New parent advice: Things we would do differently as new parents (blogger edition)

New parent advice

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about 20 things I would do differently as a new parent, a collection of no B-S from the heart advice I would give to myself as a new parent. Apparently a lot of people wanted to read what I had to say! But I thought, why stop there? Wouldn’t it be great to hear from other bloggers on what they would do differently as a new parent? And so this collaborative post, featuring the wisdom of a smorgasbord of UK parenting bloggers was born…

Take everything Gina-bloody-Ford has written and burn it….

the whole rigid routine and milestones thing looks great on paper but is unattainable in practice. Kids will do things according to their own timetable and that’s okay. Don’t consider yourself a failure just because your child hasn’t done X by the age of three weeks or Y by two months. What does Gina know anyway? She has no kids of her own. – Tim, Slouching Towards Thatcham

Accept that a birth plan is a set of guidelines, not a set in stone list…

of rules which must be stuck to at all costs. Birth is unpredictable, allow things to develop. Kate, My Family Fever 

I would have spent less time doing housework in the evenings…

when baby went to bed and spent that time looking after myself. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be seen as the perfect parent. I was suffering from a lot of physical health problems as well as post-natal depression, so spending a little more time giving myself a pamper, time to read or even getting a bath and going straight to bed may have helped me in so many ways, both physically and mentally. Every parent needs time to themselves or to spend with their partner (me and my husband split not long after) to keep themselves as a person in their own right, and not just mummy/daddy. The housework can always wait…. – Ally, Mother Under Measure 

I would definitely give my newborn a bottle at bedtime…

I was so utterly intent on breastfeeding that nothing was going to stop me. And I’d heard stories about how babies who’ve been offered a bottle subsequently refused the breast. I wasn’t taking any chances, and ultimately that led to a very clingy mother and baby. I was reluctant to hand my baby to anyone else; reluctant to ask for help when I was getting desperate; reluctant to even accept it when it was offered. – Kate, The Less Refined Mind

Don’t try and be super mum and join every class going…

I felt like I had do all the sensory, singing, signing, swimming classes that were on offer. I found it exhausting and just going to a couple of classes is just fine! – Laura, Dear Bear and Beany 


After vowing to not be so serious like my Dad was, I’m exactly as serious as my Dad was. I wish I’d got down on the rug to roll around with my kids instead of eagerly awaiting nap/bedtime, I wish I’d done arts and crafts with them instead of finding it a chore, I wish I’d baked with them instead of dreading the mess and the length of time it takes a child to help. I guess it’s never too late but now they are 11, 9 and 6 I feel a huge ship has sailed never to redock again. – Prabs, Absolutely Prabulous 

The importance of pelvic floor exercises!

I’d never heard of these before, and it was never really discussed as to how to go about strengthening them. It’s only now that I realise these are my last line of defence when it comes to an unexpected sneeze and the need for the toilet! If I was to do anything differently, it would definitely be to take more care of these muscles, there’s nothing worse than requiring a change of undies just because of a high pollen count or the flu! – Elanor, Tiggy Poes and Flutterbys 

Listen to your instincts..

I did know best for my baby and I didn’t have to worry what other people thought. Mum knows best! Never a truer word said – Laura, Waffle Mama


I never ever napped – even in the easy early days when she was sleeping 18 hours a day. I was exhausted from a csection but  felt like I was supposed to be awake, doing something, keeping busy – after all I had a baby. I had to do something! – Hannah, Hi Baby Blog

I wouldn’t have had an epidural…

I’m sure it led to my pushes being ineffective and one of the reasons behind needing an emergency c-section.– Sian, Quite Frankly She Said

Be a little bit more selfish…

I would want to spend more time one on one with my baby and say no to visitors if I wasn’t up to it. I felt like I had to agree to people coming round so soon after the birth when all I wanted was a bit of time getting to grips with being a new Mum. – Emma, Life According to MrsShilts

Record everything…

You think you will never forget when baby first rolled over or where you were when they smiled for the first time or what their first word was. You will. And if you have a second child (or a third, or more), that problem only increases exponentially. Make a note now, save arguments with your other half later when you each remember slightly different versions of the same event. – Milla, Live Oxfordshire.

Not care about others opinions on co-sleeping and feeding on demand…

I was far happier and subsequently both my children when I did things my own way. Clare, Emmys Mummy 

Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t quite go to plan…

I spent a lot of time beating myself up because I didn’t have the ‘perfect’ birth that others managed quite easily, and spent many hours in tears over my ‘failure’ to breast feed.  It’s very hard to follow your head rather than you heart, at times as a new Mum.  If I had had the chance to do it all again, I’d have been a bit kinder to myself. – Mary, Over 40 and Mum To One

Make the delivery suite a no technology area…

The first three minutes of our first daughters life were spent looking at her, in amazement. The fourth minute we were posing for a horrific picture, the fifth minute I was sending a text, he was sending a whatsapp group message, by six minutes I had a phone wedged under my chin talking to my dad…you get the idea. For baby #2 we made a pact, no phones for the first two hours at least. If ever there was time for no screen time…birth is definitely it. – Sarah, Mum Muddling Through

Try and breastfeed for the first 6 weeks to avoid colic…

With my firstborn, I gave up on breastfeeding after 3 weeks as I wasn’t confident enough to breastfeed in public, so I felt trapped in the house. I moved to formula which resulted in my baby having the worst colic ever. It was a nightmare, non stop crying almost every night for 3 weeks. It felt like 3 years. Then it ended at 6 weeks. So this time round I am going to try to breastfeed for the first 6 weeks at least, and be more confident to go out and breastfeed in public, wearing those special shawls that cover you up. I just don’t want to go through colic ever again! – Sabrina, The Mummy Stylist

You know your baby better than anyone else….

