Ancient Advice: Keep your baby bundled up so he doesn’t catch a cold.
Reality Check: While it is probably a good idea to wrap your little angel up in an extra blanket when venturing out into arctic temperatures, it is a myth that people catch colds from being cold. The best defense against cold season is preventing the spread of germs through thorough hand-washing. In fact, over-bundling your tyke can put him at risk for SIDS.
Ancient Advice: If your baby has a fever or is in pain from teething, give her baby aspirin.
Reality Check: Despite the incredibly counterintuitive name, baby aspirin is not for babies. Giving baby aspirin to your infant can put her at risk for Reye’s syndrome—a rare but potentially fatal disease.
Ancient Advice: Your baby will sleep better on his stomach.
Reality Check: Though it was a common theory up until the early 90s that babies should sleep on their stomachs to prevent regurgitating and choking while sleeping, in 1994 the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Health Department launched the “Back to Sleep” campaign, urging parents to put infants to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Ancient Advice: Put your baby in the front seat of the car so you can reach her.
Reality Check: The back seat is the safest place for all children under 12 years of age. When your baby is under the age of 1 or under 20 pounds, she belongs in a rear-facing car seat, and keeping her in that position until she has reached your seat’s maximum height and weight limits is the safest option. Once your baby has outgrown the rear-facing limits for her seat and has reached 1 year of age, she can sit in a forward-facing car seat—but she still needs to be in the back seat.
Ancient Advice: You shouldn’t bounce your baby on your lap, help him stand or over-handle him, because his bones are soft and you could cause spine curvature or make him bow-legged.
Reality Check:Your baby’s bones are surprisingly resilient, so don’t worry about bending them. If anything, helping your baby to stand and bounce will strengthen his legs and help him learn to stand on his own.
Ancient Advice: Your baby needs hard-soled shoes that provide lots of support.
Reality Check: Babies only need shoes for protecting their feet when outside or for warmth. In fact, experts recommend leaving your child barefoot while learning how to walk indoors. When outdoors, opt for soft-soled, flexible shoes.