My mom is literally going to call me as soon as she reads the title of this post! All of these tips are the exact advice she gave me before I even had my son. Honestly, it’s my impatient nature that made me learn the hard way, but if I could go back in time, I would listen to each and every one of these and more, so this is now my advice to all of you new mama’s and mama’s to be!  

5 Parenting Tips Worth Following:  

1 | Don’t let your child sleep in your bed.   I haven’t gotten a good night sleep since I was pregnant, and now that Narayan is a very tall one and a half year old, it’s not pleasant sharing a bed with so many people! (Our 55 pound English Bulldog included)!   From the very beginning, Narayan wasn’t a good sleeper- he had a very sensitive stomach and couldn’t eat much at a time, so he woke up several times in the night to eat. Around 5 months old, I got tired of waking up so many times a night because after three times I would be wide awake for hours, so I brought him into mommy and daddy’s bed. Now he refuses to sleep in his crib unless we sneak him in it after he’s asleep, so these days mama doesn’t ever get a good night’s sleep.   EDIT: Co-sleeping may work for some- and I thought it would be my answer to sleepless nights, but it hasn’t worked for me or my son. I completely respect anyone who co-sleeps and it works, I envy you!  

2 | No bottles in the car.   I mentioned before how Narayan suffered stomach issues and couldn’t eat much at a time, so from early on, it seemed he was eating twice as often as most babies his age.  One of the easiest ways to get him to stay calm in the car and make sure he was getting enough to eat, was giving him a bottle on the way to Grandma’s every morning. For lack of a better phrase: two bird’s with one stone, right?! WRONG! While this was a great way for me to relax on the 30 minute car drive, it was a terrible way of interrupting his nap time routine and feeding schedule.   When I finally had the heart to take away his bottle during car rides, he cried for a couple days before getting used to the new routine and the falling asleep stopped, which in the end helped to get him on a normal eating and sleeping schedule.    

3 | Sleep when baby is asleep.   For the first few months after Narayan was born, I wanted to care for him on my own while continuing to work, and my mom told me this on a daily basis, but I never listened.  Working from home is tough as it is, let alone caring for a newborn at the same time!  Instead of using nap times to also get a nap in myself, I used it to get work done, which wasn’t always effective because I was nodding off most of the time.  By the end of each day, I was so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open before bedtime rolled around, and I was half asleep during each night feeding, sometimes waking up with a leaking bottle in bed and baby asleep on top of me! Not fun being soaked in formula, and very dangerous for baby when mama isn’t fully coherent!   Do yourself a favor and leave the work for later.  Get some rest while baby is resting- it will allow you to be more productive when you’re awake.  

4 | Don’t splurge on gadgets and toys, only get the basics.   This is one tip everyone who’s already a parent told us, and we tried to listen, but as Narayan got older, we felt he was bored with the standard bouncer and toys hanging from his car seat, so we got a swing, some other bouncer/swing in one type of thing, in addition to a bunch of other contraptions made to keep baby busy and active, that he grew bored of very fast.  In the end, he wound up loving the basic things everyone told us to get: bouncer, play mat with dangling, musical toys that hang above, and a musical mobile for the car seat.    

5 | Invest in a car seat for each car.   Im going to admit something pretty embarrassing: my son is 18 months and I still don’t know how to install a car seat. Terrible I know, but that’s the sort of thing I depend on my hubby for, but it became painful for both of us having to coordinate which car the car seat needed to be in each morning, so we finally invested in a second one just last week- something we should’ve done a long time ago!  (We love this one, which we switched to after Narayan outgrew the newborn seat). Now we have a car seat in each car that will transition with him up to 10 years, through all of his growth spurts, height and weight changes. Certainly worth the investment.   There you have it, my 5 Parenting Tips Worth Following!  

JOIN THE CONVERSATION I’d love to make this an open conversation for anyone interested in chiming in, so please share your experiences with these things or anything else you want to add! (I would personally love some advice on getting my child out of my bed).