From the time you first announced your pregnancy, you’ve received more new baby advice than you know what to do with. Unfortunately, the vast majority of that baby advice conflicts with other things you’ve been told.
There are a lot of myths out there about raising a baby, and most of them have developed because of how many different parenting philosophies exist today. But here are a few baby myths we can happily help you debunk:
- The Love Will Be Instant: New mothers talk all the time about how they felt an instant connection with their baby, but the truth is, not every new mother (or new parent) will feel that bond right away. Some will, and if you do, that’s great! But if you don’t, don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes it can take a little while for that bond to develop. In the meantime, keep caring for your baby and yourself. The love will come.
- You Need This Toy/Video/Book to Make Your Baby Smart: The reality is, there is nothing you need to buy to promote development. Your baby is going to develop in his or her own time, and the best thing you can do to promote that is to interact with your little one and provide a lot of opportunities for stimulation. That isn’t so much about things, as it is about the environment you are raising your little one in.
- Breastfeeding is Easy: For some reason, women have gotten it in their heads that breastfeeding should just happen seamlessly. The truth is, it is sometimes a whole lot harder than that. If you’re still struggling with breastfeeding today, don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, schedule an appointment with a lactation consultant and see if there is something they can do to help.
- Holding Your Baby Too Much Will Spoil Him/Her: Somewhere along the line, someone decided that children could be spoiled in infancy—but nothing could be further from the truth. Your baby is still in a stage of needing to feel safe and connected, so holding him or her and responding to their cries will absolutely not spoil them. If anything, being there provides a stronger attachment so that they can be more independent and secure in the future.
- There is a Right and Wrong Way to Do Everything: Cloth or disposable diapers? Attachment vs. Authoritarian parenting. Co-sleeping vs. getting your newborn in a crib right away. No matter who you talk to, they will have their opinions on the right and wrong ways to parent an infant. But only you know what is right for your family. There is no set rulebook you should be abiding by.
- Babies Just Eat and Sleep: Sure, they eat and sleep plenty. But as you’re coming to realize, that’s not all they do. With each passing week, your baby is becoming more alert and interactive. Plus, there is always the crying to contend with.
- Developmental Milestones Happen in Order: Developmental milestone guidelines are just that… guidelines. Every baby develops in different areas at different rates. Some may walk before they crawl, or be slow with their words, even as their problem solving abilities seem to be advanced. If you are ever truly concerned, don’t be afraid to consult with your pediatrician. But in general, most babies are just following their own timelines.
Written by Leah Campbell, infertility advocate, adoptive mama, writer and editor. Find me @sifinalaska on Twitter.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general informational basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.