When you’re a new mom, it seems as though everyone – from your granny to the lady standing behind you in the Woolies queue – has an opinion on how you should be bringing up your child. While some of their advice is valuable, other tips should definitely be discarded.
We asked some moms to share the worst counsel they’ve received – prepare to be shocked.
- The nurse advised me to rub Vicks on my baby’s vaccination site. It’s supposed to numb the skin, but it turns out that rubbing broken skin can actually introduce infection or cause irritation. – Natacha
- I was told to put honey or sugar on my baby’s dummy. But it’s dangerous to give honey to a baby younger than one because it contains bacteria that can lead to infant botulism. – Casey
- Someone told me that my baby had breastfed for long enough when she was just three months old. – Tracey
- I was told that buying a car seat was a waste of money – especially since I had slept in a carry cot on the backseat and I was fine. – Lauren
- “Sleep when the baby is sleeping.” You need a minute to run the household and catch up a bit on your own life, don’t you? – Melanie
- I felt furious any time my parents said something that ended with “…and you were fine”. Maybe I am fine, but maybe I would be even better if they had done things differently! – Amy
- I was asked why I was bothering to invest in my child’s education when she was two. Apparently it’s only when they are in tertiary that you need to worry about school. – Mpho
- “Take your child on a chicken pox playdate.” This, apparently, helps you get it over and done with. – Erika
- I was advised to start smacking my baby when she was just eight months old. Seriously? No baby can understand why she is being punished at that age. – Phephe
- “Fall pregnant again before your child’s second birthday so that you don’t have to deal with the terrible twos.” Apparently, at that age she was supposed to be able to understand that she was a big sister and act like it. – Koko
- Don’t pick your baby up every time he cries. Of course I did – your child has to know that you are always there for him. – Corlia
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.