Parents receive over 200 pieces of annoying advice before baby is six months old

Frustrated new parents will receive over 200 pieces of annoying advice by the time their baby turns six months old – with the most common being “Sleep when the baby sleeps”, research has found.

Other exasperating pointers include “stop holding the baby so much”, “you're not holding them correctly”, and “babies should be left to cry it out”.

The poll of 1,000 parents, with children aged up to seven years old, found that almost half (44%) began receiving guidance as soon as they told people they were expecting.

And in the first half-year of their child's life, the parents polled had to put up with as many as nine tips a week from well-meaning family, friends, and even strangers.

As such, one in four (24%) reckon they were completely overwhelmed with people telling them how they should feed, sleep, eat, exercise, and behave.

And the most irritating pointers come from eager over-50s, who delivered almost two-thirds (64%) of the advice doled out.

A spokesman for baby brand Ergobaby, which commissioned the research to celebrate its 20th year, said: “It can be hard to navigate all the conflicting opinions the modern world throws at us.

“Your whole life is changing, and it’s hard to tell which titbits are useful, which are outdated, which are helpful, and which could be harmful.

“Added to this, for many aspects of parenting there is no right or wrong answer – what works for one child may not for another.

“All families are different, and while there are some universal truths, almost every parent will experience their child’s first months differently.”

And it seems mums-to-be receive the most advice – with 37% being told before their baby even came along that “breast is best” when it comes to feeding.

Another 41% were told to “bank” their sleep, as they “won’t sleep once the baby’s born” – while in contrast, only 17% of men were told the same.

Comments on the size and shape of bumps were rife, with 39% of women receiving comments on the size of their stomach – along with 36% being told the shape and height meant a particular sex of baby.

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And one in three were encouraged to pile their plates high at mealtimes – as they were now “eating for two”.

But it’s not just mums suffering the effects of misplaced “help”, as 32% of parents-to-be were told ad nauseum to enjoy their freedom now, as life was about to change forever – along with “it goes by so fast, make sure you appreciate every minute!” (31%).

More than a quarter (27%) of parents polled, via OnePoll, believe unsolicited pieces of advice come from know-it-alls that can’t help giving out advice, even if it’s not wanted.

But the same amount think some people just want to be included in the process.

Ergobaby’s spokesman added: “People will have different motivations for wanting to give advice, but most genuinely are trying to be helpful, even if they don’t always succeed.

“Those who have gone through struggles before want to help their loved ones through it all. The joys and jobs of parenting are endless, and having people by your side can make a real, positive difference.

“One thing is certain, all parents are trying to do what’s best for their baby and for their families – which makes it hard to go wrong.”


  1. “Sleep when the baby sleeps”
  2. “I always used to do THIS, and my kids turned out fine”

  3. “Stop holding baby so much, you’ll spoil him/her”

  4. “You must have a second baby as otherwise you are selfish/your other child will suffer/be spoilt, etc.”

  5. “You’re not holding the baby correctly”

  6. “Babies should be left to cry it out”

  7. “You’re making a rod for your own back”

  8. “Don’t entertain baby with a screen/TV/iPad/smartphone”

  9. “Don’t let them in your bed with you or they’ll never leave”

  10. “Oh it’s just colic”

  11. “You’re bound to feel emotional – it’s the hormones”

  12. “It goes by so fast, cherish every second”

  13. “The baby’s crying because he/she is over stimulated/over tired”

  14. “You’ve got to start them with baby rice/porridge when weaning”

  15. “Dummies will delay speech/ruin teeth”

  16. “They’re just trying to manipulate you”

  17. “You should wean baby onto solids after “X” amount of time”

  18. “Trust me, you’ll miss this age!”

  19. “Before you know it, they’ll be in secondary school”

  20. “They can’t be hungry again”

  21. “Babies just sleep all the time in the first few weeks”

  22. “The child should be in their own room by “X” months”

  23. “Breastfeeding will shrink your tummy down faster”

  24. “Everything’s just a phase”

  25. “Just wait!”

  26. “Always put them down drowsy but awake”

  27. “Don’t rush your babies, they will go at their own pace (when it comes to crawling, walking, talking, etc.)”

  28. What baby things to buy

  29. “What you eat and drink comes out in your milk”

  30. “Don’t forget your pelvic floor exercises and kegels!”

  31. “If you just relax, the milk will flow/breast-feeding will be easier”

  32. “Never wake a sleeping baby”

  33. “You must use re-usable nappies/Disposable nappies are bad”

  34. “Add some baby rice to their bottle to fill them up”

  35. “Read to your baby”

  36. “Take lots of photos, they’re only small once!”

  37. “Don’t put them in childcare, they need you”

  38. “You’ll have to get them used to a bottle now or they’ll never take one”

  39. “Babies need a steady routine”

  40. “Don’t let the cat/dog/other pet go near the baby”

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