Rookie Misrtakes LargeRookie Mistakes is a series where guest bloggers divulge their parenting fails, and make us laugh or inspire us in the process.  Becoming a parent is a pretty steep learning curve.  From day one when you try and fathom how to put little tiny arms into little tiny sleeves and get them through the other side with all five fingers.  How to make a cup of tea whilst holding a baby (you will fast become an expert at this one – although drinking it whilst still hot is an illusive skill).  With so many new things to fathom out it’s hardly surprising that we make a few mistakes along the way.


Julie from Mummy Spits The Dummy is sharing her list of rookie parenting mistakes all the way from Australia.  And aside from calling Weetabix something strange it appears that rookie parenting mistakes are pretty universal!








Julie is a caffeine-abusing, snort-laughing, housework-shirking mother-of-two who lives in sunny Queensland. She quit Facebook to remember the real world, and now blogs about her lacklustre parenting ability (among other things). 










Pro Tips for Rookie Parents (Or, How Not To Mess It Up The Way I Did)


The best part about being a modern parent with Internet access is how you learn from the mistakes of others, so you can do a better job of raising your children than they have.
Just kidding!


You only learn from your own mistakes, because you’ll simply credit other parents’ stupidity when they demonstrate ahead of time how badly things can go wrong. You’ll believe it only when it happens to you.


Possibly not even until the second (or third) time it happens to you.


But, in hope of any new parents reading who actually have the foresight to prepare by observing the fumblings of others, here are a small sample of the rookie mistakes I made, and the pro tips* I now feel qualified to offer.


*New readers: For the record, I use the term ‘pro’ extremely loosely when referring to my parenting ability. Long-term readers will be well aware of my decidedly amateur childrearing skills already.


Rookie mistake #1: Buy newborn clothes with anything other than snap-through fastenings.


Newborns are adorable, and you want everyone to see how adorable they are, so you buy adorable little outfits with braces and buttons and bows. ADORABLE!
You know what’s not adorable? Newborn poo. Newborn poo arrives suddenly and theatrically in startling quantities, is the colour and consistency of mustard, and can smell alarmingly bad despite their very bland diet. Containment of newborn poo in a nappy is never a sure thing, given their scrawny little legs don’t always fill up the leg holes adequately, and the liquidity of the substance in question. If there’s even a tiny gap, you’ll have a blowout: A Number Three. A Poonami. And THEN: during the cleanup, you’ll have to attempt to get your adorable baby’s adorable poo-spattered outfit up and over her adorable head – without getting poo in her hair.


Pro tip: Snap-through, baby. Snap-through all the way, ankle to neck. Not just snap-crotch. Snap. Right. Through. You want to have ‘quick-release’ in mind as a feature when assessing suitability of baby clothes. Also (this is perhaps the only point that Gina Ford and I will ever agree on): plain white is good for baby clothes. Cute on a boy or a girl. Will camouflage milk spills, spit up and parental tears of exhaustion. Can be bleached and washed in hot water, which is really the only way to deal with ‘mustard’ stains. Snap-through white onesies for the win!


A quick reference guide for beginners.
A quick reference guide for beginners.



Rookie mistake #2: Throw the baby in the air after a feed.


This one is courtesy of my husband, because even I had the sense to realise from the very beginning that this was a BAD idea. He was unconvinced, and couldn’t resist bouncing our giggling firstborn high in the air at every opportunity, even if I had warned him that the baby had only just burped after his feed. Eventually, of course, it all ended in tears (and vomit). Picture an adoring Daddy, laughing and holding eye contact with his son as he tosses him repeatedly in the air. Picture the son – who is already nicknamed ‘The Chucker’ – giggling uncontrollably before unloading a bellyful of semi-digested breastmilk directly into his Daddy’s open mouth. It’s simultaneously one of the most hilarious, disgusting, and vindicating things I’ve ever witnessed.


Pro tip: Don’t throw the baby in the air after a feed. It’s not that difficult to explain. Just wait a while after they eat before you roughhouse with them. And even then, maybe keep your mouth closed just in case.



Rookie mistake #3: Weet-Bix as baby food. It seems like a good idea. Weet-Bix and milk are actually often recommended as a bland, low-salt, low-allergen food to introduce early on. You can make it as mushy or as lumpy as you like. Babies and kids love it. What could be the problem with Weet-Bix, you ask?

weetbix cement mix
Full disclosure should be mandatory on all food packaging.

Babies spray their food around like all get-out, okay? It’s a delightful aspect of the weaning process. And Weet-Bix (or The Devil’s Cereal as it’s known here), contains a mystery ingredient that causes it to set like stone and adhere firmly to whatever it’s been spilled on, unless of course you clean it up in under five minutes (HA! HA! HA! I know, I’m hilarious!).


Pro tip #3: If you’re going to feed them Weet-Bix, wait until they can reliably handle a spoon and aren’t going to get it everywhere. Like, maybe when they’re 12 or so. If you insist on giving them Weet-Bix at a spillable age, use industrial drop-sheets and possibly hazmat clothing, or you’ll have rock-hard weety lumps stuck all over your dining room. A paint scraper is handy for removal of those.


