After writing two popular posts recently, 12 Mainstream Pregnancy Lies You Likely Believe, and 12 (More) Mainstream Pregnancy Lies You Likely Believe, several people asked me to talk about baby myths.
Unfortunately, many of the same people who are trying to tell you that pregnancy is bad and scary and that you need to do a million tests and stop questioning your doctor, also believe these things about newborns.
This kind of stuff is really even more important. Regardless of how your pregnancy and birth goes (and yes, it does matter), it’s a temporary part of your life. But raising a baby, that impacts your entire life and more importantly, your baby’s entire life. It’s really important to know the truth here!
Let’s dive into some of the most common baby myths!
12 Baby Lies You Probably Believe
1. “Let your newborn cry it out or he’ll never learn to sleep.”
Sorry, mamas, but this is a total lie. Your baby doesn’t “learn” anything from being left alone to cry, except that no one is coming to meet his needs. That doesn’t make the needs go away, and it doesn’t mean your baby has gained the skill of helping himself fall asleep.
Instead, teach your baby to sleep by holding him, rocking him, nursing him, and showing him various ways to settle himself. We shared our Gentle AP Method to Teach Your Baby to Sleep a couple of years ago. It’s worked on all our kids so far (who co-sleep with us for a year, give or take) and nobody’s been left to cry. And guess what, the older four all fall asleep on their own and sleep all night now! And, nobody’s afraid of bedtime, nobody wakes with nightmares, and we just don’t have any sleep issues. That’s no accident. Babies whose needs are met will learn to sleep on their own when they are ready.
2. “Your newborn is manipulating you/getting spoiled when you answer her cries.”
This one absolutely drives me nuts. It’s setting up your relationship with your baby as adversaries — her vs. you. But mamas, your baby is not out to “get” you. She is not manipulating you. (Heck, she’s not even capable of it — a baby has to understand that she’s a separate person from you, what your wants are, and what her wants are, and be able to deliberately play your emotions to get her way in order to manipulate. This is far too sophisticated for a baby. Kids aren’t capable of this until at least 2 or 3 years old.)
Your baby cries because she needs something. Period. That need may be to be held; it may be to be fed, changed, be warmer or cooler, etc. But she cries to communicate her needs because it is nearly the only way she can communicate as an infant. As she gets older you’ll notice more of her subtle communication — looks, squirms, grunts, rooting behavior, and so on.
The more quickly you notice her communication and the more quickly you meet her needs, the less she’ll cry. And, if you always meet her needs, she won’t (often) try to manipulate you even when she’s finally capable because she’ll trust that you’ll be there for her! This isn’t “spoiled,” either, this is trusting. And trust is so important to a healthy emotional life.
Read: Why Babies Always Want to be Held (and Why It Won’t Spoil Them)
3. “Add rice cereal to his bottle so he’ll sleep longer.”
Sorry, mamas, another lie.
First of all, young babies should not sleep too long. Their tummies are tiny and they need to eat often because they’re growing so rapidly. Rice cereal does make babies feel fuller sometimes, but it can also make some babies wake more often because it upsets their tummies. Young babies can’t digest grains and aren’t getting any real nourishment from this practice. It’s best to stick to only breast milk (or formula) and not add anything to it.
Even when it’s time to eat food, it’s best to avoid grains, and always to let baby decide if he wants to eat and how much. He can’t do that when it’s in his bottle.
Read: Is Rice Cereal the Best First Food for Babies?
4. “Limit breastfeeding to ___ minutes per side so she doesn’t make you sore or eat too much.”
There is so much bad breastfeeding advice out there, and this is one of the most common. There is no need to limit a baby’s time per side, or total nursing time. It will not help you to be less sore. (Using a high-quality breast cream, which we’ll talk more about in a week or so, and making sure your baby is properly positioned, will help avoid soreness.) And, your baby cannot eat too much when breastfed. She will naturally stop when she has had enough, or when she needs to burp. If baby pops off, try burping and offer the other breast. She won’t overeat.
