From the naively misguided to the agressively rude, unwanted comments come at parents from seemingly every friend, family members and even strangers on the street. It seems if you’ve got a child people feel the need to comment.
“Are you still breastfeeding?” “Don’t you hurt you back carrying him around like that?” “If you don’t get him out of your bed soon he’ll want to sleep with you forever.” “Sleeping through the night is important, cut those feeds now.”
Have you heard something like this before? At first it might sound like they’re just being curious, asking after your baby and maybe offering some advice.
The second time it becomes uncomfortable.
And then it happens again and again and again and you don’t know what to say.
You have some options on how to respond ranging from polite to aggressive. Depending on who you’re responding to will depend on how you respond. If you’re wanting to keep the friendship.
Breastfeeding comments – start off by stating that you’re happy with your feeding arrangement and will not be weaning at this stage. If the comments keep coming then stating the WHO recommendation of AT LEAST 2 years can help. Pointing out how healthy your baby is can also silence critics. Finally stating that it’s none of their business can work.
Co-sleeping/bedsharing – if the safety I’d being questioned, state that you have done the research and are following safe sleeping practices. If they’re saying that it’s inappropriate simply state it works for your family and he will sleep alone when he’s ready. If all else fails, none of their business.
Babywearing – it’s comfortable for me and my baby and works for my family. He’s more content being carried and gives me my hands free. It’s easier then taking a pram with you.
Cry it out – you’re not comfortable with cry it out or controlled crying and don’t feel it will work for your family.
Gentle guidance – this one gets me all fired up, children don’t need a good spanking, they need guidance, and teaching. This doesn’t come with violence. It is important to tell anyone that is looking after your child that spanking is not appropriate.
Baby led weaning – ensure your commenter that she is eating enough, she will not choke and that BLW encourages baby to eat at their own pace.
Above all remembers to say “none of your business.” Snappy witty comebacks usually go straight over people’s heads so it’s best to be direct. Thanking someone for their concern but ensuring them that you are happy with your choice is usually the best approach if wanting to maintain the relationship after the fact. Telling someone to back off and mind their own business might offend someone but if said person is routinely questioning your ability as a parent, do you really want them to stick around?