Sometimes it's difficult to sort through all the parenting advice you get.

12 pieces of outdated parenting advice

You've probably been overwhelmed with parenting advice ever since you've found out that you're expecting. However, not all advice is created equal, and it's important to sort out the good from the bad.

Here is some advice that is simply outdated and that you can safely ignore:

  • Babies need total silence to sleep: Actually, nine months in the womb have conditioned your infant for sleeping while surrounded by noise. It's good for babies to learn how to sleep well in the presence of others.
  • Babies should be bathed daily: Babies don't sweat the way adults do, so there's actually no reason to bathe your baby more than two or three times weekly. If your baby enjoys daily baths, just make sure not to use soap every day and moisturize as needed so sensitive skin doesn't get dried out.
  • Babies should sleep face-down: Doctors used to think that babies should sleep on their stomachs to avoid choking on mucus or vomit. Now we know, however, that babies should sleep on their backs without any pillows, blankets or stuffed toys, in order to decrease their risk of SIDS.
  • Baby shoes are needed to support the ankles: Infant shoes aren't actually necessary except when your baby is walking outside or needs the added warmth. It's best to let babies go barefoot when learning to walk in your home.
  • Baby walkers help infants learn to walk: Mobile walkers pose the risk of injury and allow babies to move around too easily. Instead, opt for a stationary walker, which allows babies to bounce and practice supporting themselves without letting them move around the room.
  • Comforting babies whenever they cry will spoil them: Infants under 4 months don't have the self-soothing strategies to comfort themselves. This is the time when it's best to establish a strong parent-infant bond by being there to reassure them.
  • Don't led your child stand and bounce on your lap: Parents used to think that this would bow the baby's legs, but actually it helps to strengthen their muscles, as long as they seem comfortable in the position.
  • Give babies aspirin for a fever: Children under the age of 18 shouldn't take aspirin, because it increases the risk of Reye's syndrome, a potentially fatal disorder that affects children recovering from a viral illness.
  • Pigeon toes need to be treated: It's normal for a baby's feet to turn inwards as a result of being in the womb for so long. In most cases, children's feet will turn out naturally at 3 or 4 years of age.
  • To cool the skin during a fever, rub your baby's skin with alcohol: Alcohol does cool your baby's skin, but it also causes them to shiver, which leads them to generate more body heat than they would have otherwise.
  • You can start giving your baby cereal at six weeks: There is some evidence that introducing solid foods too early may increase your child's risk of developing food allergies. Doctors recommend introducing solid food one at a time when your baby is 4 to 6 months old.
  • Your baby should follow a strict feeding schedule: Physicians used to recommend an inflexible four-hour feeding schedule for infants, but now doctors dissuade parents from establishing a strict schedule. "For the first three months, follow the baby's lead and feed on demand," Dr. Katherine Karlsrud told Parents Magazine. "If you have a newborn who fusses for a snack every hour, you can try to extend the time between feedings gradually as long as your baby is gaining weight."

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