Top Ten Things Not To Say To New Moms

December 13, 2011

So I asked Twitter for some Top Ten suggestions and it answered (or more accurately she answered). Thank you RaisingKane for the suggestion, because pre-parent Kate said some pretty dumb stuff to new moms and should have been warned. Old ladies at the grocery store–be warned as well!  Last week it was “Someone needs a nap.” Really? Is that what he needs? How about mama needs a nap or you’re doing great or I remember those days. All great choices!

Anyways, here’s what not to say.


1) I think someone’s cold.

Similar: Where are baby’s socks? Baby needs a hat. I think baby’s chilly!

What we hear: Your baby is freezing and it’s your fault.

Suggested Response: Too bad I used all his blankets making a blanket fort.

2) I think someone’s hungry.

Similar: When’s the last time he ate? Is his belly hungry?

What we hear: Your baby is starving and it’s your fault.

Suggested Response: She’s on a diet.

3) Is he sleeping through the night?

Similar: My cousin’s baby slept through the night at just two weeks! My sister’s neighbor’s baby sleeps 13 hours without waking up and he was just born yesterday!

What we hear: Your baby isn’t sleeping well and it’s your fault.

Suggested Response: New studies suggest babies who sleep through the night have fewer brain cells. Hopefully just a theory!

4) I lost all my baby weight right away.

Similar: You should try going on walks.

What we hear: You are kind-of fat.

Suggested Response: I’m actually trying to gain weight right now. Doctor’s orders.

5) Do you just love being a Mommy?

What we hear: Is this really better than your desk job?

Suggested Response: More than kittens and leapfrog and rainbows!

6) Someone is spoiled.

Similar: Someone always gets what he wants.

What we hear: Your child is a brat.

Suggested Response: Don’t worry, when he does this at home–we make him sleep outside.

7) Is he a good baby?

Similar: My cousin’s baby hardly ever cries.

What we hear: Will your child cry obnoxiously during our time together?

Suggested Response: Besides the DUI and occasional drug use, yes–he’s a good baby.

8) You look tired.

What we hear: You look like death.

Suggested Response: I’m actually on my way to a costume party.

9) Wow, he’s nursing again?

Similar: This baby looks like he enjoys eating!

What we hear: Your baby is a tub of lard.

Suggested Response: I’m sorry, are you afraid there won’t be any left for you?

10) Are you worried he’s not crawling yet?

Similar: Are you worried he’s not talking? Are you worried she’s not interested in food? Should you be concerned he hasn’t started his thesis on the importance of pooping?

What we hear: You should be worried he’s not crawling/eating/walking/writing a thesis on poop.

Suggested Response: Crawling is for suckers.



Tell me your story. I know you have one.o


Continued in Things Not To Say To Moms Part Two

60 thoughts on “Top Ten Things Not To Say To New Moms

  1. Karen

    I’m not sure if this falls under new mom, but one lady (in reference to M & L) asked me when I got them. And just Sunday, a mom asked me if M&L were mine. Happens all of the time. I want to say, WAKE UP PEOPLE. YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO MARRY WITHIN YOUR OWN RACE. I try to not let it bother me, but I hear something like that two or three times a year.

      1. Karen

        “No, they are mine.”

        And then I just explain our family. I figure I’m educating them, so it’s best not to hit them over the head with my purse (even though that’s what I really feel like doing). It’s hard. I mean, I’m pretty sure that when white folks adopt white kids, they are always assumed to be biological.

        It’s just weird.

        1. Amy

          (I don’t know you, Karen…but…) this reminds me of one of my best friends. Someone also asked about her daughter “how long have you had her?” Her reply was “about 9 months before she was born.” She then walked away while the lady stood there trying to figure that one out! One of my favorite moments with her ever!!

  2. Elizabeth {e tells tales}

    So many laughs with this one. There’s a lady in town…if she’s not asking me where Everett’s socks are, she’s asking me where his bib/hat/shoes are. Look lady, he doesn’t take walks, he doesn’t need shoes.

    The one that bothered me the most was “Is he a good baby?” The honest answer was always no, since he had colic, but he couldn’t help that. Why do people ask that question anyway? Grr.

  3. AJ

    Ok Ladies.. we have all had these questions asked to us and yes we have all read into what they actually “dont” mean.. “most” individuals asking “if your baby is good or sleeps through the night” are just wondering exactly that. Don’t most new moms ask the questions to other new moms? I guess it is all in how the comments and questions are presented??

      1. Jennifer Jo

        No, actually, when they’re two months of age, I stick their bare feet in the snow for a couple seconds each day, slowly increasing the length of time to built up their endurance.

        The summer-born kids are total wimps.

  4. Melody

    Hahaha this is a wonderful post! I have gotten all of these comments, and they drive me crazy! Thank you for sharing the suggested responses- so similar to what runs through my mind but doesn’t come out because I’m trying too hard to be polite!

