How Not to Kill Your Baby {Review and Giveaway}

by Dawn

I have a bit of a parenting book collection. As a preschool teacher, I like to make some copies available to my families for borrowing, and I still have enough at home to fill a few small shelves. I’ve read most of them, and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with them in general. I love being reminded to think about how I parent, but it can often be overwhelming to take in and retain all the information. And don’t forget the fact that you can always find a book that tells you you’re doing it all wrong.

If you share this view of parenting books, even just a little, you’ll be sure to appreciate the upcoming parody book, How Not to Kill Your Baby: A Slightly Useless Guide by Jacob Sager Weinstein, set to release next week.

The laughs start immediately with a series of safety warnings on the first pages. In the same tone as the incessant safety warnings that now adorn basically everything, these nine items caution readers on ways to keep themselves and their children safe in regards to this book. (Did you know that the book is technically a choking hazard… “if your child has a large, book-shaped mouth,” of course.) The text barely acknowledges its satirical nature, with just a slight wink and nod implied, and the graphs and images included in each section are as hilarious as the text.

I believe I laughed the hardest at chapter four, entitled “Push Harder, Damn It! The Miracle of Birth.” Obviously Mr. Weinstein has been involved in packing a bag for the hospital, for the best items he lists include: “Baby’s first outfit; Baby’s second outfit, after baby spits up over baby’s first outfit; Baby’s third through fortieth outfits.” The hour-by-hour guide to labor gives such helpful tips to laboring moms as this gem:

“At the appropriate point, be sure to ask to have a mirror positioned so that you can see your baby begin to emerge. Also be sure to ask for a blindfold so that you don’t have to see your baby begin to emerge.”

I honestly giggled at every single page in this funny little book, and I’m looking forward to including it in the gift bag that we will bring to a friend who is expecting her first child any time now. How Not to Kill Your Baby: A Slightly Useless Guide will surely make new– and experienced– moms laugh and hopefully breathe a little easier about the constant pressure that parents can feel about doing everything right at every moment.

We have one copy of How Not to Kill Your Baby for giveaway, US addresses only. Just for fun, leave a comment here with a piece of useless parenting advice you’ve received to be entered. (You’ll be happy to know that the author includes the advice that a baby should ALWAYS wear a hat, lest the parent be accosted by a group of angry grandmothers!) The winner will be announced here on March 26.

The winner of When I Woke Up, I was a Hippopotamus is # 29, Kathy Stevenson.

The Jane Green novel Another Piece of My Heart giveaway is still open for another week, and we currently have even more giveaways open at 5 Minutes for Books.

5 Minutes for Books staff reviewer Dawn blogs when she can, usually with at least an attempt at humor, at my thoughts exactly.

Email Author    |    Website About Dawn

When she's not reviewing books, 5 Minutes for Books contributor Dawn (and her online alter ego, morninglight mama) can be found blogging at my thoughts exactly and contributing to The DC Moms.

View all articles by

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ticia March 12, 2012 at 9:59 am

Hmmm…… March 26 might be too late for that baby shower……..

Most useless advice: “You should have a natural delivery without drugs, I can’t believe you’re planning on having a C-section.” Ummmm, my doctor said it’s medically neccessary and she doesn’t think both babies will survive labor and delivery. So I’ll go with the doctor.


2 Jennifer Donovan March 12, 2012 at 10:31 am

From old-school relatives: Never wake a sleeping baby. My daughter was born at 38 weeks, and I think she was determined to sleep through those extra 2 weeks, whether she was in the womb or out! I had a hard enough problem with milk supply, and I actually had to wake her up to get her to try to nurse.


3 Linda Kish March 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm

This book looks like a lot of fun. Count me in, please.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


4 Ruth March 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Many thanks. Someone once said to me many years ago, fit your baby into your own life and schedule. Certainly I thought, that will happen. Never did.


