Real moms from the community share the most un-helpful hints they've received when it comes to motherhood.

By Katie Thomas
June 11, 2015
PhotoAlto/ Matton

My grandma told me "Don't lift your arms over your head or the umbilical cord will strangle the baby." -Kendrick

My baby's doctor told me to start him on solids at 4 weeks old. WHAT?! -cary171

"Smoking during pregnancy or around kids doesn't really hurt them," says the woman who practically coughs up a lung every day. WTF kind of advice is that? I, for one, have asthma. MIL smoked through her pregnancy with my little sister-in-law, and the kid is 10 and has had breathing problems since she was born. MIL also smoked inside her house, around her daughter. She also insists I NEED to give the baby a paci. I didn't for 5 weeks, and the doctor told me to try it so I wouldn't be a human paci... Well, DD hates the things. My mother told me to put maple syrup on it. -Crystal1985

A friend of mine thinks it's ok to medicate a child when they travel even though the child isn't sick. It bothers me so much that she does that. -ParentsHostTammy

My MIL gets after me every time I take something potentially dangerous away from my daughter that she could choke on (she did the same with my son). I've tried to be more relaxed with my second - and she's choked TWICE!!! So, now when the MIL says something I remind her that no one is going to stop me from protecting my daughter's life the best I can. My MIL had my son for a day and told me ground up apples in the food processor and fed them to my son and then in the same breath told me she fed raw ground up apples to my husband when he was little and it made him terrible sick... what the??? But then she fed them to my son?? CRAZY I tell ya. -MotherboardMom_Ashley

During a hard growth spurt at around 8 weeks, I mentioned to my mom how hard it was on me and she told me I should just start feeding him cereal since he obviously wasn't eating enough! -rattlesnake717

The worst and craziest "advice" I got was from my grandmother when she found out I was pregnant. She was all concerned because we had three cats at the time. She came to me and was very serious and asked what we were going to do about the cats. I said, 'what about the cats? I doubt they'll want much to do with the baby and they've been declawed.' They're pretty much scaredy cats, so they're not going to hurt him. Well, she was positive that they would go lay on him when he was tiny and "suck the life out of him." Then to top it off, I had a coworker voice the same concern, except to make hers sound more "plausible" she said that they'd suffocate the baby trying to lick the milk off his lips. Seriously people? -AmandainIndy

I tried to breast feed my baby and wasn't producing enough milk and this older polish woman across the street from me got mad because that's the best for baby. Well, excuse me for not having milk in my breasts. She tries to be motherly, but I don't like her advice, she says it in a nasty way. God forbid I don't do it her way, this is my kid not hers! -jmilau14

"Dip her paci in red wine, it's good for her and will help her feel better!" Seriously? -ParentsCMKathy

My grandmother was forever telling me, "Don't pick him up - you'll spoil him"! I guess that goes with the whole "Let him cry" thing, and "He's only exercising his lungs"! Said grandmother also swore that a tot of whiskey in his bottle at night would help him sleep! It's not like he ever had any problems in the sleep department anyway! -Venezia

I'd have to say the very worst parenting advice I ever got was from a nurse when I was 25 weeks and spotting and having contractions. I spent the night at Labor & Delivery being monitored, and when I got discharged she told me to go home, have some wine or wine coolers, lay on my back and relax. ?!?! Also when my son was about 10 months my mom told me to rub some margarita on his gums when he got whiny......... very interesting! -rubys1321

"Don't cross your legs while pregnant. Doing so would cause the umbilical cord to wrap around the baby's neck and strangle it." And, "if your baby gets the hiccups, take a piece of thread, wet it with your spit and make a dot with the string and place the spitty string in the middle of the baby's forehead and the hiccups would go away." -LDSmum

I must say that the worse parenting advice I got was from my BIL who one day when I put DD's car seat in their minivan because I was taking DD (17 mo at the time) and my 3yo niece and nephew for the day. He told me that because DD was over 1 year and 20lbs I should switch her to forward facing because she would be more comfortable. Seriously. Her seat holds RFing to 35lbs, and she had at least 3 inches in height left RFing. Every time I try to explain to them how much safer rear facing is they don't listen, and respond that they turned my niece and nephew FFing at their first birthday, and their ok. That's only because they haven't gotten in an accident. -worseangel

More Worst Baby Advice

Worst advice was to make noise while the baby sleeps. "If it's quiet the baby wakes up. He won't sleep in the peace." I am now trying to learn to play the tambourine while he sleeps. -tifinley2000

