Few subjects are as fraught with controversy as parenting advice, the rules one generation lived by often being discarded by the next.
Tauranga baby expert Lyndsay Morgan has seen it all. Having cared for more than 500 newborns during the past 55 years, she's watched trends come and go and has formed her own firm views on how to handle those first few months.
She's written it all down in Baby on Board - Mum is Driving!, just published locally. Lyndsay describes it as "a little book of instructions - because babies do not come with one attached. Many new parents will understand how necessary this is once the baby is born!"
The former Karitane nurse is still called by strung-out families living as far away as New York, Australia and from all around New Zealand who are struggling to get their new babies to feed and settle properly.
"The main problem I see nowadays is that baby will not sleep. They then become overtired so the mother picks them up again and puts them to the breast or carries them about, hoping they'll fall asleep. These babies then become what I call snackers and snoozers."
This exhausting cycle is also the start of "over-mothering", an issue Lyndsay says needs addressing to prevent parents from hitting the wall and children from ruling the roost.
"We live in a very PC world now where babies mustn't be left to cry. You're discouraged from topping them up with a bottle, and many mothers feel they're the only ones who can care properly for their babies, so reject help or advice from their own mothers or grandmothers.
"As a result, parents and households are ruled by babies. I believe the pendulum needs to swing back the other way where a routine is implemented right from day one and mothers are in control."
Lyndsay says society's move to send women home from hospital within days (or even hours) of giving birth, was a real turning point in our parenting history.
"You used to have 10 days or more in hospital and babies slept in hospital nurseries, not by their mother's bedsides, and were brought in to be fed. So a four- hourly routine was established by the time a mother went home, well rested.
"Pregnancy and giving birth is extremely tiring and nowadays the mother arrives home already exhausted. They get confused and anxious if baby is not settling, and so they fall into the habit of picking the baby up and carrying it around for hours on end or feeding it to sleep. Then you're stuck."
The answer, Lyndsay says, is routine.
"If you establish a good routine you'll have a baby that feeds well, has learned to self-settle and sleeps well. And your friends with similar aged babies will wonder how you did it!"
Baby on Board - Mum is Driving! contains a mass of practical advice that was commonplace a generation or two ago, but which many parents now overlook.
"An important one is 'don't put the baby to sleep when he is asleep'. They need to learn to self-settle. "Babies learn right from day one. A routine is so good because they learn that nobody's coming to pick them up as soon as they cry and that mum and dad aren't court jesters. You don't have to entertain babies or carry them around all day."
Lyndsay points to a number of modern-day parenting practices - such as taking newborns out to cafes, restaurants, shopping malls and sports matches - which she says needs to stop. "What are these people thinking about?
"Now you're a parent it's your job to enable your baby to be the best baby ever. That doesn't involve being carted in and out of car seats, prams, restaurants, cafes or to the mall at a very young age.
"Babies should be at home learning to sleep, feed and self-settle for the first six weeks of their lives. If you want to go out for coffee, ask your friends to bring a cup over to your place."
Lyndsay's no-nonsense, traditional advice will rankle some parents who favour the 'baby will fit into our lives, not the other way around' approach.
"But if you follow these guidelines, in most cases, and providing your baby is healthy, he or she will have a better chance of becoming part of your family and not the entire focal point."
*Baby on Board - Mum is Driving!, $25, is available online now at www.lyndsaymorgan.co.nz and at Books A Plenty.