how to teach baby to roll over

Teach & Encourage Your Baby To Roll Over: 20 Creative Ways

Your baby is growing, and you are overly excited. 

They’ve passed the milestone of gaining neck control, grabbing their toes, and even smiling at you.

Usually, babies begin to practice rolling over at around five to six months (and some as early as four months and some as late as seven).

Rolling over is typically the preamble to crawling and moving around. 

The problem is that you have bought playmats, toys, and everything you think your child will need for their development, and yet your little one is taking their sweet time. 

Keep in mind that every baby is unique, and each one develops at their own pace.

So far as your child has reached the required milestones for the past months, there is no need to get worried – they will eventually rollover. 

Sometimes, they may require a little nudge here and there, and giving them a little incentive may help.

Below are tips and tricks you may find helpful to aid your little one in achieving that milestone.

how to teach baby to roll over from tummy to back

Know The Basics And Be Patient

Basic information concerning the rolling milestone goes a long way. Babies usually learn to roll from tummy to back before learning to master the back-to-tummy roll.

Your little one would have gained the upper body strength to roll from tummy to back at around three months or so.

The latter is a lot more complicated and requires a little more mastery; This occurs at about four to seven months. Ergo, each type of roll is still rolling. 

Most babies would have conquered other milestones in this period, such as clapping, gabbing, making new noises, and using both hands to play with toys.

Therefore give your little one some time to practice and master this task; if they learned to master the first type of roll, they would master the second.

Nevertheless, if your child has not accomplished any of these milestones, please see a doctor and make sure everything is okay.

Encourage Tummy Time

Experts encourage that tummy time starts from the very first day your baby comes home from the hospital because it promotes brain development, neck and trunk strength.

If you have not been doing this, do not worry. You can always start as soon as possible. Tummy time can be a fun experience for some babies, and others seem not to enjoy it.

Either way, allow them to persist with it, and in no time, they’ll adjust. 

Visual & Auditory Cues Are Excellent

Visual and auditory cues range from colorful toys to mirrors and objects that sing. Spark your little one’s inquisitive nature by placing them on a mat and forming a perimeter of toys around them. 

The goal is to make sure they can see it but not touch it.

They may throw a fit and bawl for you to help them get toys, but with a bit of persistence and determination, your little one will eventually gain independence, rollover, and reach for it.

You can always make tummy time fun by placing your baby on your tummy or giving him/her a toy or placing a reflective substance in front of them.

Show Your Baby What To Do

Sometimes, you may need to get down on your tummy and show your baby how to roll over. It is said that children are the chiefs of mimicry, and this statement holds for everything.

Place your baby on a mat and lay down beside them. Make sure you both are on your tummy. You can even have a conversation with them or hold an attractive toy so that you both have eye contact. 

Practice rolling over a few times each day. Hopefully, this gives your baby the willingness to copy you. 

Carry Your Baby In A Range Of Motions

This range of movements includes the scoop, facedown, and sideways position.

Experts have noted that alternating between these positions allows your baby to understand and recognize various positioning.

It does not have to be a drab activity as you can dance, sing and even practice in front of a mirror. Make sure to alternate every thirty seconds or so and give a 10-second break before rotating.

Encourage Crossing The Midline

The concept of crossing the midline means that you encourage the baby to use one side of his/her body to play with placed on the other side of their body. 

Experts believe that movement in the human body is relative to an imaginary line running through and dividing our bodies into two halves. 

The goal, therefore, is to teach your baby to cross this imaginary midline. This means you would need to hold your baby’s attention with an eye-grabbing toy.

Encourage Side Play

Place your little one by the side and gently nudge or prop them with a pillow. An attractive toy, mirrors, and even your face is then placed beside them to hold their attention. 

Before you know it, your baby would have started practicing rolling and gaining upper arm strength the would allow them to turn over. Practice is the key to a rolling baby.

Alternate Positions On The Floor

Allow your little one to rotate and move around. Let them spend equal time on their tummy, back, right, and left sides.

When you do this, you will allow your little one to engage all the body parts used in the rolling activity.

It is also an excellent way to prevent flat pressure spots from forming on the head of your little one.

Although often seen as a bit cumbersome for the parent, it is vital in ensuring your little one engages all his/her motor and sensory skills.

