When it comes to babies, advice seems to differ with each person you talk to. Even doctors and pediatricians hear about new studies or standards that require them to change up their advice. Because guidelines shift, you may find yourself wondering what outdated baby safety advice to ignore and what new advice has replaced the old.
Even from when I became a mother for the first time four years ago to present day, some of the key pieces of advice I received have shifted, done a complete 18º flip, or been shown to have no scientific foundation whatsoever. So, it's not just your grandmother's advice you may want to check up on because even advice from a mom friend who had her baby two years ago could be different today.
With the constant studies and updates occurring, it can be difficult to weed out the good advice from the bad, and about the time you finally feel like you're figuring it out, something's bound to change again. And that's totally OK — as a mom, you often learn to roll with the punches pretty gracefully. However, to keep you a little bit ahead of the advice you may get, here are some outdated tips you're free to ignore.
1Be Quiet While Baby Is Sleeping
Although this may seem logical at first, it actually hurts your chances of getting a baby to stay asleep in the long run. It's just not possible to control every little sound, and if your baby gets used to total silence, they're more likely to wake up. According to Pampers, your baby is actually used to background noise from the womb, so turn on the vacuum or go about your business as loudly as possible. This way it becomes the norm, and you don't have to tip-toe around during sleeping hours.
2Babies Should Sleep On Their Bellies
Doctors used to give the advice that babies should sleep on their stomach to avoid choking on vomit or mucus. Today, the advice has done a complete turn around though. Brixy shared that this advice has shifted to babies should sleep on their backs with nothing else in their crib to decrease SIDS risk.
3A Feeding Schedule Is A Must For Newborns
Telling new mothers to stay on a strict 3 to 4 hour schedule when feeding their babies used to be the norm, either to prevent "spoiling" them or to make sure they're eating enough. This isn't the case anymore. Most doctors don't want you to implement a feeding schedule for babies. "For the first three months, follow the baby's lead and feed on demand," Parents adviser Dr. Katherine Karlsrud shared with the publication.
4Use Cereal To Help Your Baby Sleep At Night
Many people swear by adding cereal to a baby's bottle at 6 weeks old to help them sleep better through the night. Parents shared there's actually no evidence babies sleep better with the cereal added to their bottles. In fact, adding in foods too early can cause a higher risk of developing food allergies and digestive problems.
5Baby Walkers Are Helpful When Learning To Walk
According to Brixy, baby walkers can actually hinder your baby's walking capabilities or their learning time frame. Mobile walkers allow your little one to move around too easily with the assistance and can delay them from learning on their own without support.
6Babies Need A Daily Bath Routine
Many parents feel pressure from the advice to have a daily bath routine. Luckily, it's total bogus. According to Brixy, babies don't sweat or get dirty like adults, so there's no reason to bathe them more than a couple times a week. However, if you find yourself worrying you're bathing too infrequently, read up on things that happen if you're not bathing baby enough to put your mind at ease.
7Use Aspirin For A Fever
Aspirin used to be advised for babies who were feverish. Now, according to Parents, you shouldn't give any child under 18 aspirin because it increases risk of Reye's syndrome. A good alternative for a fever is acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
8Don't Spoil Your Baby By Holding Them Too Much
According to Pampers, babies generally cry when they need something. It can be anything from hunger to a dirty diaper to simply needing to be soothed. There's no evidence or real basis for the idea that a baby can be spoiled if they're held too much. Pampers went on to share that in reality the more consistent you are with meeting a baby's needs in the first six months, the less demanding they may be later on in life.
9Rub Alcohol On Baby's Gums For Teething Pain
One of the top pieces of advice (jokingly or not) I heard in reference to teething was to rub some whiskey on babies' gums for teething. As you probably already figured out, that's definitely not recommended by professionals today. According to Diaper Buys, alcohol is extremely hazardous to a baby, and even as little as a teaspoon can cause intoxication or lead to serious health complications.
10Let Your Baby Sleep In Their Carseat At Home
If your baby falls asleep while you're driving around in the car, it's often a relief. Luckily, this outdated baby advice primarily applies to leaving your little one in their carseat once you've taken them out of the vehicle and brought them inside. Many times, the advice given is to let them keep sleeping in their carseat once you've brought them in. However, The Journal of Pediatrics found that "sitting devices" like car seats can lead to injury and even death if babies are allowed to sleep in them unsupervised, loosely buckled, or not buckled at all.
11Breastmilk And Formula Are The Same
Choosing between breastfeeding and formula feeding is 100 percent a personal decision, and there is no shame in either. In the past, doctors encouraged mothers to formula feed, and even today, some people offer the advice that there isn't a difference. However, studies show that breastfeeding does have benefits. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), breastmilk boosts a baby's immune system and has the ability to change in composition per feeding based on what your baby needs.