Pro tip #3a: Bananas, a favourite accompaniment to The Devil’s Cereal and another highly recommended first food, stain like a motherf*cker. The innocuous pale yellow flesh somehow transforms into hideous, stringy black marks upon coming into contact with clothing. You have been warned.

The Devil's Fruit. They also do not make good drumsticks, as is evident from their colouration here..
The Devil’s Fruit.



Rookie mistake #4: When your kid does something good, gloat, brag and be generally smug about it. Share your foolproof techniques with others, liberally. You’ve clearly got parenthood sorted, my friend.

Turns out she was just lulling me into a false sense of security.
Turns out she was just lulling me into a false sense of security.

I took this photo of my grinning daughter wearing her ‘Insomniac’ shirt after a 3-hour nap and (naturally) posted it on Facebook with the caption ‘The shirt lies!’ – to the amusement of some and the disgust of many. At the time it was true! She woke only once overnight and reliably had two big sleeps every day. I was positively drunk on sleep, and thought I had it all wrapped up because this was my second child and I clearly hadn’t made any of the silly mistakes that had messed up my first sleepless wonder…


A week later she entered her 4-month sleep regression (a period I hadn’t known existed before, because my son’s first year consisted of just one, endless, bleary-eyed sleep regression). She became wakeful at night, she was alert for hours at a time through the day, she took ages to settle and preferred to only nap in the sling or the car. Were my friends sympathetic? Actually, they were, because they’re wonderful, but it would have been perfectly reasonable for them to call me an ass and cast me aside.


Pro tip #4: Lesson learned. If it’s going well, keep it to yourself. Gloat to your significant other, if you must. Feign fatigue and malaise during any interactions with other parents. Lie, if necessary. Because if you don’t, either you’ll make someone else feel bad, or you’ll jinx yourself. Or both. So shh!


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How long is your list of rookie mistakes?


You can read previous guest posts from the Rookie Mistakes series here.

If you are a blogger and wish to take part in the series you can find out more here.

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9 Comments on Rookie Mistakes – A Guest Post by Mummy Spits The Dummy

  1. Mummy Spits The Dummy
    October 30, 2015 at 3:08 am (12 months ago)

    Thanks for having me, Claire! Glad to hear your readers can relate and it wasn’t just me with my inept parenting in the early days. Also glad to hear that Weetabix (whatever THOSE are) do in fact contain the same secret hardening agent as Australian Weetbix! 😉
    Mummy Spits The Dummy recently posted…Toilet (training) humour.My Profile

  2. Jenny @ Unremarkable Files
    October 29, 2015 at 8:42 pm (12 months ago)

    Yes to the snaps! After my third baby I got so lazy that I just started buttoning one snap on the bottom of their onesie because you open and close that thing 400 times a day. I think I saved 15 minutes a day by doing that when she was little!
    Jenny @ Unremarkable Files recently posted…This Is What Happens to the House When Mom Is TiredMy Profile

  3. Sam
    October 27, 2015 at 11:01 am (12 months ago)

    Very very wise 🙂 I remember my 14 year old niece once thinking it would be a good idea to put her little baby cousin up on her shoulders for a donkey ride after he had fed and her older sister thought it was very funny indeed when he threw up on her head! I also made the mistake first time round of buying stuff like cute *woollen* babygros with buttons (not poppers)! Needless to say I never ever took that out of the cupboard!! Great guest post Claire – thanks for linking it up to this week’s #thetruthabout Xx
    Sam recently posted…The Truth about… #49My Profile

  4. Pickinguptoys
    October 22, 2015 at 6:23 pm (1 year ago)

    Brilliant!!One of my little ones once threw up in my brothers mouth too,serves him blimming right for chucking the poor little man up in the air lol x
    Pickinguptoys recently posted…Throwback Thursday – 22nd OctoberMy Profile

  5. Mrs Baffled
    October 22, 2015 at 9:46 am (1 year ago)

    Great selection of rookie mistakes and some top tips for parents here! Weetabix is unbelievable stuff isn’t it? I have a friend who swears there’s still dried Weetabix on the kitchen radiator that she can’t remove – and her kids are now at school! They should use it to build stuff that they never want to knock down ever! Haha!
    Mrs Baffled recently posted…Surviving in the (Mother)hoodMy Profile

  6. Ella @ Breaking up with contraception
    October 21, 2015 at 7:06 pm (1 year ago)

    Brilliant post – such a wonderful writing style. I’m terrified of bananas so probably safe on that front in future. My own laziness at washing porridge bowls and then having to scrape cement-like remains off later makes the weetabix advice ring ominously true… I’ve got a friend whose baby sleeps amazingly and apparently she pretends to all the other mums in the NCT group that she doesn’t, just so as not to incur their wrath.
    Ella @ Breaking up with contraception recently posted…The secret history of your CVMy Profile

    • Life Love and Dirty Dishes
      October 22, 2015 at 3:39 pm (1 year ago)

      Ah yes, downplaying your baby’s skills to appear normal! It’s a crazy world!


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