Having a baby can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a person's lifetime. From the moment when you know that you or your partner is pregnant, you take a pledge to ensure utmost love and care for your little one. Indeed, any mother or father will leave no stone unturned to ensure that their child gets nothing but the best.
In an endeavor to ensure this, what one does is to look for advice from anywhere and everywhere. The most common sources of these advices being the ones received from their parents or other friends and colleagues who have recently become parents.
Now, it is important to realize that more often than not, most of these advices are baseless. They are a collection of things that have been passed on for generations and are not based on any scientific facts. In fact, to top it all, many of these are words of mouth that have been distorted in the process of being passed on from one generation to the other.
In such a situation, it becomes very difficult for new parents to decide on whom to believe and which details to discard as being myths. This article explores 15 of the most common baby myths.
1. It is going to be 'love at first sight' for you and your baby
This is one myth that has been popularized by the media. The fact remains that bonding is a process that happens over time. If you do not bond with your child in the first instance, it does not mean that in the long run, your attachment to your child (or vice versa) will be any lesser than that of people who fell in love with their babies instantly.
Give yourself the time that you deserve, in order to make this little one the center of your universe.
2. Babies don't have knee caps
Just like you and me, our little one has knee caps as well. The only difference here is that, unlike us, his or her knee caps are made of a soft cartilage. These play a pivotal role throughout infancy and early childhood, as they make way for growth spurts. Ultimately, they grow stronger and form into a bone.
3. Newborns cannot see
Contrary to this myth, newborns are able to see. They do have a blurry vision and the reason for the same may be attributed to the fact that they do not have full control of their eye muscles.
In the initial few days, the baby sees everything in a combination of black and white and by the time the baby is two weeks old, he or she can differentiate between the primary colours.
4. You must introduce one solid food at a time
By the time an infant is of six months of age, she or he is ready to try on the first solid food. The first stage of food includes purees made of single ingredient fruit or vegetables and single grain cereals. These types of food items rarely cause any form of an allergy in infants. So, you can go ahead and safely introduce more than one of these food items at a time.
5. Baby walkers help the baby to walk
There is a correct time for everything to happen and forcefully trying to make something occur before their pre-designated time has never led to any good. The same goes for your little one's first step. The fact is the infant's muscles are not yet working in a fashion that would foster movement.
In such a case, if you force them into a walker; it will do them more harm than good. Although the child may enjoy this new found independence, the fact that they can't see their legs while walking leads to a number of disasters.
6. Certain baby bottles cause colic
While one child may have gas and leaking from one bottle, some other child may experience the same from some other bottle. This does not mean that either of the bottles are bad. It is just that the sucking style of a particular kid suits a particular bottle.
7. Once your baby is given a taste of the bottle, he/she will never breastfeed
This is another very subjective issue. While some toddlers prefer the bottle, there are others who like to suck the nipple. The reason for the same may be either the difference in the taste of milk or the ease with which the milk can be sucked.
Either way, unless and until you give your little one a taste of bottle milk, there is no way by which you can predict whether or not he or she will relish the same.
8. Fussy infants must be teething
It is between four to six months of age that infants begin drooling, putting things to their mouth and crying for almost everything.
People tend to associate this with teething. The fact remains that these are normal milestones that have got nothing to do with teething. Teething is a natural phenomenon that starts at six or seven months of age for most children.
9. Bouncing a baby causes him to have bowed legs
Bouncing a baby has absolutely no effect to the shape of his or her legs. While it is true that some babies have bowed legs at birth (due to their position in the womb), just a bit of normal stretching works on them and they tend to get to a normal shape.
10. Babies sleep better when placed on their bellies
Just like no two adults have the same position preference when it comes to sleeping, the same applies to infants as well. Some infants sleep better on their belles, whereas others prefer the back.
Thus, scientifically speaking, it makes no sense whatsoever to force your little one to sleep on his or her belly just because you have heard some old wife's tale that says babies under the age of one tend to have a sound sleep when placed on their bellies.
11. Excessive crying means something is wrong
While it is true that crying is a means of expressing pain that is adopted by the babies, sometimes a baby is not really in any pain and crying is just his or her means of communication with you.
So, if you have ensured that your baby's diaper is clean and he or she has been fed and yet you find him crying, do not worry yourself sick. Try to pick up your baby and gently put the little one to sleep.
12. All baby cries sound the same
While in your first few days as a parent it may appear to you that all of the baby's sounds are the same, the fact is, if you listen carefully, you will see that a baby's cries for needing food, sleep and diaper change have different patterns. For each child, these patterns are different. Decoding these cries of your little one will make life easier for both of you.
13. You spoil your baby by holding him too much
The fact is the skin to skin contact that your baby receives in the first few months of his or her life helps him or her to bond with people. Thus, there is no reason for you to feel guilty of lifting and cradling your baby at the slightest crying.
In fact, for the first few months, you may even consider giving the pram a miss (until he or she is too heavy to be carried around all the time). Remember what you are doing today is actually aiding your child's personality development in the years to come.
14. Attachment to the nanny is a bad thing
This insecurity arises from the knowledge that the nanny is a paid employee and you know that sooner or later she will leave and you do not want to make things difficult for you little one then. However, preventing your child from getting attached to the nanny on these grounds is a silly thing to do.
Remember that you will not be home for a major chunk of the day. During that time, your nanny and your little one will just have each other for company. In a situation like this, the closer they are to each other, the better life will be for all of you.
15. Baby fever requires medication
While it is undeniable that prolonged fever in infants needs to be treated at a medical level, the fact is, any newborn infant tends to have frequent outbursts of fever and most of those are not dangerous in nature and irrespective of whether you treat it or not, the same will subside in a matter of hours.
Thus, it is a good practice to wait for some time (as it is, babies have a temperature that is higher than adults) and only if your infant's fever persists for more than 12 hours should you consider consulting the pediatrician.