Essential baby-care advice

While your family and friends are full of well-intentioned advice, it's possible that their pointers may lead you astray. Here are three outdated pieces of parenting advice that you can feel free to ignore.

1. You spoil your baby when you pick him up too much

Newborns usually cry because they have a need. Whether it's a nappy change, a feeding or just a cuddle, soothing your baby helps him feel secure and loved. Babies simply cannot be spoiled. In fact, the more consistent you are at meeting his needs before he's six months old, the less demanding your baby will be later on in life.

2. Keep the house quiet while your baby sleeps

As it turns out, babies are actually used to hearing background noise from their time spent in the womb. Go ahead and run the vacuum cleaner during nap time if you like. The humming of the machine may help to ease your baby to sleep, and you can get some of your own 'to do' list done while they rest.

3. Put your baby on a strict feeding schedule

It was once thought that babies should be fed every four hours after leaving the hospital. The belief was that feeding on demand (whenever a baby was hungry) would spoil a baby and even increase the risk of an intestinal infection. Now, however, many doctors suggest following your baby's lead when satisfying his hunger needs.

Baby-care advice has certainly evolved over the years, but one thing about parenting stays constant: the desire to keep your baby happy and healthy. And remember: you know your baby best!

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