11 Things Not to Say to a New Mom

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New moms worry about everything under the sun. They don’t need your unsolicited advice and questions to make them question their ability as a mother. As well intentioned as some of these comments may be, think twice before you speak to a new mom.

New moms are living in a state of complete uncertainty – the world as they know it has been thrown into chaos and despite all the classes they took and books they read, there is no way to really prepare someone for motherhood. So, during this delicate time when a new mom is trying to find balance in her life while surviving on no sleep and with a new baby literally sucking the life out of her, friends and family should be extra supportive and offer to help any way they can. Unfortunately, more often than not, people tend to do the opposite and offer unsolicited advice or ask inappropriate questions. Coming from a Taiwanese family where people are super honest and blunt with their thoughts, I have definitely heard my share of unwelcome comments. So, whether you are a mom of three with tons of experience or not even a mom, please take care to not say these 11 things to a new mom.

“Sleep when the baby sleeps.”

Great, I will, and while I sleep, will you be washing the dishes, doing the laundry, and vacuuming the carpet? Oh, and when I wake up will there magically be dinner for the whole family? No?  Well then, I guess I WON’T be sleeping when the baby sleeps because there are way too many things to accomplish with nobody to do them.

“You Look Tired.”

Really? I thought I looked fabulous with large, dark circles under my eyes and lackluster skin tone. With a newborn who wakes up every 2 hours to breastfeed and wants to be held all the time, what new moms aren’t tired? So, thanks for stating the obvious and wasting 5 seconds of my precious time that could have been used for sleeping so I don’t look so tired.

 “Is Your Baby Sleeping Through the Night?”

I love how people usually ask this question right after saying “you look tired.” What, you think I am partying it up all night long while my baby sleeps soundly through the night? Oh, your baby is sleeping through the night? If I were not so exhausted, I would probably chase you down and punch you in the eye.

“Are You Happy You Have a Boy/a Girl?”

Just…why? Why would you ask this question? You realize we can’t exactly return the baby and exchange for another one with a different gender? Let me tell you, after housing the baby for 38 weeks in my belly and reading about everything that could go wrong, I was happy as a clam just to hold a healthy baby in my arms.

“My Baby Never Cried.”

Well, isn’t that just fantastic for you that you happened to give birth to a happy-go-lucky baby and I gave birth to a hell spawn. My son was a world class crier. Within hours of his birth, the nurses at the hospital unanimously concurred that they had never heard a newborn cry so loud and for so long. They had to repeat many of the newborn tests multiple times because he was crying too hard to get an accurate reading. When my father-in-law visited when my son was about 6 months old, he recommended that I take him to different doctors until we figure out why he was crying so much…not knowing that I had already taken him to about a dozen medical experts with no results. And guess what? Now he is a happy toddler who apparently just needed to grow out of a horrible phase. So, I hope your happy little baby who never cried is a terrible toddler now who cries over every little thing. No just kidding, I would never wish that on anyone.

“You Have to Breastfeed.”

I am a huge proponent of breastfeeding, but I understand that it’s a personal choice and, sometimes, despite some moms’ best efforts, breastfeeding may not always be possible. What is important is that the baby is getting all the nutrients that he/she needs, no matter the source. After attending various breastfeeding support groups, I really have come to appreciate my breastfeeding journey, because some moms went to hell and back to try and breastfeed their babies without success. So, unless you see a mom taking out her boob to nurse her baby (in which case, the answer to this question is kind of a ‘duh’), let’s leave this potentially sensitive topic alone.

 “When are You Planning to Have the Next Baby?

I just endured hours of pain, my vagina looks like it has been through World War 3, and I have a baby attached to me pretty much at all times, so sex is not exactly at the top of my list. And you know how the bees need to bring the pollen from a male flower to the female flower for fertilization to happen? Well, there are definitely no bees buzzing around here at this time. So, let’s just table the “next baby” talk for a while, shall we?

 “After I Gave Birth the Weight Just Melted Off Me!”

Oh goody, look at skinny little you who could fit into your pre-pregnancy pants within weeks of delivery. Now get out of my sight so I don’t feel so bad about wearing my maternity pants over my still pregnant looking belly. Some of us don’t have the super fat-burning genes that some others are gifted with – we actually need to work hard to lose weight. And since running on the treadmill while nursing a newborn is not an option, I guess nothing will be melting off me for a while.

“How Can You Leave Your Baby and Go Back to WOrk?”

I don’t know, how can I? It’s hard enough to leave my baby with anyone, even someone I trust, because that someone is not me. I am the mom and I am supposed to be with my baby, and there is nothing that could lift the overwhelming guilt looming over my head all day at work. So, stop rubbing salt in the already painful wound and leave me alone.

“Are You Sure Your Baby is Getting Enough Milk?”