By the same token, a baby who is offered the breast whenever she seems to want it won’t undereat. She doesn’t have to nurse a certain number of minutes to get enough — some babies are more efficient than others. Just forget the clock altogether when it comes to babies, and follow your baby’s cues.
Read: What No One Tells You About Breastfeeding a Newborn
5. “Your newborn has to be supplemented with formula because _____.”
First, there are legitimate circumstances where a baby requires formula supplementation. In some cases, moms can’t produce enough milk no matter how hard they try (insufficient breast tissue, hormonal imbalances, certain autoimmune conditions, etc.). This isn’t to say that formula is never necessary.
But. A lot of women are told they have to supplement in circumstances where it’s not necessary. For example, when baby wants to nurse very frequently. This is normal for new babies and is not a sign of low milk supply (as long as baby seems satisfied after eating, however briefly).
Other women are told they “have” to supplement because their milk is ‘bad,’ or because babies can’t get what they need from breastmilk alone, or because they need to sleep, or because others need to feed the baby in order to bond. These are all wrong!
Read: Is Exclusive Breastfeeding Risky and Magical Thinking?
6. “Jaundice is not normal and requires aggressive treatment.”
Honestly? Most newborn jaundice is normal. Almost all babies have a slight yellowish tint to their skin for a few days after birth. While jaundice can become a problem, it’s pretty rare. Biliblankets, formula supplementation, and other interventions are not necessary for most babies.
7. “Co-sleeping is dangerous, your baby needs to sleep alone.”
This is a pretty silly one. In most cultures, babies sleep near their parents. It’s also safer, because it facilitates breastfeeding, helps infants maintain their body temperature and breathing, and more. Co-sleeping is not dangerous, unless one or both parents are on medication, under the influence of alcohol, are seriously sleep-deprived, or have some sort of medical condition which makes them sleep too heavily. A breastfeeding mother is ordinarily a light sleeper who is well aware of her baby’s position in her bed.
Plus, sleeping alone is hard for new babies. They crave the comfort of their mothers and easy access to the breast. They certainly do not “need” to sleep alone to learn to sleep separately later on.
Read: 8 Responses to People Who Question Co-Sleeping
8. “Start your baby on newborn enrichment classes now so he’ll be smarter.”
It’s admirable to want to give your baby the best — every advantage that there is. But the thing is, babies are learning rapidly, all the time. They need to learn everything about life. The best way to teach babies is to talk to them and look at them. They need to learn about you, about human interaction. You can also take them places so they can observe life outside, other people, and so on. There is no need for “newborn enrichment” classes or videos, and absolutely no evidence that they work anyway.
Read: Please Stop Homeschooling Your Toddler (and Babies!)
9. “If your newborn boy is intact, you should retract his penis to clean under it.”
Please, never do this. An intact penis should be left alone. Wipe the outside of it, but never mess with the foreskin. Trying to retract a newborn will tear the foreskin, cause bleeding and pain, and can cause adhesions and future issues. Don’t let doctors retract your baby, either. There is no reason to do so “just to check and make sure it’s all okay” (ever), nor even any reason to do so for a catheter. Find someone who is educated about intact care if your baby needs any medical procedures.
Your baby’s foreskin will naturally retract at some point later — often in the preschool years, but sometimes not until adolescence. At that point, your son should be taught to retract himself to wash in the bath. But never force it, and never do it yourself. Only the owner of the penis should retract it.
Read: 8 Reasons Why You Should Reconsider Circumcision
10. “Feedings should be scheduled every 3 or 4 hours so baby learns to eat when it’s the ‘right’ time.”
This is really terrible advice and can lead to failure to thrive, as well as sabotaging breastfeeding. A woman who is only nursing every 3 – 4 hours often cannot produce enough milk, because breastfeeding is about supply and demand. When demand is lower due to infrequent feedings, her body won’t get the message to produce more.
As for the baby, most newborns need to eat at least 12 times in a 24-hour period, and many nurse quite a bit more than that. The typical newborn won’t go longer than 2 hours between feedings, on average. (Typically there are times of day that they eat more often, up to every 30 minutes; and they may sleep a 3 – 4-hour stretch at night.) A baby who does not eat often enough will be fussy, difficult to settle, and will sleep poorly. The baby may also gain weight poorly and not meet milestones on time. They could end up hospitalized for hunger or dehydration and be marked failure to thrive.
