Top Mistakes New Parents Make

posted by Andrea | 10/4/2011

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Ever since the magazine industry found out I was pregnant, they’ve all be ganging up on me and sending me every single baby/parenting/pregnancy magazine around. And even though I’m not a huge fan of extra magazines and paper clutter, I always skim through them to see if there is any semi-useful information.

The other day, in the October issues of  Baby Talk Magazine, I found a very interesting article about the Top Mistakes new Parents Make. It immediately caught my attention so I kept reading.

Since parenting is anything BUT simple and organized, I’ve been wondering if I will make these same mistakes… and if there are other mistakes that will also top my list? Below are the mistakes listed in the article — let me know what you think!

Top Mistakes New Parents Makes:

1. Cramming the Crib Too Full:

Apparently you really shouldn’t have anything in the crib — which I did know. But what about any type of blanket to cover them with?

2. Not Taking Care of Yourself:

Yup, I’ve seen this before! And even though I swear that I will not be one of THOSE moms who go out with her PJs on and messy hair — I have a hunch that there will be many days when I stay in my PJs all day {while working from home of course!}

3. Comparing Your Baby to Other Babies:

Honestly, is it really possible NOT to do this at all??

4. Letting Dad Take a Back Seat:

I don’t see this happening to us — mainly because I don’t think Dave would let it happen. He is just so excited about this baby, and even though I know he’ll be apprehensive and a bit nervous at times {as will I}, I definitely think he’ll take a very active role in raising our baby girl.

5. Having a Rigid Sleep Schedule and Routine:

Ok, so I’m having a hard time with this one. Maybe the issue here is the word “rigid” — because I’m definitely hoping to instill some type of sleep schedule and routine ASAP!

I’ve already been informed that I need to read the book Baby Wise for lots of great information about sleep schedules, etc. I’ve since put it on hold at our local library and am just waiting for the email saying that it’s in!

6. Not Enjoying the Moment:

I can’t even tell you how many emails, comments, and messages I’ve gotten from other moms saying that this is one of their biggest regrets — and encouraging me NOT to make the same mistake.

I’ll try not to!

7. Trying to be Supermom:

Yup, I could totally see this happening to me — not necessarily because I’m trying to be “supermom”, but because I’m trying to be “superwomen”! I am definitely going to try to relax and “chill out” as much as possible because I have often been guilty of trying to “do it all” and then I’ll be exhausted.

8. Feeding the Baby Too Much:

How much is too much? Wouldn’t that be different for every baby? I suppose this is just something I’ll have to learn on my own!

9. Not Trusting Your Instincts:

I’m a little worried about this because I was never big into baby sitting, and I really don’t like being around other people’s children {Yes, I know that sounds awful, but it’s true}. So I feel like I don’t have a lot of experience with babies and I guarantee I’ll often wonder if I’m doing the “right thing”.

10. Having NO Sleep Schedule:

Praying and hoping that this does not happen to us. And if it does, it will not be because of my lack of trying :)

So what do you think — is this a pretty comprehensive list or do you have others you’d like to add?

Were you guilty of any of these?

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Filed under: FamilyParentingPregnancy



  1. Kendra


    Congrats on the upcoming arrival!

    I’m pretty sure you cannot overfeed a baby if you are breastfeeding. And, I kind of think it’s okay to NOT have a sleep schedule. I just feel that babies know what they need and if you just listen to their cues you will be right on target.

    And, yeah, it is impossible not to compare your baby to other babies!


  2. Megan Camp


    I know others have mentioned it but definitely get a wearable blanket for your baby girl (in many different sizes). I’ve used them in winter and summer until my kids are about two and can manage to keep blankets ON them at night. You can swaddle in the beginning. I had two winter babies so I would put them in their wearable blankets and THEN swaddle as well. I had my big down blanket and couldn’t stand to see them in a sleeper and little tiny blanket. They make different weights too. I use a heavier wearable blanket during the cold months and a thin, cotton one in the summer. After a few months, I also gave them blankets to snuggle but they don’t really keep those ones on them.