The worst advice came straight from the Babywise book. It was an older edition that said you should start letting your baby "cry it out" at age 2 weeks! It totally ruined my time with my first born. I let him cry and cry from 2 weeks-1 year determined to win the battle. It never worked. He never slept well. The reason I had a baby was to hold him and kiss his as much as humanly possible before he grows up and runs away from me! Why did I believe that it was best for him to be put flat in his crib and let cry? That was terrible advice. Now, I know that burps are generated while baby is lying down. They MUST be picked up and patted to get the burps out. You can't just leave them there crying! I held my second child as much as possible and never let her cry. She slept great. My third baby is just 8 weeks old. I hold him almost all day. He takes most of his naps on me in the baby carrier. And he sleeps great (6-7) hours at night (sitting up in his car seat). Yes, sometimes he has to cry for a few minutes when I'm busy cooking or taking a shower and can't hold him. But I never let him cry on purpose. We are BOTH so much happier. New moms, please don't let the baby cry it out (at least before they are several months old.) -MommyGenius

When I first found out I was pregnant someone told me that I shouldn't being eating more than usual, I should actually be eating less! -KatDav

Let's see, rice cereal in a bottle to help a baby sleep through the night, roughing up nipples while still pregnant so nursing won't be painful, drinking before nursing at night so the baby will sleep, giving babies medicine to help them sleep, plus all the usual car seat/booster garbage. My personal favorite was the mom at day care lecturing me that organic food was dangerous. No joke--her kids were eating a can of Pringles for breakfast while she was saying this. -VoodooChile

Someone once told me to put a little whiskey on the gums of a teething baby, and someone else told me to give baby beer in a bottle to help them sleep. These were older people, in their 70's and such. Makes me wonder how their kids survived! -Crystal1985

"It won't always be like this." For example, I was out to lunch with my brother who was in town and someone came up to me and said "he won't always be a good baby" ... and then just went on to say "you won't always have a quiet baby and you won't be able to enjoy outings like this." NO KIDDING. IT'S A KID! I wanted to say, YA SO LEAVE ME ALONE AND LET ME ENJOY MY LUNCH WHILE I CAN! YOU ARE MORE ANNOYING THAN MY BABY WILL EVER BE... (maybe not, lol!) but seriously, please keep the obvious negative advice or whatever to yourself-especially if you are a stranger! -tifinley2000

My grandma keeps telling me that you have to have socks on your baby to prevent colic. Where is the scientific reasoning for that? And wearing socks when it is 80 degrees under a sleeper is too much for him, he is burning up every time I do that. -savkev1113

I'm half-korean, and right now we are actually living in Korea. They have some crazy ideas about new babies. As a new mom, you are supposed to eat a lot of seaweed soup. I'm sure they mean for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you are thirsty, you are only allowed hot drinks. They frown upon drinking or eating "cold" foods because it will slow down your bodies healing. I don't know if that's true, but my mom kept calling me to see if I was eating seaweed soup. Also, you are supposed to keep you and the baby warm. I'm talking sweats and no air conditioning even in the summer! Needless to say, I didn't do any of these things. I carry my baby around in my Ergo, and I am always getting crazy looks because he isn't completely bundled up, but my body heat warms him up, plus he's like a space heater, he doesn't need more clothes on. Another one I heard of is to massage the babies' legs because that will make them grow. I don't suppose that really works seeing that Korean people are short :) Oh, and if the babies don't have a lot of hair, they shave their heads because they think it will grow in thicker (I think this doesn't happen until 1 or 2 years, but really?) -june2479

Oh, I forgot about THIS gem. When I was having morning sickness, an old classmate told me to smoke pot. She said it'd help a ton. I have asthma. I'm not going to smoke anything, especially when pregnant. -Crystal1985

At the baby-weighing clinic, I was told by an elderly volunteer that I was over-feeding my youngest because he'd gained more than it said he should have done, according to her chart. When I said he was solely breastfed, she actually accused me of lying, saying I must be supplementing his feeds with 'something'! Silly old woman! It's funny how some people (usually older women) don't credit young parents with having any sense, or instinct. Or maybe they just forgot what it was like to be a new mum, and just recited all the nonsense they were subjected to! -Venezia

Haha "Don't let your baby stand too much or he'll go bowlegged" -AshleyNicole

"You really shouldn't dress her in blue, it makes her look like a boy." (Um he is a boy). Maybe he wouldn't hit again, if you spanked him next time he does it." MID-Tantrum over sunscreen application AS I'M SOOTHING HIM... "He's just having an anxiety attack, forget the sunscreen for today" (from the person who's teenager gets anxiety provoked migraines who denies her child has anxiety) it's a I'm going to give in and not protect my child in FL mid summer and we're from the north. "I don't see why I can't give them koolaid and juice everyday, it's no worse than that Halloween candy. (um if you were looking to change my mind you wouldn't have compared it to candy...). -Mom2NinoandAlly

"Don't hold them too much after they are born you will spoil them that way." Right, how can you spoil a child who is not even 6 weeks old? -mchante

Ugh... the worst thing of all time: "Don't eat hot stuff your baby will come out with six toes." -Mommy2B2011

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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.

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Comments (1)

December 4, 2018
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