Topic | Well-meaning friend's advice


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  • mrsmccardell

    We just had our 5th baby on 12/8 (hence my silence on the forum) and I’m struggling with some friends offering/insisting how-to do x,y,z.  I’m no expert but I am following the advice of my midwife.  Here’s an example:

    Baby was 9.6lbs and I was advised by my midwife to let him nurse a lot and often.  My friend said make baby eat every 3 hours on the dot, swaddle super tight, and prop slightly elevated on boppy for sleep.

    I’ve visited with my friend a few times and if baby wanted to eat at 2 hours she insisted he wait.  I finally said well I guess we disagree here bc he eats every 2-3 hours like most nursing babies  She then proceeded to the subject of sleep and that no matter his age he should sleep at least 5 hours due to his weight.  If I see her and he’s not swaddled then she takes him from me and wraps him up.

    This is a good friend so I don’t know what to think.  I’m amazed at how many moms ask if he’s sleeping through the night yet.  He’s just turning 4 weeks this week.  Why won’t they just let me enjoy the newborn that he is?  Thoughts or experiences to help?



    Congratulations mrsmccardell! Although you or I may not be “experts” (I’ve had 6 babies) I happen to think that we know what is best for our babies. I would totally encourage you to nurse your new little one as often as he wants. And yes enjoy  this wonderful newborn stage! It all goes by too fast. You have plenty of time to get him sleeping through the night. I am sure that your friend is well meaning but ultimately you need to do what works for you. Swaddle if you and he want, dont if you don’t want, hold him lots–definitely enjoy him! 🙂


    I agree with mom2five 🙂

    Yes, way too often as mom’s we seem to know what is best, even for others 😉 (I have had to stop giving advice often, especially after my first I thought I knew everything until my 2nd was born, then I realized I didn’t know much, haha)

    I nursed my kids it seemed non stop for the first 8 weeks. I was told to do this or that by so many different people (even my mom would give input especially about nursing since she liked “schedules” more)… but you know what, I did what worked for us. My boys gained a pound/week, it was crazy, but they were happy little babies who slowed down on their own over time (though a 16.5# 2 month old was heavy, haha). My first two slept through the night at 12 weeks, my 3rd didn’t sleep through the night until 2 years (and he still often wakes up for a hug). Kids are all so different and as parents we are different too 🙂

    When that happens, I smile and nod, thank them for the suggestions and let them know that I am doing what works now for us, but who knows what the future holds so I will keep their advice in mind. Because it is true… even a week for now everything can change and their advice might be exactly what I need.

    As for swaddling, my kids did not like it, they liked hands free so they were the ones that quickly let others know that they didn’t want to be swaddled, I rarely said anything about that 🙂

    Enjoy your “baby moon” and new born snuggles. Do what works for you and your child and try not to let others advice way to heavy on you. Smile, thank them, and move on. If needed sometimes you have to be direct, but hopefully if a good friend she will understand too 🙂


    Yuck.  Babies have died because of parents following the advice of Gary Ezzo.  Please feed your baby when he/she is hungry.


    The beauty of breastfeeding, as with homeschooling, is to be in tune with what your baby and child needs.

    People giving unsolicited advice, even if well meaning, are the most annoying things to deal with when you are a parent.

    If you have a LLL group near by that is a great way to vent and get support on these issues.


    You’re right!  I just felt alone so I was second-guessing myself.  I nurse as needed so I don’t get what the big deal is.  I even had a mom say, “oh, you gave in!” bc I was nursing again.

    Thanks for your wisdom. (Again)


    So, I totally bristled when you said she takes him from you and swaddles you. I don’t care WHO the person is – NO ONE is going to take MY baby from me, and swaddle him if I don’t want him to be.

    Oh my. I don’t even think I could be gracious there, so kudos to you for remaining calm.

    So… honestly? Ignore them. They’re well meaning but they know nothing when it comes to your baby and his needs. You just go ahead and nurse him whenever he wants, for as long as he wants. If you don’t want to swaddle him – don’t. And DON’T let anyone take him from you and swaddle him. Just say, “No thank you, I appreciate your concern, but we have researched our decisions.”

    And if it makes you feel any better. My son was a glutton 🙂 Born 8 lbs 5 oz, he was 20 lbs by 6 months…. lol. He nursed often and lots. He would chug for an hour. Today, he is a well proportioned, slim 60 lb 9.5 year old 🙂

    My SIL’s son, was a sumo baby. He was born around 9 lbs, and was 20 lbs at 3 months. Seriously – he had fat rolls on his fat rolls. He was ginormous. She nursed on demand. And today he is a tall, lanky 11 year old, perfectly healthy.

    As for sleeping. That’s hogwash. All babies have different sleeping habits. My first slept through the night starting at 6 weeks. My second slept through the night… hmm…. well, never?  She’s 6.5 and still wakes up most nights (though to be fair there are medical reasons for that).

    What blows me away is how they’re treating you like a first-time mom. This is your 5th child!!! At any rate, I guess all you can do is ignore it and laugh it off. But please, under no circumstances, let anyone take your child from you and wrap them against your will, or take them from you saying they don’t need to eat right now etc… That sets up very unhealthy boundaries – good friend or not.


    First and most importantly, congratulations! Hooray for a new baby!

