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Mother and newborn babyAnyone who is expecting or raising a baby knows – we get a lot of advice, whether we need it or not. All well-intentioned, because they are “trying” to help, but for some reason we just don’t feel grateful. In fact, we often feel like blowing up and letting them have it.

In my first week as a mom I even made a list of the most irritating questions and remarks.

Here they are – 7 things I would never-ever-ever in a million years say to a new mom:

  • Your baby looks tired.
  • Is he sleeping through the night?
  • If he cries don’t pick him up, you’ll spoil him.
  • Why is your baby crying, is he hungry?
  • Does your milk satisfy him?
  • Just give him a pacifier, it makes all the difference.
  • You have gained some weight, haven’t you?

So keep your cool, count to ten before you react. There is more than one way to cope with unwelcome parenting advice or criticism. Usually it comes from two sources – people who don’t insist, like neighbors and friends, and people who do insist, like immediate family (your parents, in-laws, etc.)

Handling advice from people that don’t insist is much easier. If it’s not something you want to consider, you could

  • drop the issue by saying “I am not too sure, let me think about it”.
  • blame it on the family doctor: “Well, our pediatrician Dr. Walsh suggest otherwise”.
  • let the stuff go in one ear and out the other, just say: “Thanks, that’s an interesting thought”.

When your family’ members give you unwelcome advice, it must be dealt with properly. These people are very much involved in you life and they are not going anywhere, so sooner or later they will ask you again, “Well, are you doing it, how did that work for you?”

So if you’re feeling comfortable with white lies, just say: “It didn’t work for my baby”.And if you want to put it behind you once and for all, explain why you haven’t tried this and not going to. Mention your sources, what have you read on the subject and what is your logic behind this decision. Once they know that you feel strongly about this, have your reasons and know what you’re doing – they’ll leave you alone.

This is how I dealt with all kinds of advice. What have you been doing, what worked for you?

Update: this post was featured in Carnival of Family Life ~ Snowman edition.