Once you announce to the world that you are expecting, the well-meaning advice will start to roll in. From those that can predict the sex of your baby by the shape of your bump, to opinions on sleep, feeding, teething and everything in between. So to help you decide whether they are fact or fiction, here are 15 Popular Myths About Babies Every Parents Should Know.
#1. Get a Sleep Routine Going from Day 1
No really, it is very difficult to influence when your baby sleeps during the first month. So sleep when they sleep and try to introduce a day and night routine after 4 weeks. It will take time and most babies won’t ‘sleep through the night’ ie. 6 to 7 hour stretch, until they are between 3 and 6 months.
#2. Newborns Can’t See
Babies do see in black and white for the first couple of weeks, but researchers say that they can see in colour from about 14 days old.
#3. My Baby Can’t Communicate With Me
Truth: Babies are trying to communicate with us all the time. Just because they can’t talk or don’t have the words we understand yet, does not mean that they can’t let us know what they want.
Babies can get frustrated so it is great to try new methods like those used by Superhands to teach your baby to sign what they want.
#4. Twins Skip a Generation
However, the hyper-ovulation gene which causes fraternal twins is passed on from parent to child and can cause fraternal twins to appear in any generation.
#5. Your Body Shape will Never be the Same Again
Remember your body changes with age too so you can’t blame it all on your pregnancy!
#6. Sharing Your Bed is Best for Baby
Truth: While some parents swear by the benefits, medical research suggests that having your young baby in bed with you could increase the risk of both suffocation and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
It is good to have your baby in a crib near you at night for the first 3 months or so. Parents who do keep their baby in bed with them will find it a hard habit to break. See how one parent ended up co-sleeping with her 5 year old!
#7. Morning Sickness only Occurs in the Morning
Morning sickness can strike at any time. It can be triggered by low blood sugar. There is a myth that holds some truth, ginger can help with morning sickness, so have a couple of ginger nuts and see if that works.
I used to be sick when I was hit with certain smells.
#8. Vaccines Can Cause Autism
Truth: Every parent has their own take on this one, but the facts are that there is no single credible medical study to suggest that getting your child vaccinated can cause an increased risk of Autism.
This myth became popular in 1997 when an article by British surgeon, Andrew Wakefield appeared in The Lancet Medical Journal. It has since been discredited and many other studies have been carried out on this subject with none showing a direct link between vaccination and autism.
In fact parents not getting children vaccinated has actually caused an increase in vaccine preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough.
#9. Your Baby only Understands Baby Talk
Your baby is learning all the time and their brain is like a sponge during the first 6 years of life.
#10. Weaning your Baby will Help them Sleep Longer
Truth: The advice of WHO (world health organisation) is to wait until 6 months to begin weaning your baby. All babies are different and will grow and develop at different rates.
But certainly ignore the myth about adding baby rice to a night time bottle before 4 months, as it may hinder rather than help your baby to sleep through the night. The kidneys and digestive system of babies younger than 4 months are not well enough developed to benefit or cope well with solid food.
#11. Teething Causes High Fever & Diarrhea
During teething they do tend to chew everything and may pick up bacteria more easily. If your child has a high temperature or diarrhea for a prolonged period of time it is best to seek medical advice.
Teething will cause drooling and can cause upset in some children before the tooth appears. Teething usually begins around 4 to 7 months and continues until your child has 20 milk / primary teeth. Every child is different so don’t panic if your child is later or earlier than most getting their first tooth.
#12. Babies Choke on Finger Food
Truth: Babies are born with a sturdy gag reflex to help prevent choking and keep them safe. The gag reflex is totally normal and it helps your little one cough up food that they may otherwise choke on. You will be alarmed the first time it happens but it is totally natural.
However, it is important that every parent knows how to prevent their child from choking. New parents or parents to be should try attend a local paediatric first aid course to learn the basics.
#13. Babies Need Daily Baths
So long as you cleanse your baby well after each nappy change, bathing can be done every 2 to 3 days. If you find it calms your baby before bedtime, you can pop them in warm water and just forgo the bubbles!
#14. Babies Poo Once a Day!
Truth: Parents can become obsessed with their child’s bowel movements. While newborns may have a bowel movement several times a day, It is perfectly normal for your child to only have one every 2 to 4 days, especially if they are exclusively breast fed.
However, if you are concerned by the infrequency, consistency, or if you think your child is experiencing pain when they have a bowel movement, do seek medical advice.
#15. Your Child will be Spoilt if You Pick Them Up Every Time they Cry.
As children grow older around 6 months or so, it is not a problem to let them cry for a few minutes without rushing to soothe them, particularly at bedtime. By this stage you will have a good idea when your child is in real distress or when they are just looking for attention. Read this touching poem I Won’t Always Cry Mummy.
Finally remember, every child is different and they all develop and reach milestones at different times. Always seek medical advice if you are worried about your child. And most of all develop your own instincts, you know your child best.
Enjoy every moment of them, they grow up so quickly as so aptly expressed in The Last Time Poem.
Over to you! Have you anymore baby myths to add to this list?