How to Deal with Unwanted New-Baby Advice

Disarm with Charm

When a stranger stops you on the street to say your baby needs a hat (in August!) or to inform you that a pacifier will give your baby buckteeth, just flash your biggest smile, thank her, and move on. "It's always best to take the high road," says Sue Fox, author of Etiquette for Dummies. "Why should you let a stranger ruin your day?" After you've displayed your best Southern charm, look at your watch and say, "I'd love to stay and chat, but I have to get the baby home for a nap/feeding/Mandarin class." If your interloper is geriatric, cut her a little slack, Fox advises. "Elderly people tend to offer more advice because they feel they've earned the right, as a parent and a grandparent. Most of the time, they're really just excited about seeing a baby."

After a while, you will get the hang of knowing what advice to listen to, what to blow off, and how to make everyone think you are listening to them. And then a funny thing happens: You become a parenting expert. And when your little sister or best friend has a baby, you'll know exactly what to tell her.

Parents Are Talking

Add a Comment