How Not to Kill Your Baby {Review and Giveaway}

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.


  1. says

    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. says

    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. says

    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.

  4. says

    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!

  5. says

    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!

  6. Kim says

    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.

  7. Krystina says

    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!

  8. says

    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.”

  9. Jessica T says

    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?

  10. Karla S says

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

    Great giveaway!

  11. says

    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!

  12. Gianna says

    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..

  13. says

    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.

  14. says

    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!

  15. says

    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!

  16. Kelly Marceau says

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

  17. says

    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!

  18. Susan Annon says

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

  19. says

    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.

  20. Alison S. says

    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!

  21. June says

    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)

  22. tamar says

    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?

  23. Giant Sis says

    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?

  24. Diane says

    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!

  25. bonnie says

    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…”

  26. Caroline says

    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!

  27. Jessica Rose says

    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.

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