    I’ve never been one to read lots of baby books as I’ve had lots of experience babysitting and working with kids. However, here’s one piece of advice I learned from a babysitting mom that I’ve kept with me regarding sleep. I love my sleep and I have two children who LOVE to sleep. Many of my friends ask me how I get them to sleep so much. She had three kids and here’s what she said:
    Baby number 1, she used a book (probably babywise) and put the baby on a pretty rigid schedule. It worked for her but her baby hated the crib and would cry at every nap and bedtime.
    Baby number 2. I honestly don’t remember exactly what she did but she didn’t use the book/schedule method. Baby still hated sleeping.
    Baby number 3. This was going to be her last baby and she wanted to treasure the moments with him. At naptime and bedtime, she made a point of snuggling with him and making bedtime something really positive. He has always loved going to bed and would rarely cry when laid down (even by me).

    Obviously, I tried the last method with my kids and it worked great for me!

    I am okay with letting my kids cry it out and they have done that at times. However, my 11 mo old usually cries from the time I lay him down until I walk out and close the door (about 3 seconds). If you make going to bed a comforting thing, your baby will probably do really well. Never use the crib as a place for punishing/discipline. You want them to LIKE going to bed.

    Also, remember the habits you instill in them when they’re young (say past 3 months old) are the ones you’re going to have to break down the road if you don’t like them. If you don’t want a picky baby who has to be swaddled and nursed to sleep, have a dark room and absolute quiet then break those habits when they’re young. Unswaddle them when they start breaking out of it. Make some noise while they sleep (I used to vacuum), leave the shades UP during naptime (so they can sleep whether it’s light or dark, don’t nurse them to sleep (nurse them until they’re close to being asleep but lay your baby down awake so SHE learns how to fall asleep on her own) etc. It’s easy to teach them things when they’re a couple months old…just make sure whatever you teach them you’re willing to do for a LONG time or you’ll have a hard time breaking bad habits. I used to let my babies sleep with me, on me, near me etc until they were about 3 months. At that point, I moved them to their own room (even though I would have loved them to stay near me) because I wanted to start good sleeping habits. Oh, one more…when your baby falls asleep in the car, don’t be afraid to unbuckle them to move them to their crib. Both of my kids (11 mo & nearly 4yrs) transport well and will fall back asleep if I carry them upstairs. I can lay them down at other people’s house’s to sleep and transport them home no problem (which is great when we want to get out and hang out with friends!) I have many friends who can’t come over in the evenings because their kids haven’t been raised to be flexible when it comes to sleep. Your child will adjust to whatever you do with them!


  3. Dianne@Baking4Six


    Wow, that’s A LOT of advice. I think my head would be totally spinning. I have 4 children (14,12,9&8) — taking care of a newborn is much easier than a pre-teen, teenager :) However, it seems that the most advice written about & verbalized is for a newborn, infant, toddler etc… I’m also a teacher just like your husband – and what I’ve learned is that all children are different, but many definitely pick up the “habits” of their parents. :)

    Just as all relationships are different, so are parenting styles – just because one thing worked for one family doesn’t mean that it will work for ALL families/children.

    For example, some children are light sleepers some are not – not to say that you can’t help to change/modify that to a certain degree by adding noise etc… Some children like to eat, some do not. Some sleep a lot, some sleep a little. Some get really fussy at night, some do not. Some are morning people, some are not – some are organized, some are not… okay, so we’re talking newborns here… but I think you get the point :)

    Personally I think the best advice to listen to – is advice like – enjoy your baby etc… The rest of the advice… about feeding, schedules etc… is give and take between you and your child. You have to work with her personality, but fit it into your lifestyle. We have 4 children, so the things I did for our first child were not what I could do for the 4th.

