The internet, if used cautiously, can actually be a very useful tool for treading the treacherous waters of first time parenting. It is also filled with awful, crappy and terrible parenting advice that will make you question how the internet ever got it’s doctorate degree.
Since we’re currently knee deep in the 4 month sleep regression, I’ve had lots and lots and lots of “free time” to search the deep, dark recesses of the web. I’ve been to places that shouldn’t exist and seen things that can never be unseen. To save you the long and horrific journey, I have collected some of the most heinous advice that I will now share with you.
1. Babies can manipulate you by fake crying.
Until their brains are developed, babies don’t have many ways to communicate their needs. Luckily, they learn pretty fast that crying seems to shift our attention from our smartphones to them. They cry when they’re hungry, they cry when they’re overtired, and many of them cry when they’re left for too long in a diaper full of hate juice (Popeye, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to mind a poopy diaper).
2. Crying helps develop a baby’s lungs.
Holy shitnoodles, does anyone actually believe this? If you do just 3 seconds of research, you will find out that a baby’s lungs are developed in the womb by week 36. Usually, the people that believe this also believe that babies can manipulate you. Perhaps they manipulate you with their super lungs.
3. If you cuddle your baby they will become spoiled.
Or, they might grow up to be well adjusted adults that feel loved, nurtured and complete. Even if it was a toss-up between those two options (which it is not), I would take the gamble. When you cuddle your baby you are building a foundation of trust, establishing their sense of self-worth and offering them security.
4. If your baby bites you while breastfeeding, bite them back.
There’s times when I feel like Popeye poops on purpose within minutes of me changing him and sometimes he’ll even look at me afterwards as if to say “deal with it, peasant.” I know it’s not the case, but it’s just so easy to take it personally when a baby does something annoying. Things like vindictiveness and empathy are pretty complex though, and it takes years for a new human to figure them out. So if you bite your baby because they bit you first, you’re not teaching them a lesson, you’re just being a dick. To a baby.
5. Don’t tickle a baby’s feet or they will stutter when they are older.
I don’t even know how to respond to this one.
6. If you let your baby stand too soon, they will be bowlegged for life.
Many, if not most, babies are born with bowed legs because of how they were positioned in the womb. So unless you have found a way to make them stand up while in utero, you will be hard pressed to be the cause of it. Also, once they start walking it almost always works itself out. If you really want them to blame you for something when they are older, then there are probably plenty of genetic traits that you passed on to them that they will not be happy about.
There is just so much terrible parenting advice online and I barely scratched the surface. Maybe I’ll uncover more the next time Popeye decides that sleeping is overrated at 3 in the morning. If you happen to believe any of these nuggets, I don’t think that you are a terrible person, I just think you are wrong. Very, very wrong. Any and all disagreements can be shared below.