Along with the curiosity of strangers, a new child can bring an unwelcome focus on your parenting skills. You don't have to note all the exits in the room to make a quick getaway. Here's how to break away from naysaying Nellies, doubting Debbies, and hassling Harrys.
1. Compliment the person. "Wow, you've really given this a lot of thought," and then change the subject.
2. Give them something to do. "Could you help me find the baby's blanket?"
3. Minimize the fuss and then dismiss. "It doesn't seem to be a problem now, but if I need any help, I'll ask you."
4. Admit you don't know the answer and say, "I'll have to look into that." Then ask them to write the information down.
5. Answer a bold question with a direct one of your own: "Why do you want to know?"
6. Be honest. If a topic makes you blush or feels too private, say so. "Oh, my goodness, that's too weird! I can't discuss that with you here!"
7. Enlist the help of friends or your partner and brush up on your nonverbal cues for rescue. A blanket over your head means, "Come get me now!"
8. Smile warmly and then offer them a piece of candy or gum, an appetizer or drink.
9. Excuse yourself to greet another person or arrival. Make it a long hello.
10. If all else fails, pick up your baby for a diaper change/nap/or feeding and retreat to a quiet room: "Sshhhh, she's almost asleep," always works.
Originally published on AmericanBaby.com, March 2006.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.