And even worse, some recommend offering baby water in between scheduled feedings to keep them quiet. Never do this, unless explicitly instructed by a doctor. A new baby’s electrolyte levels are very precariously balanced. Plenty of breast milk or properly prepared formula is good. But water can dilute sodium levels in the baby’s blood and cause lethargy, coma, or even death. Babies have died because of parents watering down breastmilk or formula, or offering too much water in between feedings. Just don’t do it!
Feed your baby on demand. Lessons on “when to eat” and “meal times” can wait until the toddler years. (And it’s debatable even then.)
Read: Biologically Normal Infant Feeding: Why Breastfeeding Matters
11. “It’s safe to put the car seat on top of a shopping cart at the grocery store.”
Although it’s a really common practice, it is, in fact, not safe. Car seats on top of grocery carts are very top-heavy, and carts can tip over if you go over bumps unexpectedly or turn too sharply. A few babies each year actually die from falling off of a grocery cart! Since it’s entirely preventable…just don’t do it.
Instead, put the baby’s car seat into the basket of the cart. Or, wear your baby in a wrap or other carrier (which is what I choose to do).
Read: Why You Should Wrap Your Baby
12. “It’s safe/beneficial to start solids at 2 weeks/2 months/3 months/etc.”
Sorry, but early solids really are not beneficial and may be very harmful. Young babies are meant to get extremely nutrient- and calorie-dense breast milk or formula to meet their nutritional needs and rapid growth. And, their intestines are immature and “open,” meaning that undigested proteins can escape into the bloodstream, sensitizing the child and causing allergies. Breast milk actually promotes maturity of the gut and helps it to seal properly, so that baby won’t have allergies later in life.
It’s best to wait to start solids until at least 6 months, but follow your baby’s lead. (Baby showing interest in your food doesn’t mean she’s ready — infants are typically fascinated by everything you do. Being able to pick up the food and put it into her own mouth is a good rule.)
Read: When Should You Start Baby’s First Foods?
These are just twelve of the lies I can think of! Can you think of more?
Yes! I hate when I hear parents say they let their baby “cry it out”. They need you! I raised 4 sons. I fed on demand, as best I could, and I seriously did not care where they fell asleep at. I usually put them in their own beds and that’s where they woke up. No nightmares, and no one was afraid of the dark. They all made their way to their own beds by age 4 or 5. ANYTHING will be an issue if you make it an issue! My boys are grown now and we’ve been through a lot together, but they have known unconditional love and there is an undeniable element of trust.
We just recently found out about the not retracting thing and unfortunately we have already retracted our 21 month old. Should we continue retracting it or should we just leave it alone
I have been trying to find out the answer to your question, but I am not sure. Try http://www.intactamerica.org or http://www.thewholenetwork.org. They should have information for you. My thought is to leave it alone, let it heal, and then check it carefully for adhesions or issues once it retracts naturally.
Regarding #2. “Your newborn is manipulating you/getting spoiled when you answer her cries.”
I read the book Welcome to your Child’s Brain by Sandra Aamodt & Sam Wang, which if I am stating the correct book, is based on research done on children’s brain development. According to this book, a child is not cognitively able to start fully considering other’s thoughts and feelings until around the age of 4.
Many parents mistakenly think their 2-3 year olds are also “manipulating” them. But think about a 2 year old’s ability to share or consider the other child’s feelings before grabbing a toy out of their hand. It doesn’t happen because they haven’t developed the skill yet. A three year old has better control over their impulses (depending on the child) so they aren’t as likely to just go and grab a toy away from another child. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are considering the other child’s feelings. They may just be feeling shy, or figuring out other ways to get the toy.
Thanks for your comment, Amy!
I think I read that children only start to develop self-control around age 2.5 years. It takes another year or two until they really “get it.” So a 4-year-old can manipulate for sure! But an infant or young toddler, no.
