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Myths are everywhere in our lives. Maybe none more so than when it comes to child rearing. People have been raising babies since well, since there were people. By day 1, we’ve been trying to figure out the best way to do it. Every culture has some crazy myths or half truths that have been passed down for generations.
For 400 years the Japanese have had Sumo wrestlers make babies cry for good luck, while in Bulgaria they’ve been known to spit in a baby’s eye to trick evil spirits into thinking it’s undesirable. Here we may also have some ways of raising children that are becoming just as outdated.
Here are 6 pieces of advice and dogma that are actually myths, and that you should no longer follow when it comes to raising your child.
“Let your baby cry. You’ll spoil him if you pick him up.”
The truth is that comforting your baby when they cry reinforces that parents will be there to take care of them. The myth here is that at an early developmental age your child can learn to cry and whine as a default setting for most wants throughout its life. This doesn’t logically make sense for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it’s the only option they have at this point so it is not being compared to other methods of problem solving. This may change later in life.
“Have a strict feeding schedule.”
Infants know when they are hungry or full and don’t require the same metabolic pacing as adults. Creating a strict schedule doesn’t provide any benefit other than fighting an uphill battle against your child’s needs. Not to mention it can adversely affect health.
“Formula is just as good as breast milk.”
It simply isn’t. Not everyone can breastfeed, but science is constantly coming out with new findings on the benefits of breast milk. It’s naturally designed for a baby’s needs and is full of essential nutrients and immunoglobulins (antibodies) that boosts baby’s young immune system.
“They can drink as much juice as they want.”
Water and milk should always be the drink of choice. Juice is a poor substitute due to its lack of necessary nutrition and the fact it can lead to tooth decay. 100% juice without additives is fine as part of a balanced diet for your child, but always in moderation.
“Classical music will raise her IQ.”
This is one of those myths I personally believed for awhile. Although it obviously won’t have any negative side effects, no conclusive research has found that “The Mozart Effect” can result in improvements to I.Q. There are no shortcuts or replacements for engaging and caring interaction when it comes to helping your kid think.
“Your baby will sleep best in a room that’s silent.”
While some children are light sleepers, most do better with background noise. The sounds in the uterus were incredibly loud, so babies love and need strong rhythmic noise that imitates the conditions they are used to.