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All parents want to take care of their baby in the best possible way. You listen to every suggestion given by your elders in the family or by your friends when it comes to taking care of your baby. As a result, you even start believing the age-old myths, suggested by elders, thinking that it does good to your baby. But you must know the truth behind all the age-old myths and practices that are being followed in our society. If you want to know the reasons behind certain beliefs, then read this article. This article will provide you with information on common newborn baby care myths and the actual facts associated with it.
Neonatal Care Myths and Facts
As soon as you begin your pregnancy journey everyone around you starts giving you tips and suggestions to have a healthy and hassle-free pregnancy. Once the baby is born, the focus shifts from you to your baby. However, it may make you wonder whether to follow your heart or your mind. There is no need to put on your thinking hats on as in the following section we shall be busting some famous myths related to newborn care:
Oil massages are old school or old-fashioned.
Fact: Oil massages have been in Indian culture from a very long time, but this does not mean that this age-old practice should be replaced or can be done without. Massaging a baby with oil is recommended because it helps in better circulation of blood in the body of your baby and it also helps induce sleep.
Teething in babies may cause fever.
Fact: The teething process in babies begins somewhere around the age of six months and continues till 24 months of age. Younger babies have a weak immune system and so they catch infections or other illness easily. If your baby has a fever and he begins teething at the same time, it does not mean that he has the fever due to teething. You may notice a slight increase in your baby’s temperature if he is teething which occurs due to gum inflammation. However, if your baby has a fever, then don’t take it for a teething symptom, take him to a doctor, and he will suggest you the best.
Carrying or holding a baby for longer durations may spoil the baby.
Fact: A baby’s only source of communication is crying. Crying is a baby’s way of getting his parent’s attention and get his needs tended to. Also, during the early months, a baby needs more skin-to-skin contact and requires constant comforting. So, if you are carrying your baby in your arms, then there is nothing wrong in it and you are not spoiling him. However, you need not hold him in your arms all the time.
Breastfeeding mothers should eat bland food.
Fact: As a breastfeeding mother you may be asked to avoid certain foods that may lead to allergies such as nuts, dairy, soy, peanuts, shellfish, fish, etc. But apart from this, you can eat any food you want, as it helps your baby develop a taste for various foods through breast milk. However, you must strictly avoid alcohol, excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages, and other such harmful things. For a few days, also avoid spicy foods but you don’t have to stick to bland food.
Mothers, who are united with their babies as soon as they deliver, bond better with their babies.
Fact: It is important for a baby to feel a mother’s warmth and touch, immediately after birth but it may not be feasible in case of a premature delivery or a c-section. But you don’t need to worry as a few days or hours of separation will not affect your life-long bond, and you will get enough time to strengthen your bond with your baby.
Bottle-fed babies are healthier.
Fact: A mother’s milk should be the only source of nutrition for a baby for the first six months of his life. However, if due to some reason you are not able to feed your baby, you will be told to give formula milk to your baby. It may be healthy but it is not healthier than the mother’s milk. Breastmilk is loaded with nutrients and is power-packed with antibodies that formula milk cannot match up with.
Applying kajal to a baby will make his eyes healthier and more beautiful.
Fact: Kajal or any kind of cosmetics should not be applied to a baby. Applying kajal to a baby’s eyes does not make his eyes healthy or beautiful. A baby’s eyes and skin are sensitive, so it best to not use any cosmetics for a baby. Even homemade kajal should be avoided, as it can lead to allergic reactions or infections in a baby.
Gripe water or janam ghutti is good for digestion and colic in babies.
Fact: Newborn babies have a weak digestive system, and the only thing good for their delicate tummies is their mother’s milk. Many people believe that gripe water can be given to them after a month, however, it is best to avoid giving any external things like gripe water to a baby up until the age of six months.
A newborn baby should be kept inside the house.
Fact: A newborn baby is delicate and thus needs extra care and attention, hence people suggest to not take him out. But there is no harm in taking your baby out and letting him breathe fresh air unless the weather conditions are extremely harsh. Taking your baby outdoors is also one of the great ways of building their immunity.
Rice cereal must be added to the bedtime bottle feed for long uninterrupted sleep.
Fact: A baby should be given breastmilk alone and feeding him through a bottle must be avoided, until or unless you cannot do without it. But if you are giving formula milk, then you must wait for at least four to five months before you add any kind of cereals in your baby’s diet as it may lead to medical complications in babies such as obesity and other medical issues.
Babies should be fed water too.
Fact: No, water should not be given to babies before six months of age because breast milk has ample amounts of water to satiate the baby’s thirst and hunger.
Gram flour and turmeric powder are better than soaps for a baby’s delicate skin.
Fact: There is no doubt that natural ingredients are better, but these natural ingredients may also lead to allergic reactions in babies. The safest option for a baby would be the products suggested by a doctor. You must opt for hypoallergenic products, which are tried and tested and are suitable for a baby’s soft skin.
Babies sleep better if placed on their tummies.
Fact: Babies should always be made to sleep on their back and never on their tummy. Making a baby sleep on his tummy puts him at the risk of SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. So, always make him sleep on his back.
You will fall in love with your baby instantly.
Fact: You may feel guilty if you do not get any strong feelings of love for your baby, the moment you see him. But the truth is, it is very normal to feel this way. There may be few mothers who may feel an instant connection with their babies in a moment, but if you don’t, it is all right because over time the love and connection will develop.
Newborn babies cannot see.
Fact: This is a weird myth because a baby can see right after his birth. His vision may be blurred or not clear, but he can surely see. And his vision will get better as he grows. So, don’t believe in this myth.
These were some common myths related to taking care of newborn babies. Hopefully, we helped debunked them to your satisfaction. Now you know there is a reason for everything, so don’t just believe in anything without a reason.
Also Read: Importance of Homemade Baby Care Products