I have occasionally come across articles on "what not to say" to someone who has had a miscarriage. I think such articles are helpful because miscarriage is hard to understand from an outside perspective. It's an unfortunate, unfair thing that we all wish didn't happen.
In the course of the last 3 months, I have determined that similar articles should be written and widely publicized to inform people of "what not to say" to someone with a newborn. It is strange that people need to be told things which, to me, seem so obvious and rational even if you have never had kids, but perhaps my faith in humanity is unfounded?
Here are some gems I've collected in the last few months that seriously drive me up. the. wall.
1. "Let her cry, it's good for her lungs". Really? You don't think she's using her only mode of communication to indicate a need? You believe it's her daily lung exercises? Well, that makes a lot of sense. When I get up in the morning, I like to do a bit of screaming to get the old lungs going. It was recommended to me by my cardio-pulmonary specialist. Apparently Michael Phelps credits his epic lung capacity to his parents letting him cry bloody murder instead of changing his diaper.
2. "You're letting her control you". Yezzzz, my newborn is a diabolical schemer! She's plotting to take over the world, and step one is to control mommy. I generally have a serious problem with people who think that the baby needs to learn to do as she's told. She doesn't have that capacity yet, and if you try to force your will upon her, NOBODY ends up happy.
3. And last but certainly not least - people who make animal noises/calls at my baby... oh my god, if I ever get violent with someone it will likely be because they barked, meowed, chirped or whistled at my baby. Ok, I get that you don't know how to do baby talk - I don't either - but that's no reason to resort to communication from the animal kingdom. Just talk to her like a normal person. Say "hello". And I'm not talking about when you're showing her a picture of a cow or a dog in the park. It's totally acceptable to make an animal noise in reference to the actual animal that makes such noise.