When people find out you’re expecting or you’re a new mum, you can be sure there will be no shortage of strange advice from using whisky for teething and putting tea bags in baby’s nappy. You may find it difficult to figure out what is truth and what is fiction. Following is a list of old wives’ tales that are actually myths.
Babies need a dummy.
Basically a dummy is a tool that baby can use to calm themselves. However, once you teach them that they have something at the end of their arm, hopefully they will learn to use that before using an external item to soothe. Simply keep directing their hand towards their mouth to soothe themselves. This will eventually phase itself out as your child grows older.
You must boil your bottles.
While this is true in some parts of the world, in Australia the water is pretty clean. The goal is to clean them, not sterilise them- so simple washing will be perfectly fine.
Allowing baby to suck their thumb will cause buck teeth.
Sure, thumb-sucking or pacifier usage can cause buck teeth, but it depends upon how old the child is as to whether this is temporary or permanent. If your 2 year old child still sucks their thumb but they stop before age 4, it will likely be temporary. Once this habit is ceased, the teeth will naturally reposition themselves.
Don’t worry if baby teeth get cavities.
Baby teeth serve several different purposes from chewing to speech to holding space for permanent teeth to come in. If your child gets a cavity in their baby teeth, this can result in infections and serious pain, which can cause some problems with overall development, school attendance, and even their overall self-esteem.
When baby is teething, use whisky to soothe painful gums.
Paediatricians do not recommend that you use whisky or aspirin on painful gums. However, you can use things such as cold teething rings, baby acetaminophen, and even homeopathic teething tabs.
Never put baby on their back.
Back in the 1990s, paediatricians began to recommend that babies be put on their back. Since that time, the rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome has decreased by over 50
percent. A healthy baby will not die from choking on spit-up. However, they do die in their sleep on their stomachs.
Never touch the soft spot on baby’s head.
As a parent, you can softly touch the soft spot in a very loving way. Gentle contact with your baby is always a good idea. Any other type of contact is not, no matter what. So, feel free to gently brush baby’s hair, wash their scalp, and enjoy being a parent.
Place a tea bag in baby’s nappy to get rid of nappy rash.
Actually, placing a wet tea bag in baby’s nappy is more likely to cause a rash. Dry tea bags are not likely to help either, and besides, they don’t stay dry for long anyway. Ask your paediatrician what is best for nappy rash and enjoy your tea bags in your teacup.
Get rid of nappy rash with exposure to sunlight.
While occasional exposure to air will help baby’s skin to heal and dry out, you should never trade a nappy rash for a sunburn. When outside, make sure you avoid the peak part of the day and always use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 to 30.
As an expectant or new parent, you will be bombarded with tons of well-meaning advice. However, if you feel something just doesn’t sound right, it’s probably not. You do have an innate sense of right and wrong- use it. If there is ever any question about your own intuitiveness, speak with your paediatrician.