One unexpected offshoot of becoming a parent is the endless advice offered by well-meaning relatives and friends (and occasionally strangers).
Some of the advice will be helpful. Other tips will seem, well, suspect. And they probably are. However well-intentioned these tips may be, some of them can have serious consequences if they're followed.
Dr. Rachel Vreeman, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, has co-authored two books "Don't Swallow Your Gum!" (St. Martin's Press, 2009) and "Don't Cross Your Eyes...They'll Get Stuck That Way!" (St. Martin's Press, 2011) that explore and debunk myths about health at all ages.
Not all health myths are created equal, she said. Some, like the two that have served as the titles of her books, are things parents say, and are pretty harmless. That isn't always the case. "There are a few myths that might cause harm," she said.
There are plenty of products on the market that can present problems, too.
"You see them advertised all the time...so you think, well, if they've got it in the baby store it must be safe," said Dr. Sarah Denny, an emergency medicine physician and faculty member of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. "Because of the way they're marketed, people think they're safe. In actuality, they're not safe at all."
Between bad advice and questionable products, what's a parent to do? Here, our experts debunk seven common baby myths.