Do's and don'ts on parenting: the five most 'Googled' questions
A definitive guide of the do's and don'ts on parenting... if only!
No one is ever truly prepared for parenting. Even if you think you are, you are likely to still find yourself at the computer at 3am madly ‘Googling’ with your eyes hanging out of your head.
There are so many books and resources available on the do’s and don’ts on parenting , each generally filled with conflicting advice. “Attachment parenting is best” yells one book, “Don’t be a helicopter parent,” shouts another. And sadly, often all we hear is: “You’re not doing enough” or “You’re not doing it right”.
It seems to me that what we need is a definitive guide on the do’s and don’ts on parenting, so once and for all we know precisely how long and when our baby need to sleep, how much and how often they need to eat, and exactly what that little mewling cry means in the middle of the night.
The unfortunate thing is, there is no such thing as the do’s and don’ts on parenting. Such a guide is impossible because there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to parenting.
Every baby is as individual as their parents, and every situation is equally unique. Instead of seeking the mythical parenting ‘Holy Grail’, it’s important to concentrate on what is best for you and your family, and let go of perfection.
So instead of empty promises of a definitive guide on the do’s and don’ts on parenting, we did some research and found out some common topics that parents turn to ‘Dr Google’ for. We’ve answered them below.
1. How to get baby to sleep
Just when you think you’ve got your baby’s sleep all figured out, it shifts again. Often a baby’s sleep routine alters every few weeks, and then months, for the first year or so. Many do not sleep through the night until they are… well, let’s not go there.
While sticking to a routine can be beneficial, do what works best for you so everyone in the house gets some rest, and don’t be too hard on yourself!
2. Attachment parenting
Attachment parenting is a parenting philosophy that focuses on the parent and baby, maximising their bond with the aim of building stronger relationships.
This parenting style encourages co-sleeping, body-to-body contact and baby wearing, feeding on demand, and minimising the separation between a child and their parents for the first few years.
Attachment parenting is not for everyone, but some people love it. Check out this Blue Room article on attachment parenting for more info.
3. Breastfeeding tips
Just remember, breastfeeding is not always easy, and sometimes it might not work for you and bub. But it is important to seek help, and not beat yourself up if you’re struggling.
For some more tips on breastfeeding, check out this Blue Room article on breastfeeding.
4. How to cope with the stress of being a parent
It is often a surprise that something as tiny as a newborn baby can turn your life completely upside down. Lack of sleep, worry you’re not doing things right, sometimes not knowing what to do – it’s not always cuddles and tickles.
Whether it’s your first time or your third time, sometimes the stress of parenting piles upon your shoulders and the days seem endless. There is no shame in asking for help from your partner, a friend or a professional if you’re feeling overwhelmed.For tips on how to manage your new-parent stress, check out this Blue Room article on reducing anxiety.
5. How to raise a child
If only there was one simple answer to this question! Everyone will raise their children slightly differently, and there is no right or wrong. Once the major needs of food, clothes and love are taken care of, it’s all kind of a grey area.
Learning what is best for you and your child’s wellbeing, happiness, comfort and rhythm will be an ongoing adventure throughout their childhood. To raise a human to be proud of, be the best person you can be, and the rest will hopefully fall into place.
So although, unfortunately, we can’t give you a definitive list of the do’s and don’ts on parenting, we can reassure you that there is no such thing as being a perfect parent—it’s unattainable. Instead, run your own race and concentrate on being a ‘good enough’ parent.