MYTHS ABOUT BABIES; HERE IS THE TRUTH
Hi, I am Dr. Ebingo a new Doctor from the prestigious Unversity of Portharcourt. We usually study medicine In Uniport for over 6 years. I did my rotation in Pediatrics and Child health in 2018 and here are some myths that I think as a new parent or an aspiring parent you should be clear about. I was inspired to write this from the youtube channel Science Insider. Hope you learn a couple of things that you need to know to help you be the best parent you can be and also help calm the parents around you.
IF YOUR BABY WALKS AND TALKS EARLY THEY WILL BE REALLY SMART
Even though walking is a thing of joy for every parent, it is interesting to note that this does not indicate that the child will be smarter than his or her peers if the baby walks or talks early. The medical Journal of Pediatric has made reviews that show that though walking early might be an indicator of good motor activities, it is not true in every case for intelligence. However, if motor skills do not appear at the time they should, then it might mean there is a delay and you should bring the baby to the hospital.
Children who talk early tend to develop language skills early, but it doesn’t mean if your child doesn’t talk or walk early they can never catch up or outdo their peers.
IT IS WRONG TO WAKE A SLEEPING BABY
Some babies sleep longer than others (newborns sleep 14-17 hours) and sometimes your baby might be a sleepy baby. Newborns in the first 5 weeks of life might sleep 3 hours during the day but you usually want to prevent this so they can sleep properly at night. It is important to have the baby wake up especially for feeding.
As the baby gets older you want the baby to progressively be more in control of its sleep-wake cycle.
TOYS WILL MAKE YOUR BABY SMARTER
There is no evidence proving a link between education and learning and a baby’s toys. This is not to say toys have no place for playing with toys as a marker for intelligence, but more studies have shown that it is more of a factor of how the baby plays with the toys than what specific toys they are playing with. Educational toys for toddlers can make them understand what they are being taught but this is not really the case for infants.
SINGING LULLABIES MAKE BABIES SLEEP
While this is partly true it is somewhat mythical when you think that it will always work every time. Many studies have also shown that it soothes the caregiver and baby and helps with bonding. Some studies have also shown that absent-minded singing doesn’t help give any of these benefits.
NAPS ARE NOT NECESSARY FOR BABIES
Some parents try to stall their baby’s sleep till night time so they don’t stay up at night. This might make your baby not sleep well and have poor consolidation at night time. Babies who do not sleep properly can also wake up cranky.
PUTTING HONEY ON DUMMIES HELP WITH TEETHING
This is a very dangerous myth because babies below the age of 12 months can have botulism from botulinum toxin causing them to have muscle paralysis. Many babies are not affected by growing teeth and nothing should be given to a baby other than breast milk ideally in the first 6 months of life.
BABY WALKERS MAKE BABIES WALK EARLY
Studies have proven that when babies use walkers it can have a delaying effect on learning to walk. This varies among babies but one thing for sure walkers are not the magic trick for walking. Walkers can also be dangerous to babies and can make them fall more times than necessary especially if the walker moves faster than they do. A stationary stand-up disk is a better option than walkers according to pediatricians.
PICKING A BABY UP WHEN THEY ARE CRYING WILL SPOIL THEM
There is nothing wrong with showing love and affection to a newborn baby by picking them up when they cry. It is more reassuring to them that they are not alone than an act of spoiling them. There is the issue however with spoiling a child that knows what it means to be spoilt but that is a different issue and as a parent, you are not to give a child with that thought whatever he or she wants simply because he or she cries. Those first 6 months of a baby’s life are very crucial in fostering trust. They should be let to know that you are present in their lives especially when they cry.