Top 5 Things Not To Say to/Ask New Parents
The worst offenders and what you could ask instead.
- “Is he/she sleeping through the night?” If the baby is younger than 5 months, you know the answer to this question. Instead, ask how the parents are feeling. This is a simple question with a lot of weight because not enough people ask how the parents are doing. It’s all about the baby (rightfully, but still). The first time the pediatrician asked me if I was OK, I cried. It matters. Please ask.
- “Are you breastfeeding?” Why is everyone so obsessed with this? And why is it your business? If my baby doesn’t look malnourished, then I must be feeding him somehow, right? A relative (husband’s side) said that it was the “big fad” now. No. It’s not a fad. It’s been a way to feed your baby since the beginning of time. I honestly don’t have an answer for questions you should ask instead. Maybe just how’s he/she eating.
- “Do you want more kids?” If the new baby is younger than a year, don’t ask. How could any sleep-deprived, clueless, first-time parent know the answer to this? Especially a mother who just went through the trauma of it all? Maybe just don’t ask.
- “You should have more kids.” No, YOU should have more kids. My body is not your body. If I’m ready, I will. I understand that maybe you think all kids should have siblings, and as someone with a sister, I would tend to agree. But you shouldn’t *tell* me to do anything. Even if you’re just making conversation.
- “What time?” Now this is a perfectly legitimate question on any given day about any given event. However, when you have an unpredictable baby (like in the first two months), it’s so hard to give you a specific time. So just roll with us here and give us an hour. We’ll try to be there within that hour. A specific time is too much to ask of a new parent who has no idea what their baby’s schedule is yet.