Babies Don’t Fall Off of the Floor
What is the best advice for a dad?
When it comes to child rearing, I have heard my mother offer this piece of advice to my brothers, sisters-in-law, friends, family members and anyone else who would listen for many years:
“Babies don’t fall off of the floor!”
After I posted it on Facebook and asked others to share their pearls of wisdom, one of my cousins said that her father (my mother’s brother) used to say the same thing. So, it appears that this simple phrase is a lesson, which has been passed down from one generation to the next.
I found that many of my friends and family had their own advice to share. Here are some of the best; summarized, paraphrased, edited and separated into categories:
You are Your Child’s Most Influential Teacher
- “Be honest, be genuine and lead by example.” ~ Kerry C.
- “Your child will mimic you in all ways.” ~ Jenise B.
- “I feel experience is a very good teacher. Let them make mistakes.” ~ Jerry B.
- “Babies don’t hate; they are taught to hate!” ~ Jack B.
- “Tell your baby everyday all the wonderful things about them. It is never too early to start positive reinforcement” ~ Denise M.
- “Talk and read to your baby and spend as much time with them as you can!” ~ Pamela C.
- “Be an example of how to be a responsible adult. Teach them how to create a life for themselves, while taking care of their (future) spouse and family.” ~ Louise J.
- “Teach your child to appreciate mother nature more and electronics less” ~ Jack B
- “Don’t be afraid to say, ‘No!’ They will hear it throughout their life, but you can be the one who teaches them when to take ‘NO’ for an answer and when they should challenge the ‘NO’ and move forward!” ~ Kerry C.
- “Travel and museums are the best education.” ~ Kim R.
Be a Parent
- “Be a father, be a mentor, be a role model at all times!” ~ Lynn G.
- “Keep an open mind. Keep your sense of humor. Don’t sweat the small stuff …. because it’s all small stuff!” ~ Sherri F.
- “Give them your love and your time … not things!” ~ Kami H.
- “Babies and children need clearly defined boundaries. Be confident in your ability to know what your child needs as opposed to what they want.” ~ Kerry C.
- “My three rules for raising children:
- Love them
- Respect them
- Take them to church.” ~ Jane V.
- “Don’t be a friend to your child, be a parent!” ~ Christy S.
- “Really listen to what they’re saying to you and be ready to say, ‘No’ if that is what they need and/or want.” ~ Kathie G.
- “Never threaten a punishment, on which you’re not willing to follow through. The moment they see you don’t mean what you say or won’t follow through on a promise or threat, you’re done for! It is hard, but the payoff is respect.” ~ Margie W.
- “When your child is ready to eat table food, don’t make them their own meal, they should get used to eating what you are eating.” ~ Deanna M.
- “Don’t slack on discipline! Kids crave boundaries, rules and accountability! Read ‘Dare to Discipline’ by James Dobson” ~ Kathleen R.
Am I Doing It Right?
- “Trust your instincts and fight for your child!” ~ Amy U.
- “Don’t get frustrated. Babies don’t come with instructions (which you probably wouldn’t read anyway). It’s all a learning process.” ~ Ruth E.
- “You’re never completely prepared, but it still works out in the end. Babies are very resilient!” ~ Susie G.
- “Germs are okay! Dirty kids will be okay! We drank from a hose, made mud pies, caught frogs and ate food that had hit the ground and none of us dropped dead from dirty food, hands or faces!” ~ Kerry S.
- “Never talk baby talk!” ~ Rick G.
- “At times you will be tired and cranky and so will your child, so, take a breath and be patient” ~ Sherri F.
- “You will never be prepared, no matter how much advice you are given. Sometimes things will get crazy. You will just have to go with the flow and stay strong.” ~ Crystal K.
- “If they are breathing, you’re doing fine.” ~ Sonya K.
- “Your life will forever change. It’s the best and worst feeling in the world. There will be times when you are the proudest parent on the planet and other times you will feel like you’re the worst … Most importantly, enjoy the ride.” ~ Christy S.
- “The world will not come to an end and your child will not be damaged for life if they didn’t make their bed, pick up their clothes, clean their room or brush their teeth for one day … If, at the end of the day, you can look at their sleeping face and say, ‘They are a good person!’ you have done your job!” ~ Kerry S
There’s No Crying in Baseball … Unfortunately, this isn’t Baseball
- “Please don’t freak out when I cry! Crying is just the way I communicate right now. I’ll talk someday, but for now, you will get to know each of my cries:
- Uncomfortable cry – aka, wet or poopy diaper
- Attention getting cry – aka, hey Dad, I am bored!