    Second, this good friend needs to not be seen for a while, or you will probably have to speak up and simply not allow her to touch your baby or tell you what to do without asking her to leave. Yes, I’m serious. I had a dear friend who did this to me with baby #4 (and she had three kids, younger than my oldest at the time). After the shock of the first and second time, I spoke up. She defended her opinions and I told her that while she was welcome to ignore the needs of her own babies when she had them, she was not allowed to insist that I do so with mine. And then I asked her to leave. She didn’t speak to me for several years. While I mourned the loss of her friendship, she was not willing to respect healthy boundaries and it would have been damaging to keep her in my life.

    I know it is hard to speak up. You are tired, busy with a newborn, and she’s a friend you don’t want to offend/hurt. But she’s not acting like a friend, she’s acting like she’s the parent to your baby. ((HUGS))

    And for the record, of my 9 babies so far, raised pretty much the same as newborns, we’ve had eaters and sleepers across the spectrum, from sleeping through the night at 3 or 4 years old to sleeping a 5 hour stretch around 2 months old. Most have fallen in between, but closer to the 2 year mark. You can’t spoil a baby. Feed them, hold them as much as you want, let them nap in your arms every hour or not, you’re the mom!


    Congrats on the new wee one!

    I have only 4 kids, 16 to 7, but one thing I have learned is that there are many ways to parent well and each family is unique.  You know what works for you and yours, so go forth with confidence.  You might have to take a step back from the friendship for a bit if the friend is too pushy, but please accept that just because she does it differently, doesn’t mean it’s wrong or that her babies will be harmed.  (Not that you are assuming this, mrsmccardell. I’m speaking forum wide with that statement.)

    My own babies were 10 lbs plus at birth.  I was a scheduler, working to get my babies on a 2.5-3 hour schedule from birth. ? One slept through 5 hours a night from birth on her own and all slept 5-8 hours by 6 weeks old.  Yes, I let a couple of them cry it out for 2-3 evenings. I functioned better, my family functioned better with a more regularly scheduled routine and my babies were fine! My kids are happy and well-adjusted. This is what worked best for my family. I’ve no desire to convert anyone to doing it my way, but simply share that to point out it is erroneous to assume babies will be harmed if you follow a more regular routine.

    Unsolicited advice can be annoying and frustrating, even if well-meaning. I’ve known moms who are struggling to demand feed and function. Conversely, I’ve known moms who try to strictly schedule and it just isn’t working for them for whatever reason.  Many, if not most, wind up someplace in the middle ground.

    My point is simply that parenting a newborn is one of those things that we feel our way through and have to do what works for us.   There’s a lot of leeway when it comes to raising kids right and it’s easy to think our own way is best.  We need to be gracious toward others’ choices, seek wisdom and advice when needed, try something different when warranted, be confident in our instincts and decisions, and be willing to tell others to mind their own business if need be.



    Tristan said it better than I could have. Certainly with a much kinder tone. 🙂

    “Second, this good friend needs to not be seen for a while, or you will probably have to speak up and simply not allow her to touch your baby or tell you what to do without asking her to leave. ”

    You are very gracious to think of this friend as well-meaning. I’m sure she is her own version of well-meaning. But someone who behaves this way seems to me more interested in controlling and patronizing you than helping you. And that is not a friendly way to behave.


    Oh my goodness,  I think your friend is taking things a bit too far and being a bit pushy!  I second everything Missceegee said.  I was a scheduler too.  I fed my babies when they were hungry and tried to get my babies onto a regular schedule.   I have 6 children and it worked well for all of them.  With all of that said, that is what was best for me and my family.  I certainly don’t feel it is any of my business to tell other moms what is best for them.  I have plenty of friends that demand fed their babies for quite a while.  Your baby is still young and whatever approach you take is beside the point.  I’m not sure if your friend knows that you won’t speak up for yourself, but none of my friends would dare to treat me this way.  I don’t suggest being rude, but I would recommend being straight forward and ask your friend to please respect your choices.  Setting up some boundaries would be helpful to say the least!  If she ever attempts to take your baby from you like that again, I would put my hand up and simply say, NO!!!

    Renee Gould

    Congrats on your FIFTH baby!  I capitalize 5th, because I think you should have a pretty good idea how take care of your own baby by now.  (Wink) 🙂

    As you can see, you have received lot’s of responses to this post, because this is something that is so personal and all of us can relate to!  The first thing I thought of here was, don’t pay any attention to this woman and don’t let her take your baby from you.  Then I thought, you are 4 weeks out of having a baby.  You are most likely TIRED, hormones flying, and overall just fuzzy about all things.  I think you are second guessing your decisions, because we are all vulnerable those first few weeks after having a baby.

    This person sounds like a strong personality.  I think you either need to stay away from her for a while or kindly ask her to give you some space to choose what is right for your child on your own.  If she can’t control herself, I think you need to decide whether you want to subject yourself to this right now.

    ALL babies are different and uniquely made by God.  Not all are going to do things the same, that is the beauty of your baby being who he/she is.  All you can do is use your mommy instincts (the Holy Spirit) to guide you on what is right for your child.

    Excuse me, if I am the only one that thinks a 5th baby makes you somewhat of a veteran and perfectly capable of deciding what your child needs.




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