Keep The Rolling Space Safe

Do not practice rolling over in an area where your baby can fall. If your little one associates the act with a traumatic process, the tendency is that he/she may not want to do it again. 

Ensure the playmat is flat on the floor, or use a large bed and make sure there is enough room for them to move around. 

Blanket Technique

The blanket technique involves placing your baby on a blanket on the bed on a soft play mat.

You then get to put your baby on their tummy. Allow them to spend a few minutes on the floor and even give them a toy to keep them active.

Then gently grab the edges of the blanket and tug until your baby rolls over. It is a simple, effective method to introduce the rolling over skill to your baby.

Feet Pulling Technique

In this technique, you gently tug on your little one’s legs while lying on their back or are their tummy.

This would allow you to gently flip them over or forward depending on whatever position they might be, and as you continue this, you might get a little bit of a giggle from them.

Whenever your baby tries a new and fun activity, they are more likely to do it again.

Baby Seats Would Have To Move Over

Rolling over is a ground activity, and seating is not beneficial-except you want your little one to practice that activity.

Baby seats restrict movement and do not allow your little one to move from place to place.

It is advised that you let your little one reach one milestone before introducing them to another. Therefore, practice rolling over before sitting. Invest in a playmat and appropriate toys.

Short Frequent Burst

Some babies do not like tummy time and will make a fuss about it. You may be tempted to flip them over because they are crying.

No one likes a crying or a sad baby so, the best way to overcome this would be to have numerous short attempts of a few minutes of tummy time. 

You can always use a timer and carry out this activity at specific times of the day. Practice makes perfect, and eventually, your baby would learn to overcome this hurdle.

Sanitize & Sanitize

Ensure the area is clean and toys are sanitary as your baby’s hands would have touched many surfaces. It would curb infections and diseases.

Even as you are looking forward to your little one rolling over, they may have also achieved other milestones around this age, like reaching for objects.

Remember, tummy time is a time to explore, not to fall sick. 

It is recommended you clean your surfaces daily with antiseptic wipes, and for the little ones, that practice has to be improved upon and followed religiously.

Change The Area

You can always change the scenery and practice in new areas of your house, in the park or even in your backyard.

Just make sure that the baby’s playmat is large enough to cover a wide perimeter, and they do not end up on the bare floor. 

This method is quite tricky because you do not want your little one to confuse certain house areas.

If you have a designated bedroom for sleeping, it is best not to practice playtime or highly engaging activities in this room. 

Invite An Older Sibling / Your Partner To Join In

Your little one might be a little used to you and your routine activities.

He/she might have associated you with coddling and breastfeeding for moms, and therefore teaching them to carry out a new activity might seem a little strange.

If there are other family members that your young one is familiar with, actively involve them in the process. The more, the merrier. Watch out for the sneaky rollers.

Some babies may have already begun to roll over, and you would not have noticed. Babies are brilliant humans and can even trick you.

This happens when you play with a toy in front of them and need them to roll and grab the toy.

Suppose they notice that you come running to get the toy with a little cry; that soon becomes standard practice. You can always catch a little one that does this via the aid of baby monitors. 

Nevertheless, make sure that you can identify each of your baby’s cries and know when they are indeed feeling uncomfortable.

Massage Your Baby’s Feet

A gentle warm massage on your little one’s feet may be all that he/she needs to associate tummy time and rolling around as a pleasurable activity.

Although this is primarily an old wives tale, it has been noted some babies enjoy the activity so much so that they turn around to give you proper access to the entire perimeter of their feet. 

It never hurts to try. Besides, we all need a little bit of pampering.

Avoid Doing Tummy Time When Your Little One Just Ate

If you would feel uncomfortable lying down flat on your tummy after a full meal, then your little one will as well. It is best to avoid activities that require pressure on the belly after all meals.

After a meal, your baby should be burped and rocked for a while to aid digestion.

Even so, placing a young one on their tummy could make them vomit what they just ate and, in worse case scenarios, aspirate.

Praise, Praise & Praise

If you notice that your little one has made one successful attempt at rolling over, make sure you sing their praises to everyone, especially to them. 

