Baby Care Today: Old Advice You Can Safely Ignore

From feeding to sleeping to dressing, baby-care beliefs have changed dramatically since you were born. Here's the outdated advice you can safely ignore.

Bath Time & Fever Cures

Bathing Basics

baby bath

Old Advice: Babies need daily baths.

New Advice: It's not necessary to bathe an infant more than two or three times a week, as long as you wash her face, hands, and bottom in between full baths. If your baby enjoys baths and you choose to bathe her every day, however, use soap only on the face, hands, and bottom. Using soap all over the body will dry out her skin.

Fighting Fever

Old Advice: When infants are feverish, give them baby aspirin and rub them down with alcohol to cool their skin.

New Advice: Never give a baby (or any child under 18) aspirin, because it increases the risk of Reye's syndrome, a potentially fatal disorder that can occur in children recovering from a viral illness. Use acetaminophen or ibuprofen instead. "Alcohol is counterproductive to bringing down a fever because it evaporates on the skin, causing a baby to shiver, which actually generates more heat," Dr. Grunbaum says.

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