Thanks (but no Thanks) for the Baby Advice
Here's how to politely brush off your know-it-all friends and family when they offer unwanted parenting pointers.
Sometimes it seems as if everyone thinks they know what's best for your baby — and they're willing to share their nuggets of knowledge, whether you ask them or not. Then there are those delightful people who feel compelled to point out what you're doing wrong as a mother, as if their child-rearing experiences automatically make them an expert.
Unwanted advice and comments can definitely drive a mom crazy — but only if you let them. Next time you're faced with a judgmental know-it-all (and she may even be your sister or best friend) remind yourself that no one knows your baby better than you do — and that, yes, she really does like to play with her earlobes or that no, she wouldn't really prefer to nap three hours in the afternoon instead of two.
Try to keep your cool no matter how tempting it may be to snidely dismiss the advice or overwhelm the person with a host of facts that prove how right you are. While either tactic may be effective in shushing the offender, neither will foster friendly relations, and you may end up stewing over the encounter for the rest of the day (or longer!).
Your best bet? Let them say their piece (and listen with an open mind, because occasionally you will get useful advice), smile graciously (if through gritted teeth), then thank the person for their input, and move on. If the advice is coming from a friend or relative whom you know you'll encounter again, you might also offer a simple explanation of your choices. For example, if your mother-in-law wonders aloud why you're still nursing your ten-month-old, describe the benefits of continued breastfeeding and the recommendation that it continue through at least the first year of a baby's life. Then, once you've had your say, change the subject to cue the other person that the topic, as far as you're concerned, is not open for debate.
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