Strap yourselves in, everybody. Being a new parent is hard enough without receiving unsolicited baby advice from the generations that have come before you. Recently, men and women converged in an online discussion to reveal the craziest advice they have ever received from boomers and Gen-Xers. Be prepared: some of this advice defies all logic and rationale!
Socks Are the Answer
Bizarrely, many parents point out a common method of calming down babies given to them by countless boomers and Gen-Xers. If you put socks on babies’ feet, they stop being fussy, have healthier burps, and cry less! Look at that; new parents can save money on parenting books by following one rule — keep those little feet covered!
As a parent, nothing could prepare this woman for when her grandmother gave her the most awkward and awful parenting advice ever. “At my baby shower last month, my grandmother informed me that I needed to start using a fine grit sandpaper or other abrasive on particular body parts to toughen me up for nursing my daughter,” one woman confesses. “Yeah, sorry, grandma, that’s a hard pass.” Oh my goodness, that’s terrible advice!
Coffee Will Do the Trick
I fear for the sanity of the many moms who confess their mothers-in-law give them some genuinely insane advice. One woman expressed disbelief when her mother-in-law advised her to slip trace amounts of freshly brewed coffee into the baby’s bottle to get them to stop crying. We can all agree that this is terrible advice.
Why Not Oreos?
I admire the bravado in some people — like this man, who thinks feeding a baby Oreos is the be-all, end-all parenting tip! “My father-in-law is astounded that I can’t feed my six-week-old baby Oreos. He even joked that she would be fine if we mixed it into her bottles. He also can’t understand why I can’t give her water.”
Television Will Put Baby to Sleep
Bizarre mothers-in-law strike again! One woman recalls staring in disbelief when she was told that her baby would sleep through the night if the TV was on and playing a movie next to her crib. When did older generations completely lose grasp of good parenting?
Donuts Are the New Formula
I’d love to know where people come up with random parenting advice. Even a child knows not to feed a baby donuts! “My grandmother continues to pout that I won’t let her give my son donuts at seven months old,” explains one new mother. “She has been sour over it since he was three months old. She nevertheless respects my boundaries and hasn’t tried to give him sweets, which is good.”
Crying Equals Teething
New parents are near-unanimous in revealing the most common piece of parenting “advice” they’ve ever received. According to the older generation, if a baby’s crying, it’s because they’re teething — never for any other reason.
The Black-Footed Rooster
Speaking of teething, one woman recalls being told a bizarre strategy to help combat this common rite of passage for babies. “I was told that I need to find a feather from a rooster with black feet and rub it on my baby’s cheeks to ease teething pain,” she recalls.
Don’t Soothe Them When They Cry
Some parenting advice exists primarily to make my blood boil. It’s astonishing how many parents advise never to soothe or hold a baby when they cry. To make matters worse, some people believe that by soothing a baby, the mom or dad actively harms the baby’s development!
Quit Your Day Job
Some pieces of advice are straight-up insulting. I don’t know how people can brush off inane comments like this one! “A colleague told me if I really loved my child, I’d quit my job and stay at home, but if I couldn’t handle not working, with my background (mechanical engineering), I could probably get a job teaching,” one exasperated mother explains.
The Baby Needs Sun
A stranger gave one poor mother some legendary lousy advice. Upon noticing her baby was pale (as all babies are), she was told to “hold him in the sun for a couple of minutes or lay him down on a blanket outside in direct sunlight for his naps.” I’ve encountered plenty of terrible advice, but this tidbit is arguably the most irresponsible.
Waterboarding a Baby
Sadly, some advice is borderline cruel. One new father recalls being told to throw a small cupful of water in his baby’s face every time he cried. Allegedly, this “trains” the child not to cry anymore. Unfortunately, the worst part of this story was when the person giving this advice revealed he used the tactic against all three of his now-adult children! Wow.
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