The title of this article was very close to the title of another blog, which similarly contains information on what’s wrong with the “Cry-It-Out” sleep-training method. Check it out:
My MIL says most of these daily… I just ignore it now, but I used to argue that NO my baby girl was not manipulating me by needing me, and NO I was not going to put her on baby oatmeal, oatmeal is nutritionally deficient to meet her needs, and NO, I was not going to put her in her crib and leave her alone to cry for an hour so she can learn “quiet time” and NO I am not going to get her started on baby food at 2 months because that’s what YOU did. She never listened, and when I told her the accepted medical support for those positions she would scoff and say that doctors are just trying to make moms worn out and sick of their babies so that they can get the extra business…. WHAT? That doesn’t even make SENSE.
Anyway, long story short, both my mom and my MIL have some SEVERELY outdated ideas on childcare and they both think that current medical research is full of crap! It’s a good thing they are not raising my child, haha.
Thanks for your comment, Stephanie! Sorry you have to deal with this!
I have to say, my friends and I have had a total of 9 babies in the past 5 years, and we’ve been told none of these ‘lies’ by anyone, including doctors. Maybe someone’s 90 year old grandmother made a comment about letting kids cry, but no one under the age of 70, and no one in a professional healthcare role, has ever said these things to us. (And out of the 36 ‘lies’ you’ve listed across the 3 posts, we have maybe been told 2 or 3 of them.) I don’t think the ‘mainstream’ is really nearly as bad as you seem to think – I get the impression you’re creating a straw-man argument here, to help you boost traffic.
Thanks for your comment….
I encourage you to read the other comments on here, where several women are sharing their experiences with having been told these lies by doctors, mothers, friends, etc. It may not have happened to you, but it absolutely does happen to others. Far too often. That’s why these posts were necessary. But, if you feel they aren’t, you don’t have to read.
I would say it sounds like you have a very encouraging and educated support system, which is awesome! I wish that was more common for more women across the board, though, as it isn’t the norm to this day.
Unfortunately, I am one of few people I know who parents according to these principles and knows this information. All of these “lies” are ones I have heard frequently and consistently from family and friends of all ages and still continue to receive pressure about. Fortunately, I am educated and confident in my decisions and use these times of advice-receiving to share my own knowledge and I just keep doing what I am doing to model an alternative method of parenting. I wish I had such supportive friends as you have. Keep doing what you are doing and hopefully you continue to receive and be that support for your family and friends! But I would also encourage you to remember we aren’t all so lucky to have that and some of us benefit from these articles to encourage us when are bombarded with these lies regularly.
I was told to add cereal to my breastmilk for my babies acid reflux.
That is common advice, but fairly outdated. These days, most doctors and lactation consultants would recommend an elimination diet for you, because reflux is usually due to something in mom’s diet that is upsetting baby’s tummy. (This can happen if mom’s gut flora is not so great.) I personally choose to take probiotics to improve my gut health to prevent issues in my breastfed babies.
Point number 10: babies who aren’t getting enough milk don’t always become fussy and hard to settle, especially newborns. They are actually more likely to become extremely lethargic. They don’t have the energy to stay awake, much less cry. This is what happened with my youngest who wasn’t transferring milk properly due to an anterior tongue tie. He was even more sleepy than most newborns and getting worse, plus his urine was starting to crystalize and he wasn’t pooping for days. Luckily, I figured out what was going on and, even more luckily, had a nipple shield which worked to allow him to transfer milk so he stopped loosing weight and being lethargic until I was able to get him in to get the tongue tie cut.
That sounds scary!
It’s important to note that there were key symptoms that all was not well — crystalized urine (or even strong urine), not pooping, etc. are definitely not normal! That’s why most doctors and lactation consultants will tell you to watch diapers, and if baby’s having plenty of wet/dirty diapers then s/he is getting enough milk. If not, there may well be a problem.
Whenever I see a baby in an infant see on a shopping cart I want to say something to the parent. Even the carts that have the little “holders” for the seats are not safe. I can’t believe so many people do this. I am seeing more people wearing their babies at the grocery store, though.