Show your baby that you are excited over the activity they just did and even pick them up to do a little dance or hug them.

Often you may notice that your little one has pushed their body up with all the arm strength they can muster, and they cannot seem to figure out how to make the required turn;

Nothing stops you from giving them a little push on the shoulder and tilting them till they flip. No matter how big or small, humans love validation, and your little one is no different.

does baby powder expire

Does Baby Powder Expire: When, Why & What To Do With It

One of the nicest things about coming home with a newborn (except coming home with a newborn) is expecting gifts and essentials to be sent to your home.

One of such will be baby powder.

And as you go through each of the bottles, you may notice each has varying ingredients and come with a myriad of expiry dates worse.

Some baby powders may not even come with expiry dates, and you may be tempted to just throw it away.

Or you may be an experienced parent wondering why your baby’s powder is beginning to clump and lose its efficacy…

A Little Bit About Baby Powder Expiration Dates

baby powder expiration date

Baby powders come in numerous brands, shapes, and sizes; however, most modern ones may choose to omit the expiration date completely.

This omission is primarily because of the main ingredients. Still, whether with a missing expiration date or not, baby powders expire.

As a rule of thumb, if you have unopened baby powder, it should be thrown away after three years from the date of purchase. 

If you do have an opened powder that has undoubtedly been exposed to air and moisture, then you should replace it after eighteen months from the day of first use.

Why Do Baby Powders Have Varying Expiration Dates

What happens when you use expired baby powder

The question as to why baby powder products have varying expiration dates is dependent on the two primary ingredients of talc or corn starch. 

They are excellent absorbers of moisture and provide a coated film on surfaces that reduces friction. They also offer a cooling effect because they consume heat along with water.

Talc is a common ingredient in deodorants, cosmetics, and baby powders. It is a non-organic naturally occurring mineral and by itself does not have an expiration date. 

However, it occurs in combination with other products when it comes to baby powders, hence why most talc-based products have a three-year limit.

The name cornstarch rings a bell because it is the common ingredient we use to cook and bake.

It is an excellent thickening agent, and that is because it is excellent at absorbing moisture or water. Cornstarch if stored properly, can last for up to two years.

How To Identify Expired Baby Powder If You Don’t Remember The Date Of Purchase

What happens if you use expired powder

You may notice that with expired baby powder, the once loose and smooth substance becomes clumped; some products even become as hard as a rock.

You may see that the once cooling effect it had on the skin is lost, and the fine film that reduces friction is not formed correctly.

If the baby powder in question were previously scented, it would lose its scent.

In some cases, you may notice that mold has grown on the powder, this is usually seen when the powder loses its color, and you notice the presence of soft multicolored substances. 

If you have never used it and notice that the seal on the bottle is broken, there is a large probability that air has found its way into the bottle and should be thrown away. So it’s best not to use it.

You can always ensure your baby powder’s longevity by ensuring the seal is intact, storing it in a dry, cool place.

Avoid bathroom stores because the area’s high moisture content can break the seal and destroy the powder, and finally, by keeping it out of your little one’s reach so that they do not eat or swallow it. 

Does Talc Baby Powder Expire?

does talc baby powder expire

Yes, talc baby powder does expire. Talc itself does not expire because of the inorganic nature of the compound. It is made up of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen.

However, talc baby powder does not just have the primary ingredient. It has the presence of other components as well, which have a much shorter half-life.

A minor hurdle with talc baby powders arises when some brands do not come with expiry dates. Expiry dates are usually seen on cornstarch-based products because it is an organic compound.

If the baby powder brand contains only talc, it will not expire; however, once other ingredients are present, throw it away under the previously discussed conditions.

Can You Use Expired Baby Powder?

Can You Use Expired Baby Powder

It is not advised to use products that have expired, either organic or inorganic. Baby powder is especially important because it will be used on the skin of young ones that are particularly sensitive. 

As mentioned, any baby powder contains components other than talc or cornstarch.

These additional ingredients have a much shorter shelf life and half-life where they will break down into other substances.

The products of this breakdown may be harmful to a young child and cause numerous problems ranging from skin infections such as rashes and candida.

The skin infections also result because instead of the once potent baby powder to absorb and retain moisture, it now becomes a film that supports the growth of bacteria and fungi.