  5. Dara

    I get the one about shoes all the time. I’ve told people, “Have you seen the price of baby shoes? They’re more expensive than mine and he doesn’t even walk!” That generally stops the comments :P

    Also, my MIL is always and forever asking if Tommy’s hungry whenever he cries. When she watches him, she’s often quick to shove that bottle in his mouth, then tells me, “He was crying and I thought he was hungry but he only ate 2 oz.” Well, of course he only ate that much–I just fed him the hour before and I told you he wouldn’t need to eat. Sometimes he cries because–feature this–he’s tired. Or just plain cranky.

    Argh. Sorry. Had to vent a bit there :P

    1. Kate {motleymama} Post author

      Vent, vent! It’s healthy.

      Luckily my MIL is a saint–it’s the strangers that get to me. Like you just met me three minutes ago and now you’re telling me my child is hungry? I don’t get it.

  6. Suz

    when i wear her in the ergo carrier people “jokingly” ask me if she can breathe. it happens in the grocery store and it happened twice in the airport. an older lady in the grocery store said “they didn’t have things like that when I had my kids, be careful you don’t smother her! it looks like you could smother her. ” other people just say things like, “wow, that thing is cool. can she breathe in there?”

  7. Erin

    The one that bugs me the most is “he’s eating again?!” Yes he’s eating again…how they heck do you think he will grow? Can’t plant him in the dirt and expect him to sprout!! sheesh how would people like if we said that to them every time we see them put food in their mouths?
    Love your blog Kate, makes me laugh and reminds me I’m not the only new mom out there that is going through this!

  8. Erin

    Here’s the toddler version:

    You’ve got your hands full! (Actually, there’s only two of them, and they’re both sitting calmly in the cart. Relax.)

    They’re busy, aren’t they? (I feed them things other than sugar, if that’s what you’re asking.)

    Think you’ll try for your girl? (My life is not a heartache because I have two boys. If I have another, I’ll take either gender, thank you.)

    I bet they sleep well at night! (You would think so, but no.)

  9. Ashleigh

    These are great! My vote is for Bridget’s response. It’s crazy how we automatically think that people are judging us. When I tell people that my kids nap at the same time in the afternoon I hate it when they ask, “Is that your favorite time of day?” (with a knowing smile) Yes, being a mother is so awful that I love being away from my kids. Is that what they want to hear? I like having a little bit of time to myself but getting baby kisses and hugs and giggles is my favorite time of day.

  10. Maria R

    When I went to buy a pregnancy test, the cashier said loudly…”oh no! Is this an oops?” and waved it in the air. I made note of her name and called the store manager that afternoon . Some people just have no filter. Love your blog!

  11. Tamara

    Yeah, in my case, baby Zain is always compared to his perfect cousins. I have to always smile and listen pretending that I’m taking the advice and admiring how perfect his cousin is.

  12. dr perfection

    Charlie is eight years old now but from the beginning he slept through the night. He never cried, he fed and bathed himself. I never gained any baby weight so i didnt have to lose any .He can be left alone for at least two days in a row. Maybe you should get a cat.

  13. Elizabeth

    The new momma comments, I can take. It was the pregnancy comments that made we want to shove forks into peoples’ eyes. When I told a lady at work that I was expecting, she responded with, “So that’s why you got so chubby.” (I was still wearing my normal clothes and hadn’t started to show yet.) Another lady at work asked me EVERY WEEK, “Are you SURE you’re not having twins?” Another flat-out addressed me as “Fatty”. I work with a bunch of old ladies and each day SOMEONE would say SOMETHING. Not cool. Now, I am more than happy to have women chasing me out of buildings insisting that I put a hat on my child’s head than to hear daily “you’re huge”-esque comments.

  14. Bec

    thesis on pooping- hilarious! these are so great. i also got a lot of “is he nursing again?” YES! would you rather hear him cry?

  15. Julie L.

    The only time I ever wanted to physically hurt an old person was when a little old lady accosted me at Henning’s about my sock-less infant. I believe it was a balmy 60 degrees that day and I was running on a solid three hours of sleep.

    Love your blog! It reminds me of what I have survived. Twice. And I’d do it all over again, for reals.

  16. Tom Godfrey

    I would suggest another one: who do you think he looks like? You can probably fill in the rest.
    Started my blog used much of your advice. Want to trade guest postings? Regards Tom

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  19. Megan

    I love when I’m out running errands at 8am and people say wow your up early to my kid (2yrs old) and I roll my eyes because we’ve been up for at least two maybe three hours already. I wouldn’t be out doing stuff if I had to wake him up. He’s the alarm clock around here.

  20. Beth

    This is awesome. It was awesome last year too, but now it’s firsthand awesome. Also the one you wrote the other day about it being hard was awesome. Thank you.

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  22. Heather

    I love this! I have twin girls, and i always got these comments. Now I have 4 girls. My hated comment is this: Wow, four girls, I’m sorry, you’re going to have your hands full when they’re teenagers, they’re so close together! Think you’ll have a boy?

    First off, twins are a blessing. Second, I LOVE my girls, and you DON’T have to feel sorry for me. I can handle it just fine. And no, for now, 4 kids is plenty! If I never have a boy, I don’t think I will die.

  23. Rochelle

    We adopted our youngest from China. In China, if your baby isn’t wearing 15 layers of clothes in 60 degree (F) weather, strangers will accost you, gesturing that your child is freezing. If only I’d known something snarky to say in Chinese…


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