn’t matter. Something happens when parents get sleep deprived. It is really hard to be kind and gentle with one another when you’re tired, haven’t slept, and your baby is showing no signs of chilling out and falling asleep. Things will be said. Things there’s NO WAY you would say to one another after 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. And you know what? It’s okay. Stop. Take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. Word spoken at 3am don’t count. Whether you’re critiquing each other’s method of lunging and swaying while shushing, arguing over what on earth you should try next after EVERYTHING you’ve tried hasn’t calmed baby, or letting out a barbaric grunt of exasperation. Let it go. Words spoken at 3am don’t count.

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23 Comments on “The One Piece of Advice All New Parents Need to Hear

  1. Ha ha good advice! I think that is still true with a toddler who doesn’t sleep 4 years later….Very wise indeed!

  2. Love this! So true! Our oldest was the worst sleeper. Sleep deprivation is a horrible thing. So, pretty much nothing we said counted the first 6 months 😉

  3. We are currently going through the 4 month sleep regression, and those morning hours truly suck. I totally have to agree that words after and around this time do not count!

  4. Yes, fantastic advice for a new parent! I remember when my daughter was an infant just how irritable we both were in the middle of the night at times. It’s hard to be cordial when you’re both exhausted and frustrated.

  5. Oh I just love this. This sort of makes me laugh too because of what I said to my daughter. The other night she was just up for an hour in the middle of the night blowing bubbles and rolling around. I felt a bit silly firmly saying to her, “that’s enough! Go to sleep!” haha

  6. there were never any words spoken at 3am… my husband always slept thru it all! ha!

  7. This is so true, in our house even after 15 months our son still doesn’t sleep and the words at 3 AM definitely don’t count.

  8. Love this! So true…although my “words” at 3am are more like grunts 🙂

  9. Agreed! I’m a bear when I’ve been woken up for the 1738392th time during the night, and can say and think some pretty nasty things that I don’t really mean.

  10. I wasn’t expecting that to be your advice, but it’s a good piece of advice for sure!

  11. Good advice, although my husband (and he’s a great dad), but he has never been awake with me at 3 a.m. when I’m up with a baby! So, I guess the words mumbled under my breath when I’m frustrated don’t count either, right?

  12. Thank you for this reassurance! My daughter was a preemie, so our story was not a “normal” journey. She is our first child, so when she finally came home, it took us a while to figure things out. I remember one night, I was putting the baby’s bottle in the refrigerator after we had finally gotten her to sleep in her bassinet and the gallon of milk (not full) slid off the shelf (fell on my toes) and made a thud on the ground. It woke the baby up and my husband snapped at me, like I had dropped the milk jug on purpose! He probably doesn’t remember it and I don’t hold it against him, but that is a prime example of how lack of sleep and cause you to act irrationally. Our daughter is now 23 months old. 🙂

  13. This is good advice , even if your talking to yourself at 3 am cause you’ve had so little sleep 😉

  14. Great advice! I have learnt that the best thing I can do is pick my battles and not be so hard on myself (when I need a break, allow myself to take it)! And ask for advice and help when needed.

  15. Our 8 month old is still waking 3-4+ times a night. If my husband or I took any middle of the night comments at face value we would have big issues! This is a great piece of advice!!!

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