New moms and dads often find themselves buying, borrowing, or checking out as many parenting books as they can get their hands on. We’re here to say that those books are helpful, but we also want to talk about the 15 Things the Parenting Books Don’t Tell You. After all—having a baby comes with its fair share of new challenges and responsibilities never before experienced until you have one of your own. . Check out our list before for some real-life advice!
15 Things the Parenting Books Don’t Tell You
1. First up on our list of 15 things the parenting books don’t tell you is how short-lived some of the hard moments are. There dozens upon dozens of books about how to get a baby to sleep through the night as soon as possible. And having a routine to help you get there is a wonderful idea. But what the baby books don’t mention is that, oftentimes, in retrospect, those first few months of sleepless nights feel short-lived! While you are living it, it may feel like forever. But as the years fly by you may struggle to even remember what it was like! So take a deep breath and keep on one day at a time.
2. Sometimes babies just cry. Next up on our list of 15 things the parenting books don’t tell you is something you may not want to hear. In our rush to read all the books for an explanation on why the baby is crying again after feeding and a diaper change, we forget what many baby books don’t tell—sometimes babies just cry! It’s not always that you are missing some vital info. Sometimes they fuss because they are bored or they really wish they could roll over but they can’t. So try your best at making them comfortable but know that sometimes, when you can’t talk, crying is all you can do!
3. It’s hard to sleep when the baby sleeps. Sleeping when the baby sleeps is age-old advice not only found in baby books but also given out by countless well-meaning friends and family members. The thing is, it’s not so simple. Sure, you can let the house go a bit and put off the dishes for a while. But eventually, these things just need to be done—OR you have other children who need their parent to be awake watching them. Maybe you are dead on your feet tired but can’t seem to nap—it sounds crazy but it does happen! So do sleep when you can, but don’t feel bad if this is one bit of baby book advice that doesn’t seem to work for you.
4. The sheer number of pictures you will take. No baby book warns you that you are about to become the type of person who takes 25 pictures of your little sleeping newborn baby a day and that you’ll probably run out of photo storage before the one-month mark. This only made our list of 15 things the parenting books don’t tell you because we want you to be prepared better than we were!
5. How filthy your car will become. It doesn’t matter what kind of good intentions you have for keeping your car clean, it will be disgusting. Even a small baby who can’t even pick up a goldfish cracker will somehow contribute to making your car grosser than ever before. Maybe it’s a sign that it’s time to buy one of those minivans with the built-in vacuum cleaner?!
6. That you will find what works for you. There are so many books that explain to you the right way to parent. When to lay the baby down for naps, how many ounces they should be eating, when to start on solid foods. These resources make for excellent guidelines but the truth is: you’ll simple find what works best for you and your kid.
7. Fed is best. Books on nursing exist to help guide and educate moms, and it’s worth it to read up on this topic if it is the route you choose. But you won’t find many books telling you not to worry too much if it doesn’t work out. At the end of the day fed is best for baby and any other advice strongly in another camp may put added stress on a new mom.
8. How much laundry a tiny human makes. It doesn’t seem like someone who wears pajamas only slightly larger than a tube sock can make such a heap of laundry, but they will. This is one of the 15 Things the Parenting Books Don’t Tell You that may warrant roping dad and big siblings in on occasion since you’ll be needing to wash baby’s clothes every day or so just to keep up!
9. About how a baby may not be the only one to cry. While hormones and post partum depression may be covered often in baby books, there is a lesser-known phenomenon called “the baby blues” that you may not read about in the baby books. If new moms find themselves crying for no reason, at every commercial, in the shower, etc. these may be the baby blues. Just a weepy 1-2 week period of hormones evening themselves out. Dads— just do your best to be supportive and allow it to pass if you notice this.
10. All the food to be delivered. Well-meaning friends and family love to stop by in the weeks following the baby’s arrival with gifts of food (usually in a dish meant to serve 10 people). What you may not expect is just how difficult it is to consume everything fast enough! Think lasagna breakfast lunch and dinner just so you can move on to the chicken spaghetti that was delivered the next night!
11. That newborns can be carted anywhere. Many parenting books make the early months with a baby sound pretty challenging, and they certainly can be. But you won’t often read about just how portable a young baby is. As long as you are prepared to feed them often, you shouldn’t have too hard of a time continuing to go out to eat or other places with baby in tow.
12. That toddlers are harder. See above. Parenting books often focus on the initial stages of bringing home a new baby. You may realize after you have experienced this a time or two that parenting toddlers can be tough! They are into everything and you’ll often find yourself thinking about how easy carting around that sleeping baby was!
13. How you will miss it. No matter what stage of parenting or what challenge that season brings, the parenting books typically focus on how to “fix it” and don’t tell you how much you will miss it. Even the terrible twos. One day you’ll look back on those times and miss every bit of it.
14. How rewarding it is. Parenting is a rewarding journey filled with all kinds of unexpected moments. The parenting books do their best to prepare you for these moments and give you the best advice of how to work through tough times, but you don’t often read about what a rewarding job being a parent is. So keep at it, parents!
15. How your marriage can become stronger. It’s not uncommon to read about the strain a new baby can bring upon a relationship. Baby books even go so far as to remind new moms and dads to make time for each other in their new lives. This can be very true. But another truth is that a new baby can and often times will strengthen the relationship between two people as they see each other thrive in their new role as mom and dad.
The next time you find yourself reaching for the latest and greatest book on discipline, sleeping, sibling rivalry, etc. keep in mind that while parenting books are useful, they often leave out the day-to-day truths of parenting. We hope these 15 Things The Parenting Books Don’t Tell You has provided a laugh or some insight into the most wonderful job in the world! After all, the dirty minivans and sleepless nights are all worth it in the end.
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