Parenting Myths Revealed

11 Myths every new parent hears

No matter how many articles you’ve read, how much you’re prepared, you’re just not ready for the next milestone of being baby-ready. 

If you had a normal delivery, I can absolutely understand the frustration you might have in calling it a “Normal” one. The excruciating pain cannot be explained. And, if you had a C-section, then it’s another level of pain. Each has its own criticalities but one thing in common, and that’s “pouring life”. If you haven’t experienced it, you will never understand no matter how detailed an explanation you receive. 

And, surviving through labour is not the end of the story.

Things can only get worse with sleepless nights. Caring for a newborn is not an easy task. I live like a Zombie, and I’m still surviving. Everyday is an adventure, because babies don’t come with manuals. And because they don’t come with manuals, everybody dictates their own set of statements which are not always true.

Babies sleep like logs (Babies sleep like babies).

NO! They definitely don’t – I mean, at least mine doesn’t. I keep asking her “Are you a baby?” ‘cuz they all told me that babies sleep all day and all night (~20 hours per day). My little munchkin hardly gets 7 to 8 hours of sleep including all the power naps during the day. She’s healthy, up and active round the clock. But, she cannot sleep for long.

Not all babies are the same. 

The reason for baby’s cry is hunger.

I was forced to believe that my baby was crying for hunger, even after feeding her just a few seconds back. 
If she cries while giving her a bath, I could hear the same comment “Her tummy is empty”, even though she was fed just 5 minutes before the bath.
If she woke up crying in the middle of the night just few moments into feeding and tucking her to bed, I was told “Feed her.. she’ll go right back to sleep if her tummy is full”.

There might be other reasons too and not just hunger that makes a baby cry.

The color of ears says a lot about the baby’s complexion.

In the first few months, babies turn dark and red and fair. This depends on a lot of factors – environment, crankiness, fever, mood etc.
For example: They turn red when they cry.

Even though baby may not regain the color they had at birth, their body parts will not determine their permanent complexion. 

Breastfeeding comes naturally.

It is a natural process, I agree. While it might be a cakewalk for some, it is undeniably not easy for everyone. 
There are a lot of medical and personal reasons – cracked and bleeding nipples, latching issues, positional problems, lack of supply, stress and the list goes on. 

Don’t judge a mom who formula feeds her baby. Nobody asks if the baby is breastfed or formula fed while getting an admission in school or attending a job interview.

Mother’s milk supply isn’t sufficient for the baby.

I’ve heard it over and over again in the first few months. Not because my baby was growing weak, not because she had developmental lags but because she was interested in real foods.

Now, let me explain. Babies find everything interesting probably because it’s colorful or pleasing to the eyes or just because it’s out of their reach and their curiosity kicks in. Whatever it is, they want to taste and feel it. Everything goes into their mouth first. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re hungry. Most of the time, they’re curious.

Don’t use deodorant or perfume. They’ll reduce your milk supply.

Sounds funny! Fragrant powders are also a ‘No’.
Maybe it’s true for those who cannot bear certain smells. It might make breathing difficult and reduce the supply of oxygen to the brain and increase stress, which reduces milk production.

But, if you’re a regular spray user and don’t have an issue with your regular perfumes, you can continue using it. There’s no harm.

If you don’t eat on time, baby will have diarrhoea.

As long as baby is fed properly and not allergic to whatever goes into the intestines, there’s no reason to worry. Most of the times, chewing on unwashed play toys causes sickness.

Eating on time depends on your hunger level. Regular intake of healthy food keeps you away from falling sick, thereby helping you to take care of your baby well.

Don’t eat fruits. You will stink.

Really!? Eating fruits refreshed my body during the first few months of postpartum. 

The stink is no way related to what you eat. All the content stuck inside during pregnancy is discharged in the first few days. It’s the body’s natural way of cleaning itself. 

Taking regular baths and changing sanitary napkins often keeps you fresh and clean.

Don’t take a bath for a few days after delivery.

We have no clue about the theory of this age old custom. 

Taking a hot shower not only keeps you clean, but also refreshes and rejuvenates the body. When your body feels relaxed, happy hormones are released which relieves stress and helps you stay peaceful.

Schedule and enjoy a long hot shower when the baby is sleeping or is in safe hands.

Don’t eat curd. Baby will catch a cold.

I ate and still eat curd regularly and had no issues. 

If you have an allergy or catch a cold when you eat curd at night, then avoid it. Since cold is contagious, baby gets affected easily. 

Otherwise, enjoy your yoghurts and ice-cream too. Decide for yourself. 😀

Shaving baby’s head promotes hair growth.

We’ve decided against shaving. But the unending stories of how shaving a baby’s head promotes stronger, thicker hair growth made me research about it. There is no scientific theory to prove the same.

If you believe or want to follow the customs and traditions of your ancestors, there’s no harm.

But, if you don’t want to, it’s completely your choice and your baby isn’t missing out on anything. 

After all, hair is the best innate accessory.

What other myths have you heard? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll have a fun myth game. 

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  • Emma

    Have you tried sleep training of any kind? I was close to accepting that my firstborn son won’t sleep a night through until I used a sleep training. My parent gave me this audiobook by Susan Urban – How to teach a baby to fall asleep aslone. It was like a miracle! Day after day the sleep time streched – both the nighttime and the naps. I believe now it was all about the ability to self-sooth that the method taught us.

  • Revati

    Very well written Flora..Most of these are always mentioned by someone or the other when u become a new parent..It’s so tough to put your foot down and have your own ways of parenting a Child…

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