5 Anne March 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Most useless advice I got was which brand of diaper to use – different styles fit different bodies (and bodily movements). It’s a matter of trial and error. Looks like a really fun gift book – would love to win a gift to myself!


6 Shantel Schrag March 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Love this!! I think the most useless piece of advice was probably about not holding them too much. Who cares if you hold your baby too much doesn’t that mean you love them? They are only babies for so long and I want to enjoy every moment of it!


7 Van March 12, 2012 at 5:09 pm

My brother & his wife are having their first little one, would be perfect for them.


8 Beth March 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm

LOL! Never leave the house with wet hair!

bethsbookreviewblog2 AT gmail DOT com


9 Kim March 12, 2012 at 6:58 pm

um, how about to put kneepads on their little bruise-able knees.. because ya know, I’m sure that’s what the cave-man mommies did.


10 Maricris March 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Looks interesting! I think it’s a lot of fun reading it.


11 Krystina March 12, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Haha! I love that, sounds right up my alley! I can’t remember any useless piece of baby knowledge, but I was told plenty of times that I can’t move this or lift this or hold something because it’s not good. I’ve been doing the same work for 5 years, just because I’m pregnant doesn’t mean I’m an invalid!


12 Jeannie Davis March 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Looks like a really cute book!

The most useless piece of advice I ever received cocerning being a parent was “It will get easier.” YEA RIGHT! LOL



13 Jennifer Lavender March 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Before my oldest was born my mom threw me a baby shower and had each of the guests write some advice on a business card size piece of paper for me to put into the baby book. One of them said, “I don’t know much about babies, but I do know you’re not supposed to drop them on their heads, so don’t do that.”


14 Jessica T March 12, 2012 at 11:29 pm

I don’t know if I got useless advice . . .I got told A LOT to “cherish the time – it goes by fast” and it was said so often that it felt useless . . .but it is so true, isn’t it?


15 Meredith March 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Am still dying over the title alone of this book…awesome.


16 Karla S March 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Breastfeed as long as you can, their poop stinks less with breastmilk! (Still not sure how true that is….)

Great giveaway!


17 Martha C March 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I would love to share this with the next generation of my family having babies..being a great aunt is great. I ignored most of the useless information and all my kids survived!


18 Gianna March 14, 2012 at 6:09 pm

The advice comment that took the cake for me was, “You need to feed your baby formula because breast milk doesn’t have enough nutrients.” I had no words..


19 Barb March 15, 2012 at 9:41 am

My favorite useless advice: Be sure to speak only one language to your child, or he will be confused and not be able to speak either language.


20 Garrett March 16, 2012 at 8:24 am

Good book for any new parents.


21 Tami March 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm

This book looks hilarious! Sorry I can’t think of any useless advice right now though I know I ignored a lot of it. The BEST advice I got was “sleep when the baby sleeps” although that really only works with the first one!


22 Chriss March 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm

The baby would learn to sleep through the normal household sounds. Then the tiptoeing began.


23 Michelle N March 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Sleep while you can! Great giveaway, thanks!


24 Jeff March 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Could advice book for parents.


25 riTa March 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Not directly about parenting, but when I was about to have a second C-section, the doctor tried to allay my fears by suggesting he could do the procedure with his eyes closed!
I’d love to give this book to my DIL who is expecting her fourth!


26 Shannon Baas March 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm

no advice as this would be a gift.


27 Kelly Marceau March 18, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Didn’t hear much of useless advice. The advice I was given was all GREAT! Love to give the book to my daughter though!


28 Linda White March 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Sound fun to me! Advice is nice and can be used or not depending on who gives it to you!


29 EMMA L HORTON March 19, 2012 at 9:13 am



30 kazue March 19, 2012 at 12:04 pm

useless advice: don’t drop him (like i was thinking of doing that!)


31 gail March 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Everyone says ‘make time for yourself’ but it’s impossible to do!


32 lauren knott March 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Sleep when the baby sleeps, how do you do that when you also have a two year old?