It is also worth noting that baby powder can be inhaled. Then these expired products can find their way into the respiratory tract of your little one, which can lead to respiratory problems.

It is therefore considered much safer for you to discard and not use these products. Baby powder is not expensive and can easily be replaced.

What To Do With Expired Baby Powder

What To Do With Expired Baby Powder

To make sure there is nothing wasted, and if you like hacks, you can do a few things if the baby powder still looks ok but is expired.

It can be used for soaking up grease from clothing – You rub a bit of baby powder on the grease-stained material, and you allow it to soak up the oil. It would begin to form clumps which you can brush off.

You could use it to unstick playing cards if you had a family game night   All you need to do is place the cards in a sealable bag and pour a bit of baby powder into the bag; This would create a fine film on the cards and prevent them from sticking together.

Another hack involves running baby powder in between floorboards that a squeaking – The powder would help you create a fine seal over the minute cracks and allow the boards to glide seamlessly over one another. 

Some people find it helpful to spray baby powder on plants or add it to the soil – However, just make sure the ingredients of your specific powder are not harmful to plants.

Conclusion

Baby powder is an essential ingredient when it comes to our little ones. And knowing when your baby is expired is just as essential.

It is necessary to know every detail so that we do not accidentally hurt or allow our babies to consume materials that would be detrimental to their health.

baby bottle feeding position

Baby Bottle Feeding: How To Hold, What To Avoid & More

Your little one is an actual human, just a miniature version, and like all living things, nutrition is a big deal. 

By now, you must have done your research concerning what formula to use, which offers the best value for your baby, and the best washing and sterilization practices to keep the bottles clean.

However, that is not all to the story. 

Whether a newborn or a baby who has been previously breastfed, bottle feeding is a crucial player in substituting and complementing breastfeeding.

It is quite a beautiful art and easy to master in no time. Outlined are various tips you can try and answers to some of your questions. Keep in mind that every child is unique, so have fun exhausting the list.

How To Hold A Baby When Bottle Feeding

How To Hold A Baby When Bottle Feeding

The key to understanding this is that none of these positions involves your baby laying down flat. Just as it quite difficult for you to eat or drink anything lying down, so it is for your baby.

Feeding at an inclined plane allows the infant to breathe correctly, and gravity can help them swallow. Experts say it is best to angle your baby at 45 degrees if you prefer the more scientific version.

You also want to feed your baby in the best position that allows you to angle the bottle downward, allowing fluid to fill the nipple and reduce him/her swallowing air.

Make sure to gently introduce the teat and make sure that your baby’s lips encircle the widest part of the teat. 

The Cradle Position

This one is the traditional method and the first image that pops into mind when you think of bottle feeding.

The baby’s head is nestled into the crook of your elbow, and you make a slight incline with the supporting hand.

The other hand holds the bottle (make sure you angle it correctly so that all the liquid fills the nipple.) Parents love it because it makes for a good bonding session.

The Sitting Or Upright Position

This is great for babies who have gained neck and body control or those who have excessive acid or gas reflux.

The baby sits upright with his/her placed on your chest or your arm. It also allows you to make excellent bottle angulation.

The Boppy Or Pillow Method

Unlike the other two methods, your arms can take a break with this one. Here you make your little one sit on a soft, comfortable surface and gently place their back to rest against a pillow or boppy.

If your tiny one is old enough to reach for the bottle and feed themselves, you only keep an eye on them and enjoy the view (make sure never to leave your baby unattended)

The Lap Method

This method for parents who do not feel like sitting upright or for those who just want to spice things up. The parents take whatever position they feel comfortable in, and their legs are up and bent at the needs.

The baby’s back is placed against the thighs so that they are facing you. You can always bring your knees to your body as close as possible.

This beautiful position is great when your baby can play, coo, and smile, making bottle feeding an enjoyable experience.

Remember that you can always talk to your baby while feeding them but try not to make them laugh too hard before the food goes into their airway.

If your baby is not hungry or refuses the bottle, do not try to force-feed them, you can always take a break and come back.

Do You Have To Hold A Baby While Bottle Feeding?

Do You Have To Hold A Baby While Bottle Feeding

Yes and no.

