How to React to Unsolicited Parenting Advice (Without Exploding!)

In my previous post, I discussed people giving parenting advice. But those lessons aren’t learned overnight.

In the meantime, you might have to endure such gems as:

“Only ten pounds at four weeks? You should start feeding her cereal.”

“I don’t see what all the fuss is about — if your newborn can sleep at night on his stomach, let him!”

“Back in my day, [insert any comment whatsoever here].”

“But where am I supposed to find castor oil?”

If I had a nickel for each time I heard things like that, I’d have a lot of nickels. But since that’s not how any of this works, here are some helpful ways to cope with unsolicited parenting advice:

Stare it out

I do this a lot — stare off to the side and just pretend you heard nothing

“I’m not a fan of pacifiers; they’re not good for babies. I didn’t use them when you were little.”


Get up and walk away

I’m a grown man. Just as I have the right not to be exposed to radiation or tuna casserole, I don’t need to be exposed to awkwardness caused by unsolicited advice.

What kind of Similac are you using? You guys should really be using Similac. Why aren’t you using Similac?”


Smile and nod

A civil choice for civil people.

“You should really be feeding her every 2 hours until about 16 weeks so she’ll put on extra weight.”


“Yeah, I’ll consider it.”

“You should establish a bedtime routine once she’s out of the womb.”


But whatever you do: DO NOT ENGAGE

“So, what do you think about putting a bumper around your crib? Or a little bit of rubbing alcohol on her gums when she’s teething?”



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