As a new parent, it always seems like someone is trying to give you advice. It could come from your sister, your well-meaning friend, or even your judgmental in-law. In any case, some of the advice may be good, but others are commonly circulated myths you should ignore—even if someone else is certain they are real.
Bottle Feeding is a Bad Idea
There are some women who stand by the idea that breastfeeding is the only way to go. Some of the arguments conjured up by these people are the natural benefits of breastfeeding compared to formula. They’ll suggest that formula will stunt growth, or that it doesn’t develop a baby’s immune system. However, this is just not the case.
Formula is designed to benefit the baby in all the same ways that breastfeeding does. Vitamins and minerals in the formula can give a balanced diet to a newborn, and it is a perfectly reasonable way to feed a child if the mother is not around.
Fluoride Will Poison My Child
Another popular fable is that you shouldn’t brush your baby’s teeth with regular toothpaste. Fluoride in the toothpaste can hurt your child and if they ingest any amount of the chemical, it can make them sick—it can also be fatal. But what do the facts say?
Though you shouldn’t let them eat it by the spoonful, a small dose of fluoride on their teeth won’t poison your newborn. Fluoride actually has quite a few benefits for children's teeth. It strengthens growing teeth and kills bacteria that can make your child sick. In moderation, there is no reason you shouldn’t brush their teeth with normal toothpaste.
It is Selfish to Take “Me Time”
One common misconception in a new mother’s mind is that anytime their baby is crying, they have to rush to its aid. They think that taking short spans of “me time” is selfish. Not only is this not true, but it’s an incredibly unhealthy way of parenting.
While it is important that you do not neglect the child every time it cries, sometimes it is better for you to take time to yourself. It is healthy for you as a parent to decide when a baby is safe and when it needs help. It also keeps you from mentally breaking down. Your baby will eventually quiet down, and you can take care of it after you are rested.
Baby myths are incredibly common in the average household. But knowing the difference between fact and fiction can help you on your parenting journey.
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