I've got plans to go shopping for baby stuff with my friend and her toddler this afternoon. She is super sweet and always likes to be helpful. However I don't know how to deal with all her unsolicited advice! This is probably a dumb question but I am really worried about offending her because she is my best friend and is so supportive, but in this she is driving me nuts!
So first we have very different parenting styles which causes a lot of clashes too. I know I'm not parenting yet, but there are choices DH and I have already made that we will strive for once baby is here (baby's crib in our room, no cry-it-out, breastfeeding and avoiding formula etc). I know things can change but this is our plan. A lot of her advice is towards telling me to use formula and supplement, because chances are I won't make enough milk and baby sleeps better on formula. She also has told us several times that baby needs to be alone in it's own room otherwise it will become dependent on us, etc. I have no problem with other people doing those things, it's just not right for us. I know she means well but I don't know how to handle it when she is disapproving of our choices and tries to explain why it's the wrong choice.
So I probably shouldn't have agreed to go baby shopping today. She texts me this morning to say that she needs to give me some advice on a lot of my registry once we get to babies R us. What?!?! I hadn't even told anyone we had a registry yet!! And it's not finalized either. I have no idea how she found it or why she even looked for it. I am nervous that she's going to try and go item by item and tell me why my choices aren't good. What do I say? thanks for any advice, I need it!!
If it were me, I would just listen and politely tell her you appreciate her advice but you have asked a lot of people and read up a lot and plan to do things like a, b or c. You may change your mind as you go, but that is your plan and you will keep her suggestions in mind should you decide to go that route.
Just try to let it not bother you and smile and nod. You could tell her some facts like having baby in your room will help you be successful at breastfeeding and rooming-in with baby makes that easier for baby and for you. Formula is no guarantee that baby will sleep "better". Formula feeding mamas are sleep deprived too.
I really questioned where that one came from too. She is the most sleep deprived person ever, her little guy just does not sleep! He has never in his life slept more than a three hour stretch and he's about 20 months. I have no idea how she makes it through the day!
Thanks to you both for the suggestions I am practicing my smile and nod, haha!!
Don't you love it?! Great news (insert sarcasm!) - it never ends.
On the registry - I'd listen to what she has to say and then just take it with a grain of salt. I wish I had had more advice from BTDTs when I registered. I got so much stuff I really never needed. However, some stuff people told me to NOT get I loved - like a wipe warmer. So just hear her out on some stuff and then decide what you want to believe. Everyone parents so differently that HER way isn't good for everyone.
As far as the formula and co-sleeping etc etc - that's hard. If you aren't comfortable with just saying "well, dh and I agreed to do it this way, we have read up on attachment parenting (or whatever) and really think it will work best with our lifestyle" then just try to avoid the topic.
My mom gave me loads of BFing advice about how its hard and she never did it and I may not be successful. Um - by the time my child was a month old my whole family was referring to me as Elsie (the dairy cow). So you can't take anyone's advice until you see for yourself.
Ugh, it is SO irritating when BTDT parents think that they have all the answers, lol. The truth is, parenting is such a personal and subjective thing that the same thing does not work for everyone or every child. It's so much of a trial and error process and you won't know what works or doesn't work until you try it. Since she is your best friend and it doesn't sound like you like conflict/confrontation (I certainly don't! lol), I would just do the smile and nod thing too, while taking everything she says with a grain of salt. If she tries to confront you about your choices and it gets uncomfortable, maybe just say like Jules suggested, "well the same thing doesn't work for everyone, ya know. We are going to try such-and-such technique because it feels right for us, etc."
DS Austin ~ May '07
DS Jake ~ January '10, a moment in our arms, a lifetime in our hearts...
DD Allyson ~ December 1, 2011
My pg.org journal
First, Congrats!!! You have now been initiated as a first time mom!!! Unsolicited advice only gets (better) when baby gets here!! Anyone who has ever had a baby, known a baby or been a baby will see you as fresh meat and foam at the mouth to give you advice
I had the same problem with my BFF. However, as time went by, it faded away. Whenever she gave me advise I just told her that I think she has fabulous kiddos & she's a great mom. Then I joked that I was doing it all the wrong way and my kid will end up on a counselor's couch some day. Now that our kids are older, we laugh about it. So I say, if she's a good friend, it will pass as the kids age, not worth ruining a friendship over.
DH Mike 2/10/01
DS Caleb 11/19/05
DS Jonah 11/25/11
Yeah, I would just do the smile and nod politely. Then respond with something like "thanks so much for letting me know that. I'll definitely keep that in mind". And then change the subject! LOL. Totally annoying but I agree it's probably not worth debating or arguing over lest you risk losing the friendship