You Gave Birth to Such an Adorable...Object!

Jessica Hagy peels back polite words in this Venn diagram. Well, you can't just point out the obvious right in front of the parents.

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My uncle, a priest who had to deal with many proud parents of ugly babies, kept it simple: when he was presented with a baby too homely for praise he would exclaim "What a baby!" and the parents would always beam. 'Nuff said.
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Thankfully, the Interweb has come up with a step-by-step guide on how to react to an ugly baby. For example:

Think of indirect compliments that can be said with a genuine underpinning. Direct compliments may stick in your throat but there are plenty of polite and considerate ways around this. Here are just some of them:

- Talk about how much hair he or she has (or lack thereof) or the size of his or her feet and hands.

-Suggest that you're positive the baby is trying to smile already and that it's clear he or she has a "very happy demeanor"––no parent is going to be put off by having a happy baby!

-Single out the one feature that is nice to behold. It might be the eyes, or the tiny fingers or the way the baby's toes curl up. This works whether you're totally clueless about babies or well-versed in having your own because it shows that you're noticing something about the baby that matters to you.

-Another great way around focusing on the ugly stick is to comment on the baby's health. Simply say with great heartiness: "Wow, you've one healthy looking baby there!", or something along similar lines. Again, it'd be an odd parent who didn't glow at the thought of having a healthy bub.

-Go all ga ga and just make baby noises. Say something like "Aw, goo, who's a liddle baby den, coochy coochy coo, look at you!" Total nonsense baby talk can maneuver you right around the issue of ugliness. And it can alleviate your guilt knowing you look like a complete idiot doing baby talk, thereby deflecting the awkward moment of lack of praise into a moment of self-deprecating behavior.
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