Q: My best friend has a 6- and a 4-year-old and is constantly giving me been-there, done-that, unsolicited advice. How can I get her to back off? A: If your best friend isn't an overly sensitive soul, tell her straight-out that you appreciate her help, but you're doing fine on your own (just as she did with her firstborn). If she is more likely to take offense, tactfully tell her about a time when her advice didn't work for you ("I tried your sleep routine the other night and it took even longer than usual for Junior to nod off. I guess there's no perfect strategy for every baby. Now I'm doing such and such instead..."). It may not stop her from pelting you with more pearls of wisdom, but she might actually try to put a sheen of humility on them, which makes them much easier to take.
Babytalk contributing editor Kitty O'Callaghan is a mom of two boys and a girl in White Plains, New York.