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Ridiculous parenting advice

303 replies

GreasyHairDoNotCare · 05/03/2018 12:29

Aibu to ask you what the most ridiculous bit of parenting advice that you've ever been given is?

I can think of a few but these stand out to me

'It's good for him to cry like that, gets the air to his lungs, leave him for a while'- DS was screaming with teething pain and wanted comforting

'Can't you just lay him in the bath, he'll hold his breath obviously' - no DS will drown if I do that

OP posts:
ElenaBothari · 06/03/2018 11:51

DS1 had an umbilical hernia. DH’s aunt was insistent that the correct way to deal with this was to tie string around the bit that stuck out so that it would fall off. I explained 3 times that the bit that stuck out was part of his intestines and we didn’t want it to fall off. I think she must have been thinking of advice about getting rid of the umbilical cord stump, but she would not admit that she was wrong.

cathf · 06/03/2018 11:52

Obviously a lot of these are mad (I am thinking of the chill up the front passage and 'catching' epilepsy!!!) , BUT I do think posters should bear in mind that advice and best practice does change all of the time.
So, all of the pps who are scoffing at advice of the spoiling you baby, napping and bf variety should remember that this was considered sensible not that long ago.
It's fine to take a superior attitude and think you know it all, but bear in mind when your children have children, what you are so convinced in right now will be regarded as outdated, and your daughter/Dil will be just as convinced they are right and be poking fun at you on social media.

Bluelady · 06/03/2018 11:56

I was just thinking the same thing. A lot of the advice that is currently considered completely wrong was what we were told to do a few decades ago. A lot of posters' parents followed that advice and you're all here to tell the tale.

enterthedragon · 06/03/2018 12:02

Shedmicehugh, in relation to ASD I fully agree with the list is endless but my favourite bits of advice (as in always good for a laugh) are

"he just needs to act less Autistic" and

"you need to make him go to sleep" closely followed by "you need to put him back to bed every time he gets out, he will learn not to get out of bed because you will just put him back, every day he will get out of bed less times" this was said after I became exhausted with weeks of trying to get ds to stay in bed and the amount of times he was getting out of bed had increased from 20+ times a night to 120+, the poor boy was petrified of going to sleep because he suffered with night terrors.

Oh and let's not forget the other helpful nugget of advice.
"Just give him some of the same food as you are eating, he won't starve himself" as if the problem was a fussy eater and not sensory processing disorder.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties · 06/03/2018 12:05

I agree, advice changes almost daily. I advised someone recently to give their formula fed baby sips of boiled water when they were suffering with a d an v bug and was told that is not now advised at all. In fact, it could be dangerous. Blush

I was also surprised that swaddling is now discouraged as it can cause hip problems in babies? Swaddling was always my magic solution to getting a new born to sleep.

Shedmicehugh · 06/03/2018 12:06

Advice from over 20 years ago. God I’m old!

Babies to sleep on their sides.
Solids at 3 months
Wake to feed to establish routine
Make up bottles leave in the fridge

I would never dream of passing on my ancient knowledge, as I haven’t a clue what’s changed now!

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties · 06/03/2018 12:11

Gosh yes, I was strongly encouraged to wean at 3 months. With my second, my HV advised starting him on solids at 11 weeks because he was a big baby.
I mean, he was fine but it'd be frowned upon these days!

knockknockknock · 06/03/2018 12:13


My son used to do that every time he had wind - once winded it would go back to normal so maybe not as mad as you think 😀

SchoolMoney · 06/03/2018 12:25

@knockknock ah but if that worked for yours that's one thing. This was based in 'people fuss about nothing' followed by how she never spent any time with her own children so never changed nappies etc. It was basically if they go blue just leave it and they'll sort themselves out with a burp when they realise.

Shedmicehugh · 06/03/2018 12:26

Ilostitin back in the day, we had ‘hungry babies’ who HV would advise needed ‘topping up’ with a bit of baby rice from god knows how young! Grin I’m certain baby food used to be labelled from 3-6 months too!

nokidshere · 06/03/2018 12:27

A lot of the above stuff is only ridiculous because we don't do it now. In years to come our children will think the same of lots of today's practices.

