The B Files: Debunking baby myths

I’m channeling Mulder and Scully and setting out to debunk the myths that surround parenting a baby.

We are bombarded by a lot of useless, silly and barking mad information in the first months.

It can make your head spin, mine certainly did, when you get conflicting advice. The other problem is there are often 10 different choices you can make depending on the problem you’re trying to solve. Which one is right?

Bombarded

The authors of various baby books would have you think it’s their guidance that’s right. I say follow your instincts, if it sounds like it will work for you, great, if it doesn’t then hold a book-burning party.

Let’s face it, some of the stuff we read is utter nonsense. The trouble is we are so lost in the fog of parenting that we often don’t recognise bulls**t when we read it or are told it.

So here’s my own version of The X Files. Presenting The B Files; those mystical stories that surround parenting a baby that are actually utter nonsense.

Baby myths

If you eat candle wax under the light of the moon while standing on your head after sex you will have a boy
Not sure I really need to go into detail on this one. Nothing you can do, no sexual position, no chanting, no magic crystal you bought on QVC and no amount of positive thinking will influence the sex of your baby.

Also, why would you want to? Happy and healthy is all we should be wishing for.

Eating pineapple will bring on labour
I ate about 10 tins of pineapple when 7 days late with my first. I was desperate!

Then I read that the reason pineapple is thought to bring on labour is that it contains bromeliad, which apparently helps soften the cervix.

The thing is, a single pineapple doesn’t contain much of this enzyme so you would have to eat a lot, like seven whole pineapples, to get the effect.

I have also found eating curry and long walks to be totally useless. What did it for me? Sweep performed by a midwife, for both babies. They arrived within two days after.

Rocking your baby to sleep means they will never self settle
This is, quite frankly, utter b*****ks. How do I know? Because I have a baby who I rocked to sleep every nap time and bed time and in the middle of the night for the best part of five months. She now goes to sleep peacefully all by herself in her cot.

Tiny babies are comforted by mum and dad, not by a book saying they need to be put down drowsy but awake. Hang in there, it does get easier!

Breastfeeding doesn’t hurt
I call BS on this statement. It hurt for me, even when I was just using the pump for my first baby.

There was a double whammy of pain when I breastfed in the early weeks. The first was sore nipples caused by the chomping baby suckling furiously every hour. The second was the letdown pain. This I felt in the boob as a kind of electric shock and my tummy as a period-type cramp.

Breastfeeding does hurt. If more people were given a bit of warning they would be able to prepare themselves better for it.

I’m sure part of this is not wanting to put women off trying. The thing is we’re not children about to eat sprouts for the first time. We’re grown-ups, be straight with us from the get-go.

It stopped hurting me after about four weeks. Pain was at a bearable level after about two weeks.

Baby rice in the bottle to make them sleep through
Most people have an older relative who likes to bring up this pearl of wisdom.

Introducing solids too early can actually make sleep patterns worse plus baby’s digestive system just isn’t ready for it until after six months.

You hear a lot of anecdotal chatter about how “in my day babies slept through from one week old”.

I wonder if this actually was because babies were not in their parents’ room for the first six months – this advice has helped dramatically reduce SIDs – and so our elders couldn’t hear us crying.

Routines will make your baby sleep through the night
This one is a mixed bag. Some babies will respond well to routine and sleep through from an early age. My eldest did from eight weeks.

For others, like my youngest, nothing I tried worked. She’s just started doing 10 to 12 hours a night. Is it the fact she’s eating three meals a day, the fact I’ve stopped breastfeeding or just that she was ready anyway?

Some babies just won’t be forced into a routine and stressing yourself out doesn’t help. Most fall into a natural routine anyway when they’re ready.

Anything you’ve been told or read about that turned out to be utter nonsense when bringing up baby? I would love to hear your stories!

 

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