When you are a new mother, you tend to have a number of fears and questions. Plus, there are plenty of myths too that you are inclined to believe. While many of them may be bogus but harmless, there may be some that may actually cause significant harm to your kid. Tanya Khubchandani Vatsa, author of All You Need to Know about Parenting, a new book on parenting, helps bust a few myths about infants.
Myth: ‘Your baby will sleep better on their tummy.’
Yes, babies probably do sleep better on their tummies. However, this is only safe after they can roll themselves
over and know when they are suffocating. That comes with age, not with the position of the baby.
Myth: ‘Use a thick blanket to keep your baby warm.’
Please don’t listen to this; the number of children who suffocate is scary. You can tuck your baby in a blanket, but a thin, breathable one, preferably muslin. Even safer than that are sleep sacks. Yes, babies feel colder than we do, but they need one additional layer only, so buy a thick fleece sleep sack, a warm swaddle and, if really needed, a thin blanket that can be securely tucked in.
Myth: ‘Rub honey on your little one’s gums to help with teething.’
There is a lot of stuff out there to help provide temporary relief from teething, from rings to natural and even medicated gels. Even cold carrot sticks can give your child relief from those itchy and often painful gums. What will not give relief and can actually make infants really sick is honey because it can cause botulism in babies. So keep it away until your child is old enough to ask for it or at least till the age of two.
Myth:‘Throwing your youngling in a pool will teach them how to swim.’
Many of us have heard about that one baby that got thrown into the pool and could swim. However, there are even more kids who are thrown in and have become terrified of being in water. More seriously, drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional child deaths.
Myth: ‘Keep your baby up late and he or she will sleep better at night.’
This actually is logical; I probably sleep better when I’m exhausted. However, our little ones defy all known logic here because an overtired baby sleeps less, a lot less, and keeps waking up and crying. So put your baby to nap regularly in the day and get them to bed at a reasonable hour.
Myth: ‘Your breastfed baby can dehydrate in the heat, so make sure to give him/her plenty of water.’
Breastfed babies do not actually need any water. They get plenty of it from you, and more than that can actually be harmful! After six months, a little (30–60 ml) water can be given in a sippy cup. However, this is really for sippy-cup training and not because they need water.