Always be open to hearing advice from others, but make the decision yourself that you really feel is best for your baby. Second time around, I learned that my gut instinct was always right.  I listened to the advice from others, invited or not, but I always did what I thought was best.  First time around I was an anxious new mum and sometimes let others try and tell me what to do, just to work out later that my way was better for my baby. – Mim, Mama Mim Blog 

Don’t compare your baby to others…

Don’t become obsessed with when milestones should be happening. Enjoy the moments and not be wishing yourselves to the next stage. – Jenni, Chilling With Lucas 

With huge thanks to all the bloggers featured in this collaborative post, without whom this would not have been possible!




  1. Thanks for including me! I love so many of these points, although as someone who didn’t breastfeed because of health issues I can’t help but disagree with the breastfeed to dodge colic one, I bottle fed and my boy was sound. I’m glad Sabrina found a way that suited her though, well done to her for sticking to it, finding that confidence is amazing and an inspiration to women who do struggle themselves. I definitely agree with listening to your instincts though, people put too much pressure on new parents to follow guidelines and books, as pointed out, you know your baby more than anyone else so trust your gut feeling. Great post, so many brilliant contributions x

  2. This is great, Talya and not just because you featured my Gina-rant. Some great points but Ally’s comment particularly resonated with me. Sometimes we get so tied up in doing everything we can for our babies because that’s what we believe a good parent does. But part of our responsibility is to look after ourselves and our relationships too – self, partner, family and friends. After all, a happy parent is more likely to be a good, tolerant one. And yet so many of us flog ourselves to death in those early months chasing a mirage of perfection, at the expense of our own well-being.
    Tim recently posted…If Carlsberg made radio adverts about parenting …My Profile

  3. Great post & so nice to get a little bit of wisdom from lots of different people! I’d have to agree most with Ally (Mother Under Measure). It must be something to do with post-pregnancy hormones or maybe just our need to create a bit of order out of the chaos, but I was also doing housework at ridiculous hours. In hindsight I was have rested more!

  4. so true! I had my children about 8 years before my closest friends had theirs so I was very much on my own thinking I should do everything properly – when my friends went on to have theirs they seemed much more carefree and i regret that I wasn’t – i think the social media platforms today are so much more prominent than when i had mine (16 years ago!!) and i wish i’d had advice from the blogging community then – makes you feel like you’re in the best supportive club! Great read #coolmumclub
    justsayingmum recently posted…Mother instagrammin’My Profile

  5. Love this. Nap – YES! Breastfeed to avoid colic if you can – YES! And housework … NO! Thanks for sharing this – has made me feel a bit better this morning. xx #coolmumclub

  6. I’m so with Tim on the Gina Ford thing. I started reading it when I was pregnant with my first. I got to the bit about not letting visitors hold your newborn baby and put it in the bin. My eldest was the first grandchild on both sides, there was no way I was going to get away with that! I seem to remember something about waking the baby up in the morning and being dressed by a certain time. Crazy talk!!!! #CoolMumsClub

  7. Such a lovely piece, I really enjoyed it. I really believe that parents are the best experts when it comes to their own children and I like this piece particularly as there is so much great advice in it but presented in a very personal way to each parent featured. It’s not rammed down the reader’s throat as gospel, making new parents feel as if they are doing it all wrong if they don’t follow it. #coolmumclub
    occupation:(m)other recently posted…Creative Mothers Series – Mothering FrightsMy Profile

  8. Love this and agree with so many of these – especially not comparing your baby to others and trusting your instincts. Hindsight is a wonderful thing sometimes – what a shame we don’t have the benefit of it as new parents though (and aren’t always great at taking advice from those with more parenting experience either!)

  9. This is so great, I agree with so many of these. I too felt like I had to stay awake the whole time, I have never napped and very much regret it! I also find it hard to expect that I need some ‘me’ time. I really like the thought of no phones after the birth, I will do this whenever we decide to give Aria a little brother or sister. Great post, thank you! #coolmumclub

  10. It’s amazing what pressures we put on ourselves as new mothers! And, how if we could do it again – we wouldn’t. Keeping the house clean or following some kind of book routine for the baby are so unrealistic. Giving a breastfed baby a bottle at bedtime is a great thing – I did that with two of mine & they never refused the breast. It’s all trial & error. I think this advice is honest, refreshing & will be helpful to new parents. Thanks so much for hosting #coolmumclub x
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…The Best News EVERMy Profile

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