Smile and nod

cathf · 06/03/2018 12:31

Glad I am not alone in my irritation!
I think what riles me most is that parents seem to be so dogmatic and extreme these days, with no degrees of common sense.
Let a baby cry for five mins and they will be damaged for life; a grain of salt and their kidneys will give up; Wean one day before six months and your baby will suffer for life.
You see it time and time again on MN - every time someone posts about bending the rules and they are jumped on with dire warnings of what will happen, despite the fact that the subject under discussion was dealt with completely differently a decade ago.

FilledSoda · 06/03/2018 12:31

We like to think we know everything now because it's less scary than the alternative.
We don't , we never will.
Those old ways were still done out of love and fear that a baby could get sick, just like now.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties · 06/03/2018 12:32

Yes I remember those jars of baby food for 3months+. My son took a real liking to the Cheesy Parsnip one at 12 weeks!

GreasyHairDoNotCare · 06/03/2018 12:33

I think there is some 'advice' that people give that will remain ridiculous forever regardless of generation.

Some yes, change with the times as more and more research is done.

OP posts:
Countingsheeeep · 06/03/2018 12:37

Advice from midwife whilst still in hospital with DD after she was born.

"When she does a poo, make sure you wipe front to back, you don't want poo going in the vagina"...

Not sure she had ever changed a baby girls poo filled nappy, because after a poonami it's often already up in there, she might as well have pooed out of it!

Quorafun · 06/03/2018 12:37

A lot of the mentioned advice isn't that bad. Certainly doesn't deserve the derogatory tones being used on here.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties · 06/03/2018 12:38

I suppose the thing to remember is that we have to accept guidelines change and not insist that the old way was the best way.

You're right cath they're only guidelines but I can see how a nervous first parent would want to follow the current advice like gospel.

I remember being really upset that my mum put my baby to sleep on his side because the lying on their back campaign had just come in. I see now that she was just doing what she'd done with her own dc.

BustopherJones · 06/03/2018 12:40

HV told me I should be feeding on demand every 4 hours.

drspouse · 06/03/2018 12:40

To get a toddler to stop hitting / pushing, Look them in the eye and say “don’t hit”
Or say "gentle hands".
Mine would have asked me if I was on glue!

cathf · 06/03/2018 12:42

Agreed Eighties, but I don't like the superior tone in some posts.

GreasyHairDoNotCare · 06/03/2018 12:44

Drspouse Or say "gentle hands".
Mine would have asked me if I was on glue!

This made me giggle Grin

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Shedmicehugh · 06/03/2018 12:44

enter oh yes, just don’t make his usual food available is a good one! Make him sit there until he has eaten it or keep presenting the same food every meal until he does!

And you need to establish a good bedtime routine if you want him to sleep! Confused he has a routine, he loves routine, doesn’t help him to sleep any though!

Tics also attracted some gems ‘just tell him stop when he does it’. The ‘just tell him’ is an ongoing theme!

BustopherJones · 06/03/2018 12:48

HV suggested sweet potato is too sweet for weaning because the will get a taste for sweet things. There is no way the sweetness of breast milk will have had any effect on their tastes.

In the middle of summer I was told by the same hv that there is no reason to feed a 6 month old more often than 4 hourly so to put them on a schedule. When I said I’ll keep to demand feeding as they might be thirsty she laughed and said babies don’t get thirsty.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties · 06/03/2018 12:52

There is some ridiculous parenting advice knocking about these days too. I was at a toddler group with my niece and one of the children had put his hands in the paint laid out on the table for everyone and was smearing it into a brown mess all over the bloody table. The leader said he should be left as he was exploring the sensation or something Grin

I've also seen on here that you should never make a child say sorry to another child. They must only apologise if they want to.
Don't get me started on the parents that believe in Free choice for their children and not believing in using the word No. Hmm

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