The answer to this is highly dependent on how old your baby is and if he/she has attained certain developmental milestones.

Developmental milestones or changes are a set of new characteristics that you notice in your child every month as they grow. They are common to all babies and show that they are growing well.

You may observe that your child who could not sit upright now crawls about the house or the one who just stared at you now wants to have a conversation. 

A tiny infant or a baby below six months will not be able to feed themselves properly, and you would need to hold them to make sure they do not choke while taking the bottle.

As your child reaches 6-10 months, they may begin to grasp the bottle and reach for everything. If your baby has mastered the art of sitting, then you do not need to hold them.

However, on no occasion is it advised for you to leave a baby unattended. The little ones love to explore, and you might come back to meet a disaster. The same advice goes for a toddler. 

How Long Should A Bottle Feed Take?

How Long Should A Bottle Feed Take

The length of bottle-feeding depends on your baby’s age and, ultimately, the amount of food they are taking. For newborns establishing whatever form of feeding, either breast or bottle, takes a while.

It may take you about 8-10 minutes to feed, and you would need to feed every 3 to 4 hours. The first month can be quite overwhelming as you would need to ensure they get adequate nighttime feeds.

Some parents practice dream feeding that allows them to feed their little ones just before bed so that they can wake up at more reasonable hours. 

As your baby grows, they would require less frequent feeds; however, you may notice a longer feeding time of about 10-15 minutes because they would consume more fluids.

At around six to ten months, your baby may be fed less, at approximately 4-5 times daily. During your regular visits to the doctor, your baby’s doctor may make sure that he/she has attained their required weight. 

If they have not, you may be advised to increase the formula’s volume, hence each session’s length and reduce the intervals.

As your baby becomes grows, you may also notice that they become fast or slow eaters. Therefore they determine the pace and length of the feeding process. 

Paced Responsive Feeding

Do not let the name deter you from this technique. Here, the aim is to help your baby understand when they feel full and work just as hard as they would while being breastfed.

The technique involves placing the teat into the baby’s mouth at a horizontal plane or waiting a few seconds while the baby begins to suck.

Then you incline the bottle correctly, so the formula starts to flow.

It mimics the breastfeeding let-down reflex where once sucking begins, it takes a while for breast milk to reach the nipple and the baby’s mouth.

You can always change sides and positions with this technique. Just take care not to overfeed your baby and not to feed for long hours at a stretch. Let them suckle on the teat and take a little break.

Feeding is hard work for the little ones, and you do not want them to associate feeding as a tedious process. Overfeeding can result in childhood obesity. 

It is essential to remember the satiety cues such as refusing to suckle, turning away and even falling asleep.

Bottle-fed babies tend to swallow a lot of air and causing them to feel unnecessarily full and very uncomfortable. They resort to crying and associate bottle-feeding with as an overwhelming process.

After every 2 to 3 ounces, take the time to burb your baby, especially the infants.

You can place them lying tummy down on your lap or a flat surface and rub their backs, or you may place them on your shoulder and gently bounce them.

How Do You Stop A Baby From Refusing A Bottle?

How Do You Stop A Baby From Refusing A Bottle

Babies who are initially breastfed at birth do not find it difficult adjusting to the mode of feeding because suckling is an instinctive trait.

The knowledge of giving a baby a bottle is essential even if you do not use formula because you might just want to have time to yourself, and you would need to keep a few expressed bottled in the fridge. 

Experts recommend trying bottle-feeding at least once a month to allow your baby to get used to the feeling.

However, around 3 to 4 months, if you have never tried the process, you may notice that your baby would be very reluctant to accept the bottle.

5 Things You Can Do To Ease The Process:

Try & Keep Trying

Like all things, practice makes perfect. Try to offer your baby as many bottle feeds as possible and at least once a week. If it becomes ingrained into the routine, a time will come when they won’t resist it.

Keep The Bottle For When They Are Satiated

If your baby is distressed and starving, they would rather have something they are comfortable with, and introducing a new feeding method would leave you with a wailing child.

Try to offer the bottle when they a comfortable, happy and content. 

Get Your Partner Involved

Let your partner take charge of the process. Your baby may have associated you with breastfeeding, and introducing bottle feeds may seem like an aberration.