I have an elaborate ritual that I used to get one child in the cart and the other in the wrap (while the 3rd walked with me). My youngest is old enough to ride in the cart by now, but I can definitely give advice on how to go grocery shopping with kids of all different ages!
Thanks for commenting! I’ve done the same — I have 5, so I usually have my oldest bring a cart to the car. Then I lift a kid or two into the cart (my almost 4 YO sometimes wants to ride in the basket), and then I wrap up the baby. We’re quite a sight, I think, with one strapped to me, one in the seat, one in the basket, and two walking alongside!
This was my biggest problem with my in-laws while we lived with them. I was constantly dealing with snide comments about my daughter becoming spoiled, just let her cry, she’ll become too dependent and I need to use rice cereal and I wasn’t giving her enough nutrients because I was breastfeeding. The happiest day of my life was moving out and getting our own place. Now my daughter is three and super indepenent and she sleeps in between my husband and I and my two month old sleeps on the other side of me.
Thanks for sharing, Brittney! And good for you for following your instincts in the face of criticism!
Parents should be educated on jaundice and when to seek advice not just told its a common lie. While it is common, normal newborn jaundice can lead to complications if not treated promptly. Prolonged jaundice over 2 weeks can be a sign of paediatric liver disease as was the case with my son. I don’t advocate umnecessary treatment but I do promote parental education http://www.yellowalert.org/
Thanks for your comment. Yes, in certain cases, jaundice can be serious and parents should know what signs to look for. They should not, however, let doctors scare them into treatments for what truly is *minor* jaundice (which is still happening too often).
Co-sleeping statistics are misleading. More babies die alone in their crib than in their parent’s bed. Unsafe cosleeping cicumstances include sleeping in a rocking chair, recliner or couch with an infant. Google it and do it safely and without fear because your child is safer with you
Thanks for your comment, Jenny!
I honestly believe that the babies who do die during co-sleeping do so because of the lack of safe co-sleeping information. Parents are simply told “don’t” and are not advised on safe practices. They may fall asleep with fluffy blankets around, or on the couch, situations that place their infant more at risk than planned co-sleeping does.
We had to add rice cereal to our boys bottles because they would over eat formula until they threw everything up. A little rice cereal (with pediatric consent) stopped the issue quickly. It was only a little and NEVER just to make them sleep.
Also, when it comes to crying it out, there are many ways that can happen and sometimes it is best. Doing it to teach a lesson or whatever is not very helpful, but sometimes it is the only thing that can keep a mother sane. If nothing is comforting the baby and you have met all their needs, a sleep deprived mother (especially if they have PPD) can start to lose it and need to walk away, and maybe even cry it out themselves.
I say this because I have heard and read some of the nastiest comments about this. I have also heard people say that holding the baby will fix those issue. Bullcrap! It might for some, but going off and assuming a desperate mother is “not trying hard enough” and commenting like that is one of the WORST moves you can make. It makes them feel alone, without support, as if they are broken and a terrible mother and not ONE of those feelings is going to fix the issue. Love and support can and most often will help, but telling someone everything they are doing wrong when they already feel damaged is not going to benefit anyone.
Thanks for commenting.
Some doctors do recommend rice cereal for reflux issues. Many, however, now recommend trying different types of formula until one is found that works better for that particular baby. In the case of a breastfed infant, mom may need to make adjustments to her diet if baby is having issues.
If you are struggling with PPD or find yourself angry with your baby, PLEASE put them down and walk away if you need to. Your baby will be fine for a few minutes while you regain some composure. If possible, call a friend, your mother, a neighbor, or anyone who can come and take a turn with the baby for awhile. Go take a bath, go out for a walk, go where you can’t hear the baby cry. It is important to retain your sanity! This is very, very different than CIO, though. CIO is done by a calm parent in order to “teach” the baby. Letting a baby cry because you’re losing it yourself is totally different.
