The ten worst baby tips... ever

Posted Friday 9th August 2013   By Ericka Waller

After Thing-one was born, my mother-in-law was desperate to impart her pearls of wisdom. Along with my own mother, the people in the doctor’s waiting surgery, the doctor’s receptionists (a breed of unhelpful, opinionated, false-nailed Nazis), and old ladies I pushed the buggy past in the street.

Even the Sainsbury’s delivery man once suggested I was giving Thing-three too much milk. “Look at the size of those legs. She doesn’t take after you.” That soon stopped me wearing my dressing gown into late afternoon.

Here are my favourite ‘helpful’ tips:

1. When you want to stop a baby breastfeeding, pull their toes firmly. I tried this once. She shrieked and bit me. I cried, and shamefully piddled into my Tena lady.

2. Leave them to cry or their lungs will not develop properly. How? How specifically, will letting a baby scream its head off and make itself sick, develop it’s lungs?

3. If you bounce a baby on your lap they will grow up bow-legged. Love this. My great-aunt would tut with staunch disapproval each time she saw me do "This is the way the ladies ride". Of course I did it even more, just to annoy her.

4. Rub a baby in alcohol to bring down a fever. I think this one got confused as it was handed down through the generations. Now my family have a stiff drink themselves when a baby has a fever, or a bath, or a poo.

5. Crushed beetles and iron filings are good for a baby’s teeth. What more is there to say on this?

7. Don’t tickle your baby’s feet or they will have a stammer as a toddler. This was from an NCT fanatic at the Children’s Centre. You know the type. Still breastfeeding a toddler and campaigning against the MMR jab. Shops at Mini Boden.

8. Too many ice lollies will give a child worms. Shamefully I actually say this when the girls keep nagging me for ice-pops.

9. Never breastfeed in anger. You will pass the negativity on to your baby. If I had followed this little gem my children would have starved.

10. This is my favourite: an old lady suggested I pin back Thing-Two’s ears so it didn’t look like my husband was ‘holding a trophy’.