Et tu, Brute?

We had a baby boom of sorts at work recently; I was the last of the group to have a baby. As such, there are a lot of new(ish) parents roaming the corridors.

One of the new hires in IT is also a recent new parent. His twin sons are about three weeks older than Baby C. When we were in a meeting two weeks ago, someone mentioned his boys, and we started talking about our sons. The first question he asked (after “How old is he?”) was, “Is he sleeping through the night?”

(Dedicated readers of my blog know the answer to this, and you also know how painful it is for me to be reminded.)

Well, while I was on the phone having him troubleshoot a problem this afternoon, he asked again about Baby C’s nocturnal habits.

“No,” I said, “he’s not sleeping through the night yet.”

“Oh, you really need to try the cereal in a bottle. That’s how we got our sons to sleep, and we’ve never had a problem.”

“Well, his doctor doesn’t recommend it.”

“Ours didn’t either, but we did it anyway, and it’s been great. We’ve started them on solids, already, too, and they sleep through the night with no problem.”

“I’m not so keen on starting with solids just yet. My husband’s family has some stomach issues; I’d really like to delay or eliminate the baby’s development of those as much as possible.”

“Hm. Well, that makes sense, I guess. Of course, you’re going to hear a lot of advice from a lot of people, and you and your husband should do what you think is best.”

Then a few minutes later…

“What formula do you use?” he asked.

“Oh, he’s exclusively on breast milk.”

“Well, that’s why he’s not sleeping through the night! My wife switched to formula after three months. The boys would wake up every two or three hours to eat. She couldn’t take it anymore.”

“I don’t mind it, really.”

“Really?” Pause. “How long do you plan to breastfeed?”

“Until I’m not producing or he’s decided he’s had enough; whichever comes first.”

“My wife didn’t like doing it.”

“Well, I imagine it’s harder with twins.”

“Formula would probably be easier on you, though.”

“We’re not ready to switch him over just yet. He developed an allergic reaction to something in my diet a few weeks ago, and his doctor said that switching him to formula could potentially make it worse since we haven’t pinpointed the source of the allergy.”


“Yeah. So I’m on a very restricted diet.”

“Oh.” Pause. “So, what aren’t you allowed to eat?”

“A lot of things.” I listed off the bigger items.

“Oh, that’s no good. I would switch him to formula as soon as you can. But you should do what you think is best.”


It’s like the ultimate betrayal. He’s a new parent; he has little ones not much older than Baby C. Surely he has had to deal with as much well-meaning advice as Cute Husband and I have. So, why in the world is he trying to tell me what to do with my son?

Life isn’t fair. (If it were, we’d all have milk and cookies and naptime every day.)


9 thoughts on “Et tu, Brute?

  1. I think I may have throttled him, had I been you. Kudos to your restraint. And of course, your awesome parenting and the sacrifices you're making.

  2. Thanks, Chris, but I don't really think my parenting skills are that awesome. I can't get him to sleep in his own bed, and dropping him off at daycare in the mornings sometimes feels like a relief, depending on his mood (and mine). On days like those, I feel like the worst mom in the world.

  3. I don't know what it is about being a parent that makes people think they can give unsolicited advice. My guy isn't sleeping through the night yet, either. I hate when people ask, because I almost feel like I'm being judged, as if I could somehow get him to sleep through the night by being a better mom or something. And you know what? Reducing the risk of food issues is certainly worth a few extra months of waking up at night with Baby C.

  4. I hate when people ask, because I almost feel like I'm being judged, as if I could somehow get him to sleep through the night by being a better mom or something. YES! I feel the same exact way. Some babies just won't sleep through the night until they're older; and it's not like I'm at work everyday complaining about it. (No, I'm at work everyday bemoaning the fact that I have to give up donuts and chocolate.) I think a big part of me will actually miss or late-night feeding/bonding sessions, anyway, when he offers me smiles meant only for me or insists on yammering on and on at 3 o'clock in the morning (as he's doing now).

  5. Could be he felt like someone else he knows needs to do what he does to justify his wife's decision. Or it could be he's just a pushy know it all kind of person…My youngest sometimes sleeps for six hours at night, and sometimes its more like an hour and a half.*shrugs*Breast feeding beats having to get out of bed and fix a bottle in my opinion.

  6. i say you should put a jar in your cubicle and collect money from people every time they give you advice you didnt ask for. that'll slow people down from adding their two cents worth.
    and there's nothing wrong w/ feeling a little relief when you drop off baby c @ school. its a normal reaction! you're leaving him with qualified personnel who care about him and are there to help you! its normal to be relieved!

  7. cereal in a bottle is insane – choking hazard. My son is nearly 8 months old, breastfed and has only just slept through the night for the first time this week. Everyone gave me so much advice – in the end he did it when he was ready (and when I left him to cry it out a bit more than I had done before.) Don't know why people are so anti-breastfeeding! I also would have probably told him to eff off – especially since I'm sleep deprived…..

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