Nothing elicits more uninvited commentary from strangers than a crying baby: They’re hot! They’re cold! They’re hungry! You’re holding them wrong!
It’s enough to make new parents want to hide indoors. But the fun doesn’t stop when your child enters toddlerhood. Friends, relatives and passersby are more than happy to offer words of wisdom, whether your child is writhing and melting down or sleeping peacefully in their stroller. And while words of solidarity and encouragement are generally appreciated, some of the things people feel compelled to share really leave you wondering.
From the blatantly obvious to the utterly insane, Twitter users share the pieces of advice they’ve been given that they really wish people had kept to themselves.
What's the worst parenting advice you ever received and why is it "enjoy every moment?"— The Daddy Files (@DaddyFiles) March 17, 2022
“Sleep when your baby is sleeping”. What? That was the only time I could get anything done!— Shanathalas (@shanathalas) March 17, 2022
Day 3 of weaning, first time he's actually eaten the food, ate a HUGE portion of broccoli 🥦, was advised by an elderly ex childminder that he shouldn't eat broccoli or cauliflower til 1+ as it would ferment in his stomach 🤔— Georgie Burch (@georgieb2910) August 22, 2022
Best: a lovely friend who messaged me with advice, and concluded, “Only take the advice you want to take (including this bit!)”.— Gwenneth Brignall (@GwenBrignall) August 22, 2022
Worst/funniest: “make sure you eat lots of different textures when you’re breastfeeding”. I’m not sure that person had the physiology worked out!
Make food exciting to get them to eat it — “Look kids! It’s broccoli trees!” FML, I’m seriously still scarred— Candace H. (@stalingradsnow) December 20, 2018
Best: get them into a routine— Kelly Davies (@Mrs_KellyDavies) August 22, 2022
Worst: that routine we mentioned? We wanna see them, so you will scrap the routine. Doesn't matter if its at the child's expense.
Most useless thing people say to new parents (especially moms/gestational parents) is, "trust your gut." Having a kid didn't magically give me knowledge about how to care for a baby. The myth of "mother's instinct" made me feel like the only person overwhelmed by parenting a baby— Erin Shipp 🐝🌈 (@ErinShipp1) August 3, 2021
"If you think X is hard (fill in whatever you are struggling with, breastfeeding, sleeping, toilet training), Y (school, adolescence, college applications, whatever) is so much harder you will wish for X." Most unhelpful comment ever.— megan cifarelli (@megan_cifarelli) August 3, 2021
One of the nurses told me I shouldn't take the prescribed pain pills the day after my c-section because of how it would affect the baby. ... I did not follow her advice and told her to bring me my hydrocodone.— Sandi Villarreal (@Sandi) August 3, 2021
That the days are long but the years are short so appreciate the time you have with them. The years are short because I have blocked them from my memory in order to stay sane.— Stephanie Land (@stepville) August 3, 2021
Enjoy them now because time flies and one day you’ll be gone (because THAT isn’t depressing to think about when your hormones are all over the place minutes after giving birth)— Kathleen Ortiz (@KOrtizzle) December 20, 2018
When our daughter wouldn’t sleep more than 40 min at a time, ppl said, “she’ll grow out of it”— John Dabkovich (@JohnDabkovich) August 3, 2021
I was like, “Look, f%}ker! I know she’ll grow out of it. I’m not worried about her crying all night when she’s 28. I need help now!”
"your body knows what to do!" 😂A man with no children told me this. Sir, I had two children and both times my body was absolutely confused about the whole situation.— Erica Martinson (@EricaMartinson) August 4, 2021
oh also, “breastfeeding is free.” when you add up the cost of nursing friendly clothes and bras, breastfeeding pillow (a must), a decent quality pump, lactation consultants if you need them— not to mention our time and energy— it’s most certainly not free.— Alana Satlin (@achorowitz) August 4, 2021
Put them down sleepy but awake. HAHAHAAAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA YEAH THAT WORKS.— Emi (@emiliabeth) December 20, 2018
“He’ll get tired and fall asleep in his crib eventually.”— itsrhondabitch (@TwoMartinisPls) August 3, 2021
No. No he didn’t.
Goes with “they can’t cry forever.” Oh yeah? My daughter was out to prove them wrong (but I did eventually get her to stop).— Megan the Klutz (@msmeganl) August 3, 2021
Worst: we did it when you were a kid and you were fine.— Patrick Dugan (@P_Dugan) April 20, 2019
What’s the worst parenting advice someone has ever given you?— Sab... but pregnant (@Saabbrraaa) October 6, 2021
Mine is, that my grandma told me to put my oldest daughter’s infant car seat in my front seat when she was a newborn so I could “take care of her and drive so i wouldn’t have to listen to screaming”
lmfaoo not advice but this reminds me of when my grandma told me she put her kids in laundry baskets in the car 💀💀— sarah 🐝 (@mommymelon) October 6, 2021
My father-in-law suggested I bite my breastfeeding baby back so I could “teach him a lesson.”— Screaming inside my❤️ (@CalliopeJane13) October 6, 2021
A random old lady in the grocery store told me “he’s too big, you have to stop feeding him” when my first was 7 months old and exclusively breastfed 💀 like… I’m sorry, what???— kayla ˚₊·☾✧* (@ecstaticb00m) October 7, 2021
"Never give your child a pacifier."— Dee Snow (@ThatDeeSnow) September 2, 2019
Look, I tried. I tried SO HARD. But in the end, my sanity was worth it.
The sentiment that your partner and your kids are/should be your “whole world”. It’s dangerously unhealthy to not nurture your interests and self outside of motherhood and we have a habit of applauding the behavior. Bad for moms, bad for kids, bad for relationships.— Emily Moen (@emilymoen) August 3, 2021
The worst parenting advice we've heard is to wait on doing any particular thing because the kids are too young to remember it anyway. Photos will help them relive everything they forget. Early experience and exposure shapes who they are now and what they’ll be interested in next.— Scott Jehl - email@example.com (@scottjehl) September 24, 2019