From pooping to sleeping, baby care myths busted

Baby care myths: There is nothing that walkers can do, expect increase the risk of accidents, such as the baby falling down. Walkers will also force the baby into movements that they aren't necessarily ready for, harming their muscles.

By Ghazal Alagh

Common baby care myths: Once you become a parent, you realise that there is no dearth of information on how to take care of your baby, be it on the internet, parental magazines or simply the advice of everyone around you. All this information can sometimes be confusing and when it comes to baby care, you simply don’t want to take any chances and do what’s best for the baby. Here are some common baby care beliefs, which should actually be avoided.

Myth: Let the baby ‘cry it out’

It is usually believed that if you hold the baby every time he cries or carry around the baby too much, you will end up “spoiling” the baby. But nothing can be farther from the truth. There is no way you can “spoil” a newborn. Crying is a way for them to communicate; they are most likely letting you know that they need to be changed, fed or comforted. At this stage, making them feel secure with your presence is the best thing to do. Some elderly people may advise you to fix the baby’s feeding and sleeping routine. But it is not possible to sleep train a newborn. They have a small tummy and will wake up often to be fed. The same goes for feeding. Do not try to fix a feeding schedule at the newborn stage. Sometimes the baby cries for a feed not because he’s hungry but simply because the sucking action is extremely comforting to them.

Myth: Teething causes fever

This is a very old and common misconception. However, it is important to note that there is no direct relation between teething and fever. Teething usually happens between 6 to 24 months and that is also the time when their immune system is developing and is prone to infections. You should never assume that a high fever is a result of teething and always consult a doctor in this situation.

Myth: Walkers can help a baby to learn how to walk

Fret not if your infant is a bit of a late walker. There is nothing that walkers can do, expect increase the risk of accidents, such as the baby falling down. Walkers will also force the baby into movements that they aren’t necessarily ready for, harming their muscles. Just sit back and relax, your baby will start walking as soon as they are ready for it; all they need is a little bit of encouragement from you.

Myth: Babies should sleep through the night by three months

You wish! The fact is, they are still too young to have a fixed sleep routine. Of course, the duration of their night sleep gets longer as they grow older, but they will still be waking up for a feed or two even at six months. It is only by the time that they are around nine months, will they start sleeping through the night. Another mistake that some parents make is that they give solids to the baby before six months, in the hope that baby will sleep uninterrupted through the night. Giving solid foods before they turn six months old isn’t recommended.

Myth: Babies should poop every day

It is perfectly normal for babies to poop once in every two to three days. What you need to look out for is the texture of the poop. If it is soft, then there is no need to worry. But if it is hard and stone like, then the baby might be constipated and you should consult a doctor. Babies who have formula milk are more likely to be constipated as compared to breastfed babies.

Also Read| How co-sleeping can affect the child and parents too

(The writer is Co-founder of MamaEarth.)

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