- Painful cry (least favorite) – it will break your heart until you figure out how to help me.” ~ Laura I.
- “Record the cries of your newborn. This sound will change in just a couple of weeks and that change will be so subtle that you’ll hardly notice it … and then it is gone, forever.” ~ Chris K.
- “If your baby is crying due to gas, you may want to try this old German remedy. Put a little beer in a dropper and give it to the baby. This should help them burp.” ~ Anna S.
Sleep Baby Sleep
This category is the one which brought forth the most varied advice.
- “Let them sleep with you!” ~ Yvonne P.
- “Don’t let them sleep with you!” ~ Linsey F.
- “Co-sleeping is the best! Read the book ‘The Family Bed’!” ~ Kim K.
- “Nurture them. Build a bedtime routine, which involves you. Tuck them in. Read to them and pray with them.” ~ Louise J.
- “Make lots of noise as soon as they come home, so you will not have to tip-toe around the house when they are in bed. We also used a white noise machine that made a ‘Mom’s heartbeat’ sound, which helped our little girl sleep for eight hours a night from day one.” ~ Patrick R.
- “Babies, sometimes, forget to breathe. My oldest used to gasp for air. Our pediatrician told me to put him in bed with us and he would learn to breathe by listening to us.” Belinda W.
- “You can’t love your baby enough! Hold them, rock them, talk to them and let them into bed with you when they have a bad dream!” ~ Sherri F.
Time Well Spent
- “Hold them as much as you can! Being able to do so goes by way too fast!” ~ Debbie D.
- “Don’t be in a hurry for them to walk, talk, feed or dress themselves. Don’t mind lugging around the diaper bag, playpen or car seat. It all passes quicker than you’ll ever know. Just enjoy each phase of their life.” ~ Todd S.
- “Enjoy it to the fullest … they grow up so fast!” Jose C.
- “The days are long, but the years are short!” ~ Lisa B.
- “Turn off the TV and invest your time in raising a responsible human being. Read to them and let them fall in love with books and learning. I promise that you will get more out of it than they do.” ~ Sherry F.
- The family that prays and plays together, stays together!” ~ Kami H.
- “Savor every moment. Take it in and place it in your memory. It goes really quick!” ~ Kim K.
- “Record videos, you’ll be surprised how quickly they change before your eyes.” ~ Linsey F.
- “Don’t Blink!” ~ Kelly K.
- “Cherish every moment!” ~ Mark M.
- “Take lots of pictures, no matter what! They grow up so fast!” ~ Kathie G.
- “Make picture books and/or pick up a first year collage at Baby’s R Us.” ~ Jana A.
Be a Good Partner
- “Be a good partner. The only thing dads can’t do is nurse!” ~ Stacey M.
- “Help each other out. Take turns with everything, especially sleep. Don’t forget about each other … make time for ‘I LOVE YOU’ and if possible date nights!” ~ Anna S.
- “Communication is more important than ever. Talk to your partner and be on the same page at all times!” ~ Lynn G.
- “Always remember to make your partner feel special, too! Keep the romance alive!” ~ Bill R.
Don’t Forget to Laugh
- “Don’t ever say, ‘My kid would never do that!’ Trust me, they will.” ~ Anne C.
- “Oh, and don’t be surprised when you realize that you completely understand why some animals eat their young!” Lisa B.
- “Don’t use a Diaper Genie!!! When you go to empty it, it comes out like a poopy-diaper sausage link … and baby, it smells really bad!!!” ~ Kim R.
- “Nannies are cheaper than psychiatrists … your kids will drive you nuts!!!” ~ Robert C.
- “We were always offered something, which made us the men we are today … it’s called, something to cry about!” ~ Brett B.
- “Give them all the time that you can afford to give, because when you give them an expensive toy, you will watch them as they play with the box! Pure joy!” ~ Paul M.
What is the best advice for dad?
Although this list is pretty comprehensive, it is by no means the end all be all of being a daddy. I will leave you with this last piece of advice …
- “Take each piece of advice thankfully and cordially, but only use what works best for you.” ~ Jonica C.
As Jonica suggested; take the advice which is right for you, your spouse and most of all your baby and simply leave the rest here to revisit when the time is right.
Best of luck with your new adventure!!!
By Bill Robertson