33 Erin Pyle March 21, 2012 at 2:39 am

the best useless advice given to me was that newborn stage is the hardest… HELLO? Newborn stage was the easiest! It’s when they are up and mobile getting into everything thats harder!


34 Susan Annon March 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Not advice but a comment, circa 1982—”You breast fed your babies? E-e-w, that’s so UNNATURAL!”


35 Staci A March 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Most useless? Don’t spoil your baby by holding him too much. (As he lays here napping on my lap!) They’re only little and snuggly for so long! I’ll enjoy every second of it while I can.


36 Alison S. March 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I ignored so much advice that I don’t think I have a particular one other than that I see friends of mine that are so limited and anti social because their lives revolve around the baby’s schedule. I’ve hauled my kids everywhere, any time I felt like it and they are just fine. ;) Best advice is to not become only mommy. Do stuff for you!


37 john bayliss March 22, 2012 at 2:54 am

make sure shoes are always tied


38 June March 22, 2012 at 10:02 am

I raised four children into now all wonderful adults. It all took time, understanding, and allot of being there for them when they needed me most. School, friends, baseball, football, basketball, cheer leading, homework, pimples, homecomings, and many more hill’s to climb after that. Just set a good ex sample for for your children, but most of all make sure they know whats right & wrong. And treat others the way you would wanted to be treated. (Respect)


39 susan varney March 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm

babies never smile before 6 months old


40 Carol M March 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I was told to keep the baby on a feed schedule. Yeah, right! I fed them when they were hungry!!!


41 Carol M March 22, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I was told to keep the baby on a feeding schedule. Yeah, right! I fed them when they were hungry!!!


42 Lori March 23, 2012 at 11:22 am

This is such a good book for the new parents.


43 tamar March 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

Useless piece of parenting advice? that it’s okay in big families to pass a newborn around in a house full of people. sadly, this comes from an in-law. Really?


44 ANGEL JACKLYN March 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Don’t rock your baby too fast. No crap! Lol.


45 Giant Sis March 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm

I don’t have any kids – but I think one of the useless reasons I’ve been told why I SHOULD have kids is so that I’ll have someone to take care of ME when I get older… Is there some guarantee for that?


46 Diane March 23, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Worst advice? You should never let a baby cry himself to sleep! If you coddle them too much, they will never be sleep trained and you will have a two year old who needs to be rocked to sleep!


47 Brittney House March 24, 2012 at 12:42 am

“Unless you read baby books, you’ll be lost when the baby comes”


48 bonnie March 24, 2012 at 12:48 am

We’re expecting our first and we haven’t gotten a lot of advice yet, but we have gotten a lot of warnings like, “you think you don’t sleep now…”


49 Eileen March 24, 2012 at 9:31 am

If you have a lot of heartburn during pregnancy your baby will have a lot of hair.


50 Valerie Taylor Mabrey March 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm

useless info…. get them on a schedule (it never worked)
vmkids3 at msn dot com


51 Ed Nemmers March 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Play classical music to the belly?!?


52 Caroline March 24, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Always make sure your baby has socks and shoes on, or they will catch a cold. Yeah right! I was doing good to keep them clothed some days!


53 shirley pebbles March 24, 2012 at 10:03 pm

If you get alot of heartburn the baby will be born with lots of hair.


54 DanV March 25, 2012 at 10:51 am

I was once told never to put down a stoller canopy, even if the baby’s sleeping


55 Missy Lynnh March 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm

“Crying it out is good for their lungs”

Umm that makes no sense.

mlynnh5 at gmail dot com


56 Jessica Rose March 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Since I’m not a parent, I don’t really have any useless advice, but I’ve always heard people say to sleep every chance you get.


57 sarah woods March 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm

How perfect and within the know not to kill the love of your heart/soul. Thanks SW


58 Jennifer J March 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Let the baby cry themselves to sleep. It’s a stupid idea, especially if you have a colicky baby.


59 Lauren McBee June 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm

“never, ever let your baby cry.” sure thing.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: