Carrying a baby around, I’ve noticed, is the best way to get complete strangers to talk to you. I’m sure they all mean well, but I’m amazed at all the weird ‘advice’ and comments I’ve received in the past year or so. Here are some that I’ve heard more than once.
1. He has such little hair. You should shave it all off so that more can grow.
2. Is he ‘mixed’? No? Are you sure? (Yes, of course I’m sure!)
3a. Why didn’t you dress him in a long-sleeved top / long pants / hat / socks? It’s such a sunny day, you know.
3b. Are you sure what he’s wearing is warm enough? I think he’s cold. Why don’t you put a sweater / hat / long pants / socks on him?
4. Can he walk yet? No? You must boil frog legs for him! His legs are too weak, that’s why he can’t walk yet.
5. Did he say ‘Papa’ or ‘Mama’ first? Papa? Oh then your next child will be a boy.
6. Is he on formula milk? Oh you’re still breastfeeding? No wonder he is so fair.
7. It’s cruel to put him in the carrier facing you. Why don’t you want him to look around?
8. Don’t let him look at his reflection in the mirror! He will only want you, and will not allow other people to carry him.
Noah playing with his reflection
9. Fresh fish and meat tastes sweeter. He doesn’t want to eat because you don’t cook fresh food daily for him.
10. Don’t say things like ‘He’s a good boy.’ or ‘He’s a clever boy.’ in front of him. It’s bad luck.
11. Are you sure he is drinking enough milk? Maybe he’s sucking but there’s no milk coming out?
12. Is your baby a boy or a girl? A boy? Really? But he looks like a girl!
13. (When I requested for a high chair at a restaurant for him)
Waitress: He’s too young to sit in a high chair! Are you sure you want a high chair?
Me: Yes, he’s xx months old already and uses a high chair at home.
Waitress: No, I don’t think he can sit in it! He’s so small.
14. You’re still breastfeeding? Why don’t you give him formula milk to fatten him up?
15. Does he crawl around at home? Isn’t it bad for his knees?
16. (When Noah was younger) Don’t put him in an upright position. You will damage his spine.
What are some of the strangest comments or ‘advice’ you’ve received?
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