New parents are often overwhelmed with pieces of baby advice. Sometimes, the advice comes from family members who really do mean well by giving you a piece of baby advice that they used on their children. Other times, some random person at the grocery store feels the need to toss unwanted baby advice at you. It can become difficult to tell the good advice from the bad.
One way to sort things out is to see if the advice you were given is in this list of outdated baby advice. All of the baby advice in this list started out as something that was common knowledge and generally regarded as the “right” way or “best” way to help one’s baby. Over time, developments in science, medicine, and general knowledge make some baby advice become outdated.
Outdated Advice: When infants are running a high temperature, rub them down with alcohol to lower their fever.
According to Ari Brown M.D., that piece of outdated advice is not only useless, it is also unsafe! Rubbing your baby with alcohol will not have any affect on bringing down a fever. What makes it unsafe? The alcohol can actually be absorbed through your baby’s skin.
Outdated Advice: Listening to classical music will raise your baby’s IQ.
Listening to classical music won’t cause any harm to your baby. He or she might enjoy it! However, pleasure is the only positive effect that listening to classical music can provide. There is no conclusive research that has found that having a baby listen to classical music (as opposed to any other type of music) has any significant benefit on a baby’s IQ.
Outdated Advice: It is dangerous to immunize a baby if her or she has a cold or low-grade fever.
That outdated advice is simply incorrect. A minor illness won’t lower your baby’s immune system response to a vaccination. It also won’t increase his or her risk of having a nasty reaction from an immunization.
Outdated Advice: The safest way to put an infant down for a nap (or for the night) is to place the baby on his or her stomach.
This piece of advice is not only outdated, but can be dangerous! The safest sleep position for a baby is on his or her back. Keep in mind this helpful phrase: “back to sleep”. Studies have linked higher rates of SIDS to babies that had been lying on their sides or tummies while sleeping.
Image by Quinn Dombrowski on Flickr.