I honestly appreciate you taking the time to write out your thoughts, however, I would have to disagree a little with the cry-it-out. I am quite a “crunchy” person, so before I had my children I was all about AP. My kids would never cry it out, my kids would be right next to me in bed, I would baby carry as much as possible, etc. I thought for sure that this was the only way my babies would know unconditional love. However, fast forward to my first baby I felt SO in bondage–if I didn’t do the things mentioned above, my baby wouldn’t know my love and would be damaged forever. Eventually, I did have to let my child cry it out at night time and I did have to move her to her own room. We went through the same with my son. Are my children damaged? No way! They are the happiest children I know! Do they know I love them? YES! Children know unconditional love no matter what your parenting style. If you are the AP type, please, PLEASE don’t assume that parents don’t show unconditional love if they don’t parent as you do, and PLEASE don’t think that our children are less happy and insecure than yours are. This really comes across in so many AP articles I have read, and it saddens me. (For what it’s worth, I do NOT let newborns cry it out, but I did let them fuss if needed–CIO is reserved for when they are old enough to learn to self-soothe and simply will not sleep once every need has been met).
Thanks for your thoughts. In no way was I intending to say that parents shouldn’t follow their instincts, or that a toddler shouldn’t be left to fuss for a bit at bedtime. I’m specifically talking about young babies being left to cry to “teach” them something. (Believe me — when one of my kids, at 18 months, refused to go to bed for no reason at all, I eventually put him in his crib and said “Enough! Good night!” and he cried for less than a minute and finally went to sleep!)
It’s also true — and we all need to remember this — that sometimes, we make mistakes or do things that are less-than-perfect. Because we’re human, and we have needs too. Not being a “perfect” parent does not mean that you screwed up your kid, that you don’t love them, or they won’t love you. That’s life — it’s messy sometimes.
I disagree with the infant enrichment classes being useless. They are good for baby and for mom! You get out of the house and there is a lot of stimulation, mostly with music or other classes. Baby loves to look around and takes everything in! I like using the gym nursery better because then I can work out, and baby gets lots of fun stimulation and interactions there. It’s win, win for both of us, starting at about 2 months old. Sitting home gets very old.
I agree with some of what you’re saying here — it is absolutely valuable to get out of the house, for both you and baby. Mamas need to get out, connect with others, and feel normal. If baby classes are how you do it, that’s cool.
But. Baby enrichment classes aren’t going to specifically make your baby smarter. They’re fine if you enjoy them, but don’t do them just to try to give your baby an “edge.” Meeting a friend for coffee and letting your baby look at the new environment in the coffee shop is just as beneficial when they’re young; everything is new!
I am surprised that most of these are still an issue. Perhaps it depends on your circles of influence. I will say that I had to set an alarm on my phone in order to Make Sure my babies ate at least every 3 hours, as “feed on demand” would have been Never with my quiet babies (now all loud kids! What gives! lol). They all gained & grew & all that healthy stuff, but I had to be the one to demand they eat. I also had kids who flat out refused to sleep in my arms. The more I rocked, the more mad they got. Lay them down & they were out. Sometimes very disappointing for Momma! Advice has its place, but it always comes down to that specific little individual you are raising.
I’m sure it does depend on your circles of influence. I’ve had a small number of express surprise, as you have, that these are still an issue. But I’ve had many, many people share their stories of being given these pieces of advice from grandmothers, mothers, friends, doctors, etc. It’s unfortunately still all too common!
Hi Kate, could you post a table of contents of your book? I’m very interested in natural remedies, in fact I have an anti-cold tea steeping on my stovetop right now, but I’d like to know what conditions you write remedies for. 40 weeks pregnant is the best time for getting a cold, my body thinks. Ugh!
I’m not sure if you can see it (the type may be too small), but the second image on this page is the full table of contents: https://modernalternativemama.com/natural-remedies-kids/ If that is not readable, let me know and I’ll type it out.
Point #12…. their intestines are immature and “open,” meaning that undigested proteins can escape into the bloodstream, sensitizing the child and causing allergies. Breast milk actually promotes maturity of the gut and helps it to seal properly, so that baby won’t have allergies later in life.