    Lastly just keep in mind that whatever you do decide to do, will eventually become habit for your child and habits are hard to break :)


    Andrea Reply:

    Don’t worry Dianne — I’m just taking everyone’s advice with a grain of salt! And yes, I’m listening to ALL the ladies who have told me to “relax, enjoy my baby, things will be fine, you can do this, etc.”
    Thanks for your advice and words of encouragement!


  4. Ann


    (I left this comment on facebook too because, for some reason, these comments didn’t show up the first time around.)
    My biggest mistake was thinking I was in control and that it was my job to make these little humans submit to my will. I did not use enough respect in my parenting and I would change that if I got a re-do. Read Chick Moorman’s parenting books and start practicing speaking in respectful ways now before your child is born.


  5. selina


    I’m the mum of two the oldest is 7 and I can say hand on heart, that list sums it up. Spot on.


  6. Jen @ BigBinder


    A lot of folks have covered a lot of things in the comments – but one I would add is that you have to stop doing something for your child if it makes you resent them. I know that sounds awful, but there are some people who are determined to breastfeed, or let the baby cry it out, or not let them cry it out, or feed them or not feed solids them by a certain age or cloth diaper or WHATEVER but more important than the benefits of ANY of these things is that what you do for your child, you do with a loving heart. If BF (or any of the above, or anything else..) drives you absolutely crazy and you want to stop, stop. Don’t listen to anyone else. There will be bigger issues that people have strong opinions about when the baby gets older and it’s good practice for listening to yourself as a mother. God gives us a lot of wisdom when we have a baby, we just have to listen to it :)


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jen — great advice! And I WILL take it :)


  7. Alyssa


    I just had to comment when I saw that you’ve been advised to read BabyWise. If you can’t already tell, it’s a hot topic, love it, or hate it. I did some research and found a whole community of people against BabyWise… it might be worth while to look up if you do read the book.

    On the other hand I’ve read the book and I the only thing I liked was their idea of eat, play, sleep. It does make for a better sleeping baby. I did it that way with my first and he slept wonderfully. My second however I nursed to sleep every time and at 14 months she still wakes up around 5 every morning screaming for me to feed her. I will never do it this way again! I loved cuddling and nursing her to sleep, but this messed up sleep thing is no fun!


  8. Lisa


    Please rethink following BabyWise for advice. It’s fine to follow a routine but babies shouldn’t be kept on a rigid schedule, especially if you’re planning to breastfeed. I’ve heard horror stories about babies failing to thrive because their moms tried feeding them on a schedule instead of on demand. Would you like it if someone told you that you could only eat every 4 hours and that you weren’t hungry even when you were screaming that you were? I don’t mean this to sound like a rant but babies know what they need and when they need it :)

    And wearable blankets are the best! They keep babies warm and you from worrying about them at night.


  9. Amber


    I think this is definitely a great list. Im one of those moms that still to this day doesnt have a set schedule. I tried really hard to do it and felt like I about lost it and a friend suggested to just go with the flow and she will get on a schedule on her own. Great advice that I still remember. Some people can keep a baby down to a schedule and others not.


  10. Janelle


    You definitely received a lot of advice!

    I wanted to add another book that was a great resource to me: Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby by Tracy Hogg. I used this book along side of Babywise and I really liked the charts that she has in her book. One of the charts describe various things that the baby might be doing while crying – and what that means…crying does not always mean that they are hungry! Anyway, I liked the book and suggest it to you, since you are desiring a schedule.

    My two boys were very different – #1 was “textbook, and slept through the night at 15 weeks! #2 took a LOT longer to sleep through the night. It stressed me out a little bit, but I came to realize that I needed to relax and eventually he would sleep through! (he does now!)

    I pray that you have a wonderful rest of your pregnancy, and a speedy, safe and uneventful labor and delivery!


  11. sheri giffin


    Just wanted to let you know that God gives you the instincts that you need. No babysitting required. Don’t be afraid to trust those instincts when something with Nora is not quite right. No one knows her better than you.

    Enjoy her.


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