If your partner takes the lead, they may associate them with the new process.

Ask For Help

Many hospitals provide a lactation consultant that can teach you the best ways to get a very resilient baby to use the bottle.

They are the experts that easily spot latching problems and give general, sound advice on the process. 

Take A Break

Do not force your baby to take a bottle. The tendency is that you would have been frustrated concerning the entire process. Remember, anything new is complicated for first-timers, do not give up.

Can You Bottle Feed A Baby While Swaddled?

Experts do not recommend that you keep your baby swaddled while bottle-feeding, even if they are young infants. The baby’s body and limb movements are a great way to know if they are satiated.

As they get older, some may reach forth and push the bottle away, among other things.

Besides, your baby needs a break from being cooped into a bundle. Let feeding time be an excellent way for them to stretch and hold you close.

At What Age Should The Baby Hold The Bottle?

Your baby would reach for a bottle by the time they are six to ten months.

As they get older, their holding skills are refined, and they can grasp and firmly hold a feeding bottle. You can allow them to take control of the feeding process. 

However, it is essential to remember that they would need supervision and monitoring so that they do not injure themselves or make a mess that you would have to clean.

what to say to someone who just had a baby

What To Say To Someone Who Just Had A Baby & What Not To Say

As society continues to remove the taboos surrounding childbirth and the difficulty of adjusting to parenthood, the discussion surrounding being a better and more sensitive support system has been quite prevalent.

As much as we have progressed in creating awareness of the delicacy surrounding this time, many people still struggle to know what is tactful and what is offensive. 

We all know a few key greeting cards line for welcoming a little one into the world, and a quick google search will provide you with a dozen ways to congratulate the couple.

But beyond that, you might wonder how to navigate conversations and show support towards new parents, especially if you’ve never been there yourself.

Thankfully, we have put together a guide on everything you should and shouldn’t say to new parents so that you can be helpful instead of hurtful. 

What To Say To Someone Who Just Had A Baby

What do you say to a new mom

If you want to support new parents, there are few key phrases that will help them the most. 

Congratulations.

Pretty much any congratulatory phrase will do.

But they just brought a new life into this world, and that is no easy feat, so make sure you acknowledge and celebrate this milestone.

If “Congratulations” feels too simple, you can go for something like “you did it! He/she/they are perfect!” or “We are so happy for you” will work too. 

Is there anything I can do for you?

More than anything, an offer of help will be well received and much appreciated. Of course, only make genuine offers.

Sometimes new parents will hesitate to reach out for help, so if you really want to make sure they know you are serious, make specific suggestions instead of leaving it open-ended.

Can you bring them dinner? Hold the baby so they can take a shower? Babysit so they can spend an hour alone with their spouse?

Once you have settled on something you can do to lighten their load, you can add a subtle “If there’s anything else you need, please let me know”. 

You’ve got this. You’re doing great.

Words of affirmation are so important for new parents’ well-being.

Especially for first-time parents, it can be quite overwhelming to adjust to a newborn’s needs and try to find their stride when it comes to parenting techniques that work for them.

Letting them know “you’re doing great”, “you’re such a good mom”, or “you have great instincts” will do wonders for helping them to silence their doubt and listen to their gut. 

How is your recovery going?

Adjusting to life with a newborn and sleepless nights aren’t the only challenging things about new motherhood.

Regardless of how she delivered, she will be going through a significant recovery process, mentally and physically.

While everyone thinks to check on how the baby is doing, it may not be as obvious that you need to check on how mom is doing.

Some questions might feel too personal, so try to gauge the nature of your relationship before asking anything pressing.

If you’re just a casual acquaintance, just letting mom know you’re thinking about them, too, will suffice. Closer friends should consider checking in on their emotional and physical well-being. 

Let me know when you’re ready for visitors.

Do not invite yourself over, and do not ask “can I come visit now?” with a sense of urgency.

If you put them on the spot, they might oblige even if it’s not what’s best for them right now, and that is unfair.

They are trying to balance their new baby’s sleep/feed schedule, get some rest themselves, and recover from a physical trauma.

Instead, put the ball in their court by saying “let me know when you’re ready for visitors”. To be extra kind, you can add the assuring caveat, “it’s okay if you’re not yet. Take your time.” 

