Everyone has a lot to say about babies, which makes sense—we were all babies once! There’s an incredible amount of information being shared every day among families, friends, and mom groups and that sharing of knowledge is important to help new parents navigate life with a little one. The tricky thing is, in the midst of all the valuable information about babies, a few myths have snuck in.
We’ve all heard things about babies that feel strange or slightly untrue. Sometimes those myths are harmless, but other times they can drastically change the way a parent cares for their newborn. So today, we’ll unpack some of the top myths about babies to help you navigate all the information that’s out there.
Myth 1: There Are Superior Bottles And Nipples You Should Buy
While some bottles and nipples boast high benefits, the reality is that every baby is different and has their own unique preferences. So that $40 bottle you bought may not be the one your little one enjoys.
In fact, based on your baby’s mouth shape and sucking style, some nipples may be hard for them! So when transitioning from breast to bottle, know that there’s no fool proof way to prevent formula leakage of gas and the expensive bottles may not actually be better. So be patient with your little one and try a few different bottles and nipples to see which one they like.
Myth 2: Newborns Can’t See Anything
Newborns have blurred vision when they’re recently born, but they can see! The tricky thing is they don’t have full control of the eye muscles right away. As early as two weeks old, babies see in color and can differentiate red from green—before that, everything’s in black and white.
Within the first months, your baby’s eyes will start to work together, and their vision will improve. From there, their hand-eye coordination develops, and their eyes can track movements followed by a reach with their hands and focus on things and people close by.
Myth 3: You’ll Spoil Your Baby If You Pick Them Up Too Much
Your baby will likely cry for about three hours a day in the first three months because they have no other form of communication. These cries mean they’re hungry, tired, lonely, or uncomfortable. From many people, these cries can be interpreted as manipulative or an indication that they’ re spoiled, but children don’t learn manipulative behaviors until they’re about nine months old. Crying means your baby needs you, so don’t feel guilty about running to their rescue!
Myth 4: Teething Causes Fevers
The reality is that teething tends to start around the time your baby is more likely to get infections—right between 6 and 24 months. At the same time, teething can raise your baby’s body temperature slightly. But if your newborn has a higher-than-average temperature, they’re likely suffering from a common cold. If your baby’s temperature goes above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, see your pediatrician as soon as possible.
Myth 5: Your Baby Needs To Bathe Daily
While we need to bathe daily and sometimes twice a day, your little one’s skin is incredibly sensitive! Their skin has a protective layer, natural oils, and normal healthy bacteria so over bathing with soaps and cleansers can leave your baby dry and itchy. Bathe your little one three times a week or less and use fragrance-free options to lower the risk of irritation.
Myth 6: Belly Sleep Is Better For Babies
While it might be tempting to put your little one to sleep on their stomach, it might actually cause more harm than good. In fact, according to the Sleep Foundation, “infants should sleep only on their backs until they reach one year of age. Back sleeping is the safest position for infants because it reduces the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). When a child reaches one year old they can begin sleeping on their stomach or in another position.” As much as you can, ensure your baby is on their back all night and that the crib is flat and free from toys and obstructions.
Myth 7: Babies need to be in a routine from day one
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to put your newborn baby on a routine from the get-go; in fact, young babies only sleep for a few hours at a time and some need to be fed several times during a short time period, disrupting any attempts at putting them on a schedule. We recommend waiting between month two and four before introducing a schedule for your baby because most infants' sleeping and feeding habits become more consistent and predictable around that time.
Myth 8: Babies Poop Daily
No two babies have the same poop schedule so it’s important to avoid comparing babies—even siblings may poop differently! Some babies poop every 2 - 3 days, more often if your baby is breastfed instead of formula fed. Your baby’s poop consistency will change from time to time so don’t panic if you get an incredibly runny diaper out of the blue. When gauging whether or not to call your doctor, we recommend doing so if your baby hasn’t pooped for a week!
Myth 9: Burping Your Baby After Feeding Prevents Fussiness
This is one of the most common myths! Burping is a helpful practice because many of your baby’s muscles are still developing so they need help getting air out of their tummies; trapped gas can cause stomach aches!
But a 2014 study on burped versus non-burped babies found that they did not have fewer crying instances compared to their non-burped counterparts but burped babies were also twice as likely to spit up. While burping helps your baby expel trapped air, it may not necessarily keep them from fussing after a meal so don’t be nervous if your burped baby still needs to be held, rocked, and soothed.
10. Newborns Should Never Go Outside
Most parents go stir crazy in those first few weeks caring for their baby and crave fresh air, but there’s a myth circulating that babies need to stay inside. False! Babies enjoy fresh air too and can benefit from going outside, but parents should be cautious when taking their newborn on an outing.
Medical experts recommend avoiding crowded places until the baby is a few months old and newborns should always be dressed appropriately for the weather. Additionally, parents should avoid exposing their newborn to the sun for the first six months, so shaded areas or cloudy days are recommended. That’s because children under age 10 are at a high risk for skin and eye damage from ultraviolet rays (UVR) and the skin on their eyelids and around their eyes is more delicate than adult skin. Once your little one is 6months, they should wear sunglasses outside.
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