If you are a newbie parent, you’ve heard tons of how-to’s on baby rearing and child care.
You’ve heard information on how to feed your baby (formula or breast milk?), how to put your infant to sleep (co-sleeping or not?) and everything in between.
As new parents, you can find baby advice from a myriad of sources – the internet, other parents, books, and your baby’s doctor.
That’s a lot to keep up with, and all of that new information can be overwhelming. And how do you know if the information you are being presented with is even accurate or helpful?
Not only is some of this advice untrue, it can also be potentially harmful to your newborn baby.
So it’s important that you are aware of which baby care techniques to follow, and which ones you can forget about.
Have no fear, we’re here to tell you that some of these baby myths are just that – myths!
Set your worrying aside, and let’s go through the seven most common baby myths you’re hearing lately.
Read on to see which of those baby care techniques you can disregard.
Baby Myths Debunked #1: Babies need to sleep on their tummies
This baby myth is the perfect example of an outdated technique that our grandparents told us.
Back in the day, before the internet, it was assumed that babies sleeping on their backs would swallow and choke on their saliva.
But this has not been proven.
In fact, putting a sleeping baby on its tummy could be potentially harmful.
To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), make sure your baby is sleeping on his or her back.
It also helps to place a baby on a firm mattress; soft baby mattresses and blankets can increase the risk of harm to your baby.
2. Babies Should Sleep In a Dark, Quiet Room
Some babies can be light sleepers. But most infants are perfectly fine in a dim lit room with a little background noise.
By keeping them in a too quiet atmosphere, you’ll constantly have to tip toe around them in the future.
Your baby will be able to sleep in almost any situation – which is always a good thing.
3. Put Rice In Your Baby’s Formula to Help Then sleep.
This baby myth often circulates, but it’s just not true.
The theory behind this baby myth is that babies will sleep better if their tummies are fuller.
But, solid foods should be kept out of your baby’s diet until they are at least four to six months old. In fact, studies have shown that feeding your baby before bedtime does not significantly change their sleeping habits.
Avoid the risk of introducing solids too early and leave this baby technique out of your routine.
4. Bouncing a Baby Will Cause Them to Be Bowlegged.
Yet another old wives’ tale that is just a baby myth.
Babies are naturally born with bowed legs from curling themselves up in the womb. Over time, their legs straighten out.
In fact, when babies start standing and crawling, they are trying to find their balance. Once they start walking on their own, their legs will actually straighten themselves out.
So bouncing and standing your baby will actually help them in the long run.
5. Bathe Your Baby Every Day.
If you are a new parent, you want to make sure your baby is smelling clean.
Everyone loves that new baby smell!
Unless your little one has spilled mashed green peas all over himself, typically you don’t need to bathe your baby as often as you think.
If you bathe a baby every day, you can put the infant at risk for dry skin or a skin condition known as eczema, which can cause baby discomfort.
6. Let The Baby Cry; Don’t pick them up Every Time They’re Fussy.
It’s been said that picking up babies when they are crying will spoil them.
Any new parent knows how hard it is to let your baby cry without trying to soothe them, so this myth is truly hard for parents to handle. Thankfully, it’s totally untrue.
Unfortunately, babies don’t have the same soothing mechanisms as we do. In fact, we are not born with soothing mechanisms, and babies cannot self-sooth themselves.
Picking babies up when they are crying or upset allows them to be soothed because they simply can’t do it themselves.
7. Give Babies Water When It’s Hot
When we are hot or overheated, water makes us feel better.
However, putting water, milk, or tea in a baby’s bottle can be harmful if they are under six months old.
Babies’ kidneys are not yet fully developed, so consuming too much water can potentially cause a sodium imbalance. Sodium imbalances can lead to extremely harmful conditions like seizures or even coma.
Babies get plenty of hydration from their infant formula or breast milk and giving them water can cause them to have uncomfortably full tummies.
It’s best to wait until your baby is at least six months of age before you start introducing water into their diet.
If you are a new parent, you are bombarded with tons of new information that you may not know what to do with.
Take caution, a lot of this new information and advice may not be the best for your baby.
Most of this information comes from old wives’ tales or myths that have been passed down throughout the generations.
The helpful tips that your grandmother used may not still be accurate today.
We’ve taken you through the seven most common baby myths, so you are aware of what you can focus on, and what information can be left out.
If you are truly concerned about aspects of your baby’s life or are not sure about the best cause of action, reach out to your baby’s pediatrician for the best and most up to date advice.