Parenting, particularly new and first time parenting, is a minefield. Everyone knows it, and it seems everyone wants to help with advice and recommendations to make the journey easier.

While advice from those who came before is often well meaning, in many cases it fails to take into account that time has moved forward and things are done differently now.

Totally flouting current safety recommendations on the basis of “we did it and our kids turned out okay” ignores the fact that, in literally thousands of other cases, kids did not turn out okay. Safety standards are ever evolving as things that were once deemed safe and are found to not be so safe, often after tragic circumstances.

Below we take a look at some of the advice you might hear that is worth politely ignoring.

Old-fashioned advice, though often well-meaning, can be sometimes dangerous.

Babies should sleep on their tummies

We get it, parents follow the advice that they believe is right at the time, but advice like this is outdated for a reason. It used to be believed that allowing your baby to sleep face down would prevent them from choking on inhaled spit or vomit while sleeping.

Red Nose Australia research has found that placing your baby to sleep on their back greatly reduces the risk of sudden and unexpected death in infancy (SUDI), which includes SIDS. This is because healthy babies placed on their back to sleep are less likely to choke on vomit than tummy-sleeping infants.

Breastfeeding has a deadline

One old school of thought is that breastfeeding has no benefit to bub after a variety of seemingly randomly appointed timelines: after the first few months, once baby has teeth, after the first birthday etc.`

Breastfeeding your baby is a personal journey and it is up to you, your body and your child to decide when you are done.

Breastfeeding invites all sorts of advice.

Adding rice cereal to bottles will help baby sleep

It was not that long ago that the idea of putting cereal into a nightly bottle would fill up Bub and help them sleep. You might hear this advice from the older generation but these days that notion is a solid no.

The World Health Organization (WHO) advice is that babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months, and after that adding any kind of thickening agent to their drinks, particularly at bed time, can lead to choking.

Alcohol can help with teething and sleep

Booze as a part of the parenting arsenal might seem like a wild idea, but it wasn’t that long ago that using alcohol on babies was considered acceptable. Recently enough that you might still be advised to give it a try!

People once believed that rubbing whiskey on a teething babies gums would help with pain, some also thought that some rum mixed with water would help with colic, while others believed you could use spirits to sterilise a dummy.

Nope. Nope. Nope. No amount of alcohol is thought to be safe for infants, and you should think about locking the booze cabinet when those suggesting it are around.

You can dip a dummy in honey to help with teething pain

Look, people did really used to think this was okay, so it might be understandable if your aunty tells you to lather anything a teething baby pops into their mouth with honey.

But you do not want to do this. It’s actually pretty dangerous, even a tiny taste of honey is not safe for children under 12 months of age due to the risk of botulism. Botulism is a rare but serious illness that causes paralysis, so keep the honey for your own cups of tea.

It’s okay to hold Baby while travelling in the car

Yeah, nah, we don’t do that any more. My first two kids were eight years apart and in that time alone, car seat safety recommendations changed! It’s best to research as you welcome each of your children to see what the current safety information, recommendations and laws are in your state.

Safety standards are ever evolving.

Let newborn babies cry it out

In days of old, parents were warned that they would spoil their babies by holding them too much, or rushing to comfort them when they were crying. Clearly these days we recognise that babies, particularly new babies, need the love and comfort that our instincts are telling us to give them.

Crying it out, or leaving babies and children alone to cry without interfering to soothe them remains a controversial and highly debated parenting strategy. However, one thing that the experts agree on is that leaving Baby to cry is not a method to even consider until Bub is older.