Every time you turn around, there’s some new baby advice – and sometimes it’s completely contradictory. It’s enough to make a parent’s head spin. Every parent wants to do what’s best for their little ones, but whose recommendations do you follow? Grandma’s? The doctor’s? The stranger at the grocery store’s? Everyone and their sister has advice for parents – whether or not they know what they’re talking about. Today we’re sharing some of the absolute worst baby advice ever – because sometimes it’s so bad you have to laugh about it.
“Never hug and kiss them, never let them sit in your lap.”
That sentence is taken from a book by John Watson called Psychological Care of the Infant and Child published in 1928. Watson believed that parents treated their children with too much sentimentality and that they should be treated like adults. He told parents to leave their babies outside alone for much of the day from day one. Believe it or not – it was a popular book and he was well respected. (These days social services would take your baby away if you did that.)
“Cereal on the second or third day of life, vegetables on the tenth day, and meat at seventeen days.”
This is an actual quote from a book by Walter W. Sackett Jr. published in 1962 called Bringing Up Baby. He goes on to say that new mothers don’t realize that they are catering to their baby’s every whimper and that more experienced mothers start their children on whatever the family is eating much quicker. He also says you should be able to skip a midnight feeding by the third week.
“Boracic acid solution should be applied before and after each nursing from the very first day; in this way much nipple trouble may be prevented through cleanliness and care.”
This comes from The Mother and Her Child by William and Lena Sadler in 1916. Boric acid was once commonly used to disinfect and treat wounds. It is now used as a roach killing powder and is known as a highly toxic poison. The Sadlers believed that it should be applied to the mother’s nipple before and after feeding their baby. Scary!
“Prolonged nursing hurts both child and mother; in the child, causing a tendency to brain disease,”
This was written in 1887 by Henry Chavasse in his book Advice to a Wife. He believed that breastfeeding after the baby was nine months old would lead to deafness and blindness for the mother. He goes on to say that if a child is suckled at twelve months he will be pale, flabby, unhealthy, and rickety!
How about more modern bad baby advice?
Dani from Scary Mommy says “In response to my appeal for help with a bad spell of biting during breastfeeding, my Mom’s best friend told me to bite her arm. It worked with her daughter.” Does the “eye for an eye” philosophy really work with parenting? We think not.
“Rub whiskey on sore, teething gums.”
Kristen Howerton says on Babble that some of the worst advice she ever heard was to “Just rub a little whiskey on those sore, teething gums.” Her response? “Whatever. Aren’t frozen teething toys a better option than fermented grain mash anyway? This isn’t Lonesome Dove. And maybe I’m saving the whiskey for myself.”
Mandy Craze on mom.me said “That I MUST get rid of my cats before the baby came because they would suffocate him when trying to drink the milk from his mouth.” Wow. That’s a pretty wild scenario!
“No Car Seat Needed.”
Preggie Tiff on babycenter shared “My husband’s grandmother told us we only had to use a car seat on the highway.” Because accidents never happen on city streets. (Not!)
Silvurturtle shared on The Bump, “I was told by my grandmother that I shouldn’t swaddle my newborn because it’d cause her arms to be deformed and that she needed to be able to stretch her muscles.” Oh, grandma.
And here are three simple (hilarious) images from Dadcentric that show right and wrong parenting advice that will never change.
What’s the absolute worst baby advice you’ve ever gotten? Let us know in the comments!