As a new mom, it is obvious to be continuously exposed to several pieces of advice like how to take care of your baby or things you need to keep. The new parents often end up searching for these myths on the Internet and sometimes miss the correct advice. And the list of such myths that can even prove to be harmful, is endless. From hilarious misconceptions to downright weird traditions, there are several myths surrounding baby care that can confuse new moms.
To answer all your questions regarding baby care, TC46 connected with Neonatologist and Paediatrician Dr Santosh Kumar of Motherhood Hospitals, Bangalore. Here he debunks 10 baby care myths troubling new moms and provides expert medical advice that’s key for your baby’s health.
Myth 1: Your baby should be walking by the age of 1
Most babies take their first steps between the ages of 9 and 12 months, and by the time they’re 14 or 15 months old, they’re walking confidently. However, don’t be concerned if your child takes a little longer. It’s completely natural for some children to not walk until they’re 16 or 17 months old. Your baby is busy learning balance and muscle strength in every part of her body during her first year. At about 9 months, she’ll learn to sit, turn over, and crawl before moving on to pulling up and standing.
It’s only a matter of gaining trust and balance from there. Your child may be standing against the sofa, maybe slipping along it, one minute, and then tottering hesitantly into your waiting arms the next. And she’s gone, leaving her babyhood behind. The first steps of your child are her first big step toward independence.
Myth 2: You will instantly feel attached to your baby
Often the connection is instantaneous, and parents fall in love with their child the moment they see him or her. Bonding with the baby can take a long time at times. According to studies, about 20% of new moms and dads have no emotional connection to their newborn in the hours following birth. It can take weeks or even months to feel the connection. Don’t be concerned or guilty if you haven’t started bonding with your baby yet; it will come with time.
Myth 3: Pumped breast milk is inferior to fresh breast milk
Pumping is a perfect way to give your child breast milk without having to breastfeed them. It can be rewarding to pump your breast milk for your kids, but it can also be time-consuming and demanding. Fatigue and tension can make you reconsider pumping, and both can reduce the amount of breast milk you produce. As a result, it’s important to look after yourself.
Myth 4: A baby must be given an oil massage every single day to straighten the bones
The frequency with which you massage your baby is determined by both you and your child. Some parents offer their babies massages on a regular basis, while others do so every other day. You can massage your baby in the morning to get the day started or before bedtime to help your baby fall asleep.
Myth 5: Babies who aren’t breastfed develop slower
While each baby develops at his or her own pace, there is a reasonably clear trend to baby weight gain. During the first five days of life, breastfed newborns will lose up to 10% of their birth weight. Then, by the time they’re 10 to 2 weeks old, they should have regained their weight. Breastfed babies gain about an ounce a day for the next three months or so. Of course, each infant is unique, and some children develop at a slower rate than others. A slower weight gain might not be a problem if your baby is breastfeeding well and their health exams are on track.
Myth 6: Babies should sleep through the night by the first year
Babies have different ideas during the first six months of their lives. They have unpredictable sleeping habits that can be perplexing and vary from week to week. They can sleep up to 17 hours a day, but in some cases, only for 1–2 hours at a time. For new parents, this may be discouraging. However, bear in mind that your newborn’s stomach is still tiny. They generally wake up in the middle of the night because they’re hungry. They, like you, are vocal when they are hungry. (And, unlike you, they are incapable of serving themselves.)
Myth 7: Babies should poop once every day
Expect at least three bowel movements a day, but some babies can have as many as four or twelve. Baby can just poop every few days after that. You can see tiny pieces of food in your baby’s stool as they begin to eat solid foods. The number of times your baby poops a day can change as a result of these dietary changes.
Myth 8: Babies should get their first tooth by the 8th month
When it comes to the appearance of baby teeth, there is a wide variety of natural. The first baby tooth usually appears about the age of six or seven months, but it can happen as late as twelve months (or even later). Some babies lose their first teeth as early as 3 or 4 months of age. It’s difficult to say when your baby’s teeth would appear. Your baby may have teething signs for months before the first tooth emerges, or he may have almost no symptoms at all.
Myth 9: Babies need to be swaddled every time they sleep till the age of 1
Swaddling your baby is a great way to help him or her sleep better. Tucking her in a snug wrap will help her adapt to life outside the womb by making her feel protected and comfortable, keeping her warm as her internal thermostat rises, and preventing her from flailing her arms and legs and triggering the startle reflex. However, in only a few months, it will be time to say goodbye to the practice. Swaddling is safe for newborns (as long as you follow other safe sleep guidelines), but it becomes dangerous as your baby grows older and becomes more mobile. It’s time to move on when your baby is about 2 months old and attempting to roll or kick free from her swaddle blanket.
Myth 10: Babies sleep better if placed on their tummies
Is sleeping on the stomach safe for babies? No, that is the short answer. When a baby sleeps on his back, he takes in less air. This raises her risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The back is the safest and only place for a baby to sleep in, and it is recommended for the first year. Airflow is improved by sleeping on your back.
Well, the new mother will be surrounded by a plethora of advice on, baby care myths. But it is important to remember only the mother truly understand what works best for the baby. Also, it is always good to seek a doctor’s guidance which will always help and give clarity on the specific need for your baby.