Baby Myth Busters
Updated: Jan 19
We have been excited to write about some of these myths because of how frequently we see parents whole-heartedly believing false information. Baby myth busters, to the rescue!
MYTH: Babies cry because they are hungry.
As a mother, it is an instinctive reaction to feed your baby when he cries. Of course, sometimes a cry does mean he is hungry, but often there are other reasons. Many times, parents will mistake a baby crying as a sign of hunger, even when a baby has recently eaten. This throws off the baby’s eating schedule and routine.
Instead of assuming the crying means hunger, try to search for other hunger cues. More common hunger cues are rooting, restlessness, and smacking lips. Crying is typically a late sign of hunger, meaning you will most often see other signs first.
We love Enfamil's explanation on this, you can read by clicking here.
MYTH: Teething causes fevers.
This one is quite controversial! Just a quick Google search can leave parents confused.
According to Seattle Children’s Hospital website, teething does not cause fevers. This is a common misconception and could lead to delay in care of something more serious. According to other sources, teething can sometimes cause a low-grade fever, meaning it is below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Both sources conclude that if your child is having a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or maintains a consistent fever for over a day, seek medical care.
MYTH: Picking up a crying baby will spoil them.
Now this topic is very controversial.
“A 2017 study confirms what many parents already instinctively know: you should pick up babies every time they cry. The research from the University of Notre Dame found that it was impossible to spoil an infant by holding or cuddling him.” -MetroParent
Truthfully, no matter how many studies are done to prove this as false, there will still be parents who believe strongly that you can spoil your baby. Our opinion is: educate yourself, look at the studies, make your own decisions on parenting, and let others make their own decisions, too. We also strongly believe that if you need to let your baby cry for a couple minutes for your own mental sanity, by all means, take some deep breaths! Just don’t blame it on not wanting to spoil your baby :)
MYTH: Wrapping up babies in warm blankets can break their fever.
This one makes us cringe just a bit!
We see this in the hospital; mommas putting five blankets around their baby to help “break” the fever. This is outdated science, a wives tale, and is not recommended. Not only can that cause your baby’s fever to raise even further, it can also dehydrate him quickly as babies cannot regulate temperature and fluids as well as adults can. Your baby will thank you for keeping their clothing light and airy while he has a fever!
MYTH: Babies are born knowing how to swim.
As cute as it sounds, this is only semi-true.
“A reflex called the bradycardic response makes babies hold their breath and open their eyes when submerged in water, says Jeffrey Wagener, a pediatric pulmonologist in Colorado… Also, until around 6 months, babies placed in water tummy down reflexively move their arms and legs in a swimming motion, which makes them look like natural swimmers.” Baby Center
This means that even though babies have some life-saving tricks, they are still not big or strong enough to swim or save themselves from drowning. Baby swimming classes will focus on these innate swimming reflexes to help teach the baby how to save himself from drowning.
MYTH: Vaccines cause autism.
Want to start a fight on Facebook? Post literally anything about vaccines.
Baby Whisperers would like to take a stance on this, as it is truly one of the biggest and most debated myths of our millennial generation. We plan to cover this topic on an upcoming blog post. In the meantime, you can head to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) to read more.
MYTH: It’s okay to give your child Benadryl to make them sleepy.
Although this seems common sense, you would be surprised at the number of parents who think just a little dose here and there can help their child be calm!
The side effects of Benadryl are more frequent in children than in adults. The drowsiness associated with Benadryl can sometimes effect children differently and make them too drowsy. Benadryl can also sometimes cause hallucinations, which can be terrifying for any parent. Last but not least- many kids have an adverse reaction to Benadryl making them hyper. We see it a lot in the hospital setting, and they are wild.
Benadryl should never be given for anything other than to treat allergies or an allergic reaction and should not be given to children under two years old.
MYTH: Cold weather makes you sick.
… Another old wives tale.
Although some germs (ie, viruses and bacterias) spread more easily in cold weather, cold weather itself does not make you sick. The germs do. Germs make you sick. You can still prevent germs from spreading by handwashing and good hygiene practices whether you are in cold or warm weather.
MYTH: Don’t give your baby a pacifier while breast feeding.
This has been proven false again and again!
Research has proven that non-nutritive sucking (sucking without consuming calories) can be calming and soothing to a baby. Research has also shown that “nipple confusion” is not real.
For more information, see a great article on using pacifiers by one of our favorite fellow experts, Cara.
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Jeri Ford, RN, BSN, CPN