Breastfeeding is wonderful, but breastfeeding is stressful. For the first few months, all the baby depends on for food is your breastmilk, and unless you are pumping and feeding the baby from a bottle, there is really no telling how much milk your baby is actually getting. However, as long as your baby’s weight is going up, then keep on nursing and ignore negative people putting doubts in your head about breastfeeding. You are doing great, mama!

“Wow it’s Nice You Have 6 weeks off for Maternity Leave!”

Let’s be clear here, maternity leave does not equal vacation. I don’t know what kind of vacation you go on, but mine usually does not involve constantly changing dirty diapers and getting showered in regurgitated breastmilk. Sure, you might not get that much sleep on your vacation, but that’s probably because you are partying too hard, not because you are taking care of a newly born baby. Plus, new moms get to spend the first part of this “vacation” bleeding heavily out of her vagina, which is all stitched up from the perineum tear that occurred during childbirth. So no, it’s not nice to only have 6 weeks for maternity leave – new moms deserve a lot more time to recover and bond with their newborns.

What ridiculous things have people said to you as a new mom? Share in the comments below!

Things Not to Say to a New Mom

40 thoughts on “11 Things Not to Say to a New Mom”

  1. These are some great things to never ask a new mom! Breastfeeding is always a sensitive subject. That’s usually one I try to steer away from when talking to a new mother. My favorite from your list is “Sleep when the baby sleeps”. This lasts all through mommyhood! Who has time to sleep when they have a kid. LOL. I love the memes and the main photo!

  2. I actually did sleep when the baby slept. When they were awake I had plenty of time to get the laundry and dishes done – especially when they were little because they were so low maintenance.

  3. Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen

    These are all so true and so annoying. I got the question about having another baby until my son was 12. Sometimes people just don’t think before they open their mouths.

  4. Yep all of these are strictly not allowed to be said. Enough stress on the new mom and this should go for the first year or how about we just not say these things at all.

  5. My sister-in-law I will be happy to hear that your son outgrew the crying. Right now her daughter will not stop screaming unless she is being held by mommy. These are some pretty good guidelines. I even like the GIFs you have.

  6. These are all too common for a new mom to hear from others. I’m pretty sure I heard them all and all it does is annoy us. Moms need support not irritation.

  7. Our Family World

    So true. You should never say these things to a new mom. Especially a few days after she has given birth when her hormones are on the surge. I mean, if you really need to start a conversation with a new mom, I think the safest would be, “How are you doing?”

  8. I’ve never had kids, but I’m never sure what is good to say or not say – I normally just carry on chatting like before and coo over how cute the baby is (oh and offer help if needed). I shall definitely try not to say any of these.

  9. people always think they’re giving good advice, but often they are just irritating! I wish that people would have done more things to help rather than telling me what I should be doing.

  10. Oh my gosh, such a great post. I smiled all the way through. I remember those days like it was yesterday. Especially the comments about weight loss. Those were the worst. I kept thinking .. if I could do something about it right now (other than healthy eating) .. belive me I would. Honestly, I don’t know how women do it when they’re back in their pre-pregnancy clothes so quickly! God bless them, but it certainly wasn’t me. x

  11. UGH the whole ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ comment really annoyed me when I had a infant. No…what I really want is a shower, a cup of coffee and to not sob every 15 minutes! 🙂

  12. Ha! These are great!! I agree with all of them, and I’m sure we could all add to the list forever. I don’t know what it is about pregnancy and postpartum that makes people think it’s okay to say whatever they want, but it needs to stop.

  13. I have gotten the look or comment concerning how far along I was. People always think someone is either not big enough or too big for how far they are in their pregnancy. It always drove me crazy I was very small with my daughter and she was our first one but as soon as I started to show or put on some weight it became the main attraction and topic as if you are not self conscious enough with your first baby on all of the changes your body is going through.

    1. It’s crazy how people judge pregnant women. Everyone is different with different body types. I think if people don’t have nice things to say they should really just keep it to themselves!

  14. Haha! Betty I love your GIFs. I’m a new mom and to be quite honest, I’m sure the people asking these questions don’t mean to be rude or offensive (some of them don’t understand what it’s like to be a mom :). I have to say sleep is one of the biggest issues that we moms face. Thank you Betty for these and keep the funny GIFs coming haha!

  15. This list is SPOT on!!! “Is your baby sleeping through the night?” was THEEE worst!!! And the one about whether or not the baby was getting enough breastmilk! I wish people would just give mom’s a break!

  16. I have heard all of these hahaha. People don’t realize they are being rude. I have to say that even I asked some of these questions to my friends who had young babies before I gave birth. After I gave birth I realized that those remarks can make new mom’s including myself feel bad even if people mean well.

  17. This is soooo hilarious and so spot on! You had me cracking up with all the images LOL. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me there baby never cried, I would be a millionaire.

  18. Oh my gosh, YES! I’ve thought about doing a post like this, and you have nailed it! There were so many times I wanted to punch someone right in the face!

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