The truth about parenting manuals

 Naughty Step 2


Behold the Parenting Experts with their hot-off-the-press parenting manuals. Don’t you just love all their conflicting advice?



  • Never let your baby sleep in your bed, although sleeping in your bed is the most comforting way to fall asleep.
  • Breast is best, but only if you don’t want to know how much they’re eating. And don’t forget to top up with formula so your boobs dry up.
  • Baby slings are great for bonding, except your baby will be a limpet for life and never learn to walk.
  • Baby lead weaning helps fussy eaters, except it’ll make them choke, so pulverise the hell out of stuff.
Check out this particularly passive aggressive guide to Controlled Crying:



Don’t tell me: a crying baby will be spoilt by the mother who picks her up. The mother is being manipulated. What wisdom does this expert have that trumps evolution and biology? What makes her know better than the baby’s own flesh and blood?


What really scares me is the thought of how vulnerable parents who are struggling to work out what’s best for them will feel when faced with this ‘expert’ advice.


‘You will have to be strong-minded not to scoop him into your arms and comfort him.’


The implication is that a mother who goes to her crying baby is weak-minded. That her instincts are wrong and must be ignored. Hardly empowering stuff.


Imagine how this must feel for mothers who suffering from Post Natal Depression. Standing outside their baby’s bedroom door feeling torn while the baby cries herself sick is fuel for anxiety and guilt. And then there’s the mum who is struggling to bond with her baby: the one who isn’t feeling the love and wants nothing less than to scoop up him up and have him scream in her face. Statements like this could fuel her paranoia that what she’s feeling isn’t normal.


We all know that in reality there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to care. Riddle me this; a woman caring for two generations might be advised to let her newborn cry till she makes herself sick, yet at the same time be reported to the authorities for not responding to the cries of an elderly person she’s responsible for. She might go to bed at night snuggling up with a loved one, yet be told not to allow her children to do the same.



Of course they want to confuse us and stop listening to our instincts! Cos they want us to listen to them instead. How else would they sell books or get TV shows commissioned?


You know what? ENOUGH! Bin the books! Hell, burn them in a symbolic display of mum-power.


Only parents know what’s right for their families – and its no one’s business but their own.


Parenting Experts. Who are ya? The clue is in the name…


And then the fun began...
Mami 2 Five

11 thoughts

    1. Glad you didn’t let their sh*t get to you! I hate it when I hear of mums who are all stressed out because their babies aren’t doing what the books say! Thanks for reading and commenting x

  1. Oh I’m a total parenting book addict and yes, many of them have destroyed me. But? In my hour of need, I’ve not really known where else to turn. They absolutely all contradict one another but if you’ve read enough (like me) you will eventually stumble across one which kind of captures a little bit of where you are and makes sense. I have a few gems but on the whole, burn them! x
    Suzanne recently posted…Now You’re a School Mum….My Profile

    1. I’m like you – I keep buying them but always end up wanting to burn them. Such know it alls! Still, would love to hear your recommendations! Thanks for reading and commenting xx

  2. I’ve got a copy of ‘What to Expect in the First Year’ which I very rapidly came to realise was not going to be much use to me because one size most certainly does not fit all. And while we’re at it Annabel Karmel can do one too. *Smug*… Thanks for linking Jude 🙂 Xx #thetruthabout
    Sam recently posted…The Truth about… #44My Profile

    1. She’s a nightmare! My husband met her once and said she looks NOTHING like her photos. Thanks for reading and commenting! x

  3. I have to agree with Suzanne, in that whilst I’m a bit of a self-help addict, a lot of parenting books contradict one another. Being told that it’s okay to let your kid scream so hard they might be sick, feels plain barbaric to me now, six odd years into being a mum, and after having three kids. BUT I own that book, and I loved it first time around and bought it for several of my friends! I have never let any of mine cry it out though, just didn’t have it in me. The experts would say my lack of Zzzzz’s is all my fault no doubt 😉 Thanks for sharing this awesome post with #DiffLinky xx
    Mummy Tries recently posted…A Linky with a Difference Week 2 #DiffLinkyMy Profile

    1. I realise I only lifted one line from the book, and I’m sure there’s a lot of content that is useful and empowering for mothers. I just wish experts could think a bit more deeply about the implications of their advice and how they write things. With great power comes great responsibility and all that. Thanks for reading and commenting! x

  4. Oh how I wish I’d read this before all those damn books!! I’m pretty sure they helped exaggerate my symptoms of anxiety… I needed help – I looked to the ‘experts’ and was left in a complete daze of conflicing advice. I hope awareness of this gets raised so more new mums dont get caught in the ‘baby experts’ trap! Thanks for writing such a good post 🙂
    PND Recovery recently posted…I’m Officially Unemployed…My Profile

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