There has never been more judgement, superstition and old wives tales than there has been surrounding children.
Specifically, bringing a new life into the world creates this excitement in women that often gets misplaced.
So to help you sort through the endless stream of advice and misinformation, we have compiled a list of things that actually aren’t true about babies – despite the in-laws constant declaration of their experiences.
Just as there are myths around what you can do during pregnancy, as Mommy Underground has previously reported, there are even more myths surrounding how to proceed once you embrace that little bundle of joy.
1. You can’t pick up a crying baby without spoiling them
Forget the fact that it is nearly impossible to ignore your crying infant, doing so can actually be detrimental.
Dr. Blair Hammond, a general pediatrician, a developmental psychologist, who worked at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told Insider:
“Picking up a baby will not spoil them. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
Comforting a crying newborn with gentle touches and warm snuggles is teaching their brains to go from upset to calm, Hammond shares, giving us all the more reason to take in that new baby smell as much as possible.
2. Early talkers are going to be the smartest babies
Watching your baby’s development like a hawk is typical of the modern parent.
We want to enroll our 6-month-old son into music class with the rest of the gifted children, but then think bag-boy is only future they have when they gnaw on the lap harp rather than strumming and humming to Old MacDonald Had A Farm.
Dr. Aliza Pressman, who works alongside Dr. Hammond, reassures parents all is not lost if your baby is not talking early with some of their peers, and may excel at just as much, if not more, later down the road.
3. Babies should be leaving you alone through the night by 3 moths old
I don’t think I have ever mastered anything in three months and would definitely not expect a human being who is completely new on this earth to have it all figured out by then either.
While every parent will “hope for that”, as Hammond points out, a feeding or two through the night is perfectly okay, Pressman says.
She adds how up until four months the baby should decide how much they need to eat through the night, and then after that you can try to assist your baby into adapting a more routine schedule.
4. Never wake your baby up if they are sleeping soundly
It may be true that a newborn can sleep for long stretches of time, through the day or night; only waking up because an insatiable hunger overcomes them.
The problem with this is that it is hard to give your quickly enveloping baby the nourishment he needs when he goes over 3-4 hours without drinking.
Especially when it comes to breastfeeding, which operates on supply and demand, you may not have the supply your baby needs when the demand arrises.
Hammond tells Insider that babies “really need to feed frequently”, and during just the first few weeks it’s is necessary to wake a baby up to feed them if they sleep through that 3-4 hour alarm.
5. A baby crying means there is something wrong
When you first hear your baby’s cries out of the womb it is the most comforting and emotional experience of your life.
As the minutes turn into hours, and then into days, you begin to wonder when you are going to see another emotion.
A baby will likely be the most fussy in the first six weeks of life, according to Insider, giving parents a rough toilsome introduction into their new role.
While this doesn’t apply to every child, don’t be discouraged if you are in this boat.
Learning to be calm is a skill, and being awake and frazzled is enough to excite newborns who are surprised by everything they see, warns Hammond.
Always go through the checklist of likely reasons a baby would be crying first, such as if they are hurt, hungry, or have a dirty diaper.
After that, try to present the baby with a calm voice and body language so they can sink into a more relaxed state.
There are surely more myths out there than presented here, but hopefully you can sift through the nonsense to give your baby all of you in their next moment of need, rather than the stressed out, worried parent who is googling every symptom while their baby lies in wait for a reassuring snuggle.
Being a mother is tough, and there is no sure fire way to know what your baby is asking of you and how to meet their needs.
But being present and involved will often allow you to drown out the waves of myths and sink into the joy of your newfound role in life.
(h/t Mommy Underground)