When you become a parent, one thing becomes very clear – people love nothing more than to dish out advice on how to raise kids, whether solicited or not.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it revealed “sleep when the baby sleeps” is the most hated piece of advice among new parents. Probably because, you know, some babies just don’t sleep.
Other pieces of advice nobody wants to hear after having kids is “stop holding the baby so much” and “I did THIS, and my kids turned out fine”.
Also in the top 10 were “you’re not holding the baby correctly” and “babies should be left to cry it out”.
The average parent is receiving nine tips from friends, family members and strangers every week, according to the survey which was commissioned by Ergobaby.
While the advice offered is usually well-meaning, almost a quarter of parents (24%) said they were completely overwhelmed with people telling them how they should feed, sleep, eat, exercise and behave.
The over-50s were the worst offenders for dishing out such unsolicited parenting advice.
Parents had mixed feelings about why others felt compelled to give them all this advice.
More than a quarter (27%) believe unsolicited pieces of advice come from know-it-alls that can’t help giving out advice, while another 27% think some people just wanted to be included in the process.
Here are the 40 most annoying pieces of advice you can give to parents in the first six months
- “Sleep when the baby sleeps”
- “I always used to do THIS and my kids turned out fine”
- “Stop holding baby so much you’ll spoil him/her”
- “You must have a second baby as otherwise you are selfish/your other child will suffer/be spoilt”
- “You’re not holding the baby correctly”
- “Babies should be left to cry it out”
- “You’re making a rod for your own back”
- “Don’t entertain baby with a screen/TV/iPad/smartphone”
- “Don’t let them in your bed with you or they’ll never leave”
- “Oh it’s just colic”
- “You’re bound to feel emotional – it’s the hormones”
- “It goes by so fast, cherish every second”
- “The baby’s crying because he/she is over stimulated/over-tired”
- “You’ve got to start them with baby rice/porridge when weaning”
- “Dummies will delay speech/ruin teeth”
- “They’re just trying to manipulate you”
- “You should wean baby onto solids after ‘X amount of time’”
- “Trust me you’ll miss this age!”
- “Before you know it, they’ll be in secondary school”
- “They can’t be hungry again”
- “Babies just sleep all the time in the first few weeks”
- “The child should be in their own room by ‘X months’”
- “Breastfeeding will shrink your tummy down faster”
- “Everything’s just a phase”
- “Just wait!”
- “Always put them down drowsy but awake”
- “Don’t rush your babies, they will go at their own pace (when it comes to crawling, walking, talking, etc.)”
- “What baby things to buy”
- “What you eat and drink comes out in your milk”
- “Don’t forget your pelvic floor exercises and kegels!”
- “If you just relax, the milk will flow/breastfeeding will be easier”
- “Never wake a sleeping baby”
- “You must use re-usable nappies/disposable nappies are bad”
- “Add some baby rice to their bottle to fill them up”
- “Read to your baby”
- “Take lots of photos, they’re only small once!”
- “Don’t put them in childcare, they need you”
- “You’ll have to get them used to a bottle now or they’ll never take one”
- “Babies need a steady routine”
- “Don’t let the cat/dog/other pet go near the baby”