This is stated as a fact and is blatantly false. The cause of the alarming increase is allergies is unknown. To state this as a fact and try to place blame on a mother for a child’s life threatening allergy is cruel. I and many children of my era were raised on a canned milk, Karo syrup concoction popular at a time when breast feeding was out of favor. We didn’t develop food allergies en masse. I breast fed my children but introduced some food starting around 4-5 months, none developed allergies. My daughter breast fed her children exclusively for 6 months and one child has life threatening food allergies. If you don’t state false medical information on your blog, you will not need the disclaimer you have posted above. Please stick to opinion and consider removing #12, an item that is not a fact, just a hurtful and insulting opinion that is stated as a fact. If you stand by this medical information, please cite your source. Thank you for your consideration.
I’m sorry you’re upset, but this point is absolutely not false.
Your experience is unfortunate (that being fed canned milk resulted in no allergies, and your breastfed grandson has serious allergies), but please remember that is just *your* experience. And please don’t call names — you’ve called me crual and more. Lashing out as me is unnecessary.
Here’s the evidence:
*http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8745504 (hormones in breastmilk promote gut maturation)
*http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24773443 (mom consuming allergens while breastfeeding may prevent allergies to that food)
*http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18386435 (breastfeeding may prevent allergies, asthma)
There are other studies; this is just a short list. It’s also important to know that the development of allergies is impacted by much more than just feeding method, but that is too complex to get into right now.
You should know this information but mot medical advice. I do share health-related studies and information here. If that is not something you prefer to see, or with which you don’t agree, please don’t read. This is an important part of my blog. I have now cited my sources for you and I hope this puts the matter to rest.
Thank you for sharing this. I have a 5 month old and most nights he ends up in the bed with me after waking up. I love having him right next to me and it makes it so much easier to nurse. However with everything out there about SIDS, I often wake up felt guilty about letting him share my bed. I also wish I would have known more about juandice before he was born.
Is it safe to let baby sleep with a pillow and blanket as shown in the picture? I put my baby on a pillow on her back next to me in bed because that’s sometimes the only way I can get her to sleep. I feel like a bad mom because it’s pretty established in the mainstream as dangerous.
Well — not exactly. In this picture, my baby is next to the pillow, and I had set him there for a few minutes while I was getting dressed. That isn’t how he sleeps at night. Older babies who can roll/crawl can sleep with a pillow — 8 – 12 months old is fine. Small, light blankets are okay if they’re kept away from baby’s face and not over their hands (because they could pull the blanket over their faces accidentally).
But, my baby sleeps in my arms, in my bed, next to my pillow. I have the bed’s blankets covering us (sheet and light microfiber blanket) but not too high. Make sure that there are no fluffy blankets or anything that your daughter couldn’t get off her face if it got on, and make sure your bed isn’t pushed against the wall where she could roll into the crack and get her face stuck. But if she’s just lying next to you in bed, especially if she’s older, then she’ll be fine.
All you need to see is one dead baby that the mother has rolled on while breastfeeding and you will never sleep with your baby again. As a pediatric nurse I have seen this and hope that you consider the risks carefully before deciding that it is okay to sleep with your newborn.
I have heard this one so many times. I have had more pediatric nurses than you can believe who all claim this sort of thing (seen a baby die co-sleeping, die in home birth, die from pertussis, on and on). And they try to use their personal experience to scare people out of making a particular choice.
Worst-case scenario — assuming the scenario you say is even accurate (I’ll bet mom was sleep-deprived, sleeping on a couch, had her bed pushed against the wall and baby’s face got caught, etc. if in fact co-sleeping was involved in the death) — is not a reason to dismiss the entire situation. Anything can be done wrong, anything can be dangerous. Thousands of kids die in car accidents every year; should we stop driving with them?
Please just stop making comments like this.
I’m so glad you brought this up! As a DFCS worker, one dead baby was enough for me. The mom in one of my cases did all these “safe things” mentioned here. And her baby died! I cringe when I read articles promoting co-sleeping!
If a baby died during “safe” co-sleeping, something else was going on. Babies die alone in cribs all the time — should we ban cribs?