It’s okay to be overwhelmed. 

Empathize as much as you can. Letting them know that it is overwhelming and okay not to love every second of it is so helpful.

Especially if you are a parent yourself, a simple “I know how you’re feeling” can go a long way. Validate their feelings and open yourself up to be a sounding board.

They may want advice, or they may just want to vent, but this lets them know that you are a judgment-free member of their support team who understands what they are going through. 

What Not To Say To Someone Who Just Had A Baby

What to say to your best friend who is having a baby

Now that you know what you should say to support a friend or family member who has recently given birth, you may be wondering what you shouldn’t say.

There is certainly a big list of faux pas that are just insensitive and unnecessary. 

When will you be having another one?

Just don’t. They are probably really overwhelmed with the baby (and potentially other children) they have at this moment. Her body may still be recovering.

This means they are focused on the day-to-day, not when they will get pregnant next. Even if they do have a “plan” for how many kids and when to have them, this question is just insensitive.

It dismisses the significance of the recent birth and family changes and puts a lot of pressure on people.

They will have more kids if/when they are ready, and they will share those plans with you only if they deem it “your business”. Otherwise, leave it alone. 

Anything to do with losing or not losing the baby weight. 

This is just not polite or appropriate. Their body just created life is healing from trauma and adjusting to a major change.

Don’t put undue pressure on a postpartum mom who may already be struggling with body image issues. She may not want to lose every single pound. In fact, some mamas love embracing their curves and stretch marks.

Others may desperately want to lose weight but can’t get it to come off fast enough. Her health and weight journey is the business of her and her doctor only.

Don’t ask questions, and don’t make unnecessary comments.

Have you tried…

Quit offering up unsolicited advice. Expecting parents are bombarded with so much advice, “research,” and judgments leading up to their baby’s arrival and throughout their child’s life.

Chances are, they have made educated and calculated decisions about how they are raising their child and why.

They also might just be doing what feels right for their family, learning on the job, and following their instincts.

Both methods are totally valid, and your “advice” will come off as a judgment of their parenting choices more than anything. If they need your help or opinions on a specific issue, they will ask.

This means that you should keep your thoughts on breast/bottle feeding, co-sleeping, sleep training, schedules, babywearing, and just about everything else to yourself.

Also, they will put hats and socks on their baby if needed. Chances are, the baby just pulled them off, so leave this one be. 

Do not minimize their delivery experience.

While you might not do it on purpose, the way you talk about their delivery is important.

Regardless of whether they had a C-section, medicated hospital birth, non-medicated hospital birth, or home birth, avoid words like “natural”.

All ways of bringing their baby into the world are natural and should be applauded.

Also, they might be experiencing some upset surrounding deviations from their birth plans or choices they didn’t get to make.

For this reason, don’t say one is easier than another, compare/contrast, or say things like “just be happy you have a healthy baby.” They are, but their feelings about their birth experience are also valid.

Be sensitive and kind, and don’t try to find the silver lining. If they are struggling, acknowledge their struggle instead of dismissing it. 

You look tired…

They probably know, and they probably feel more tired than they look. This is just unnecessary. They are physically recovering, and they are operating on next to no sleep.

Pointing out how tired they look will make them feel worse, especially postpartum mothers dealing with body image. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. 

Do not minimize their current experience. 

If new parents open up to you about how hard the adjustment has been, do not negate their feelings by turning it into positive, or worse, a competition.

Seemingly harmless phrases like “you’ll miss this stage” make new parents feel like their experiences are unusually hard or that they are coping worse than others, which is unfair.

Also, it’s not wise to tell someone who is in survival mode, “if you think that’s bad, wait until…”

They just need to get through today, and you are both minimizing their current experience and making them feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. 

When are you going back to work? 

We understand the curiosity here, but it usually ends up coming off as a judgment.

They might not know yet, they might be anxious about having to go back too soon, or they might be grappling with balancing their career and their new role as a parent.

Don’t rush them and try to be understanding of their choices. Some will choose to be stay-at-home parents, while others get back to it right away and outsource help.

Both are okay and completely up to them. If you are going to ask, don’t try to convince them one way or the other.