I got a lot of terrible breastfeeding advice that I fortunately knew better than to follow. The day we came home from the hospital my mother in law told me to pump and make my husband feed the baby at night while I slept. That’s horrible advice, sleeping while your baby is given a bottle will severely decrease your milk supply. She also told me the rice cereal and breast milk one when my baby was 2 or 3 months old and not sleeping through the night (shame on him). My husband’s grandmother told me to mix milk (as in the normal store bought cow’s milk) in with my breast milk to get him used to normal milk… my baby was barley 2 months old!
My son is a big baby, 9 pounds at birth, 15 pounds at 2 months, 20 at 3 months… I’ve been told by several people that breast milk is not enough for him, it won’t satisfy him, etc, etc… A lot of people already don’t understand what exclusively breastfeeding means and that its the healthiest option out there, well, that just gets worse when you have a big baby. Lol, never mind how he got to be so big and healthy, once he is big, you might as well give up that whole breastfeeding thing and start supplementing!
Another one that really gets me is how many people think breastfeeding is an annoyance for me and that I’ll want to stop ASAP. Breastfeeding is awesome I’m so thankful that it worked out for me. Now yes, it takes time out of my day, but good grief, that’s parenthood for you and I do my best to enjoy every minute of it.
When I was told in the hospital that I had to supplement due to my baby losing to much weight it upset me. As a breastfeeding mother it was like they wanted me to be shameful that my baby was “not getting the amount of milk required”. First of all it takes between 2 to 4 days for a milk supply to start. Before that the baby gets the colostrum that is required to help build an great immune system. Secondly if the hospital would not take the baby every hour to do “testing” then we could have started a better breast for feeding connection. After getting home that baby kept vomiting all she ate. I started doing a process of elimination of foods that I ate. Found out that my child was having severe reaction to my milk when I ate products that had dairy in them. She also had the same severe reactions when I was supposed to supplement (due to the fact that supplements are derived from cow milk). When I quit supplementing and chose to eat goat/sheep dairy her weight loss problem was no longer an issue. Sadly where I live the doctors do not support a breastfeeding mom. So rock on those who breastfeed. For those who require supplement due to medical issues do not berate yourself because you are doing an awesome job. God Bless.
I don’t think newborn jaundice is normal, I suspect that its liver damage from the toxic vitamin K shot newborns are given at minutes old. Other than that, totally on point as usual!!! 🙂
Just a note re newborn jaundice. Please distinguish between common jaundice and jaundice caused by different blood groups. My two boys went yellow within three hours after births. Their jaundice was caused byABO incompability.
Hey I just came across your post now.my mil goes overboard.the wetwipes have to be warmed infront of the heater because its too cold,she will feed her water at feeding times because she is thirsty.she did put panado drops on her dummy because she doesnt like a dry dummy,she pulls the blanket over baby’s face because herself likes it so baby should too.she doesnt put her in the carseat because she doesnt like it.tells me I should never wake my baby because its not good for them.when baby is drenched in sweat she will wrap her in a blanket and say cooling her down is bad.baby overheated in the car and was crying when we took her out.well she took her and placed thick wool caps on her head to measure her head for a hat.I really have my hands full with a woman that thinks she is such a good mother when she clearly flops every time.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences of attachment parenting! I have been practicing AP since my kids were born and am very happy with it. A sad thing is that me and my husband get a lot of negative comments about the things we do, there seem to be a lot of suspicion regarding everything that has to do with co-sleeping and long term breastfeeding. I have blog together with a friend where we write about things related to attachment parenting in a very open minded non-judgemental way.
These are not ‘lies’ these are opinions and mostly based on the type of parenting style you wish to follow. Don’t make out you’re blogging about ‘facts’ because you’re not and it some instances (ie jaundice) you could actually be potentially telling someone not to worry when their COULD be a chance to worry. You really need to rethink some of what you’ve put in here and reword it!
They ARE lies in the sense that they are NOT TRUE.
Obviously, parents need to watch their babies and note if something is wrong and react accordingly, but mainstream parenting is not the default or “correct” way of parenting.
[…] writing the crazy popular “12 Mainstream Baby Lies You Likely Believe” a couple weeks ago, several people pointed out some lies I’d forgotten. It’s […]