There is so much conflicting advice out there when you become a parent for the first time. It’s really easy to get caught up in the hype of ‘perfect parenting’ and get bogged down by claims that don’t have any substantiated science to back them up. So here are five things that you no longer need to worry about when you become a parent for the first time.
Myth #1: If a baby is cold, they’ll get a cold – FALSE
Even though it’s easy to worry about your little bundle of joy getting sick and catching a cold when she is chilly – never fear, science says she can’t. Even though some studies have suggested that short-term exposure to cooler weather can possibly alter the immune system of an individual, there is more evidence to support rugging up and getting outdoors. So pop a little beanie on that bundle of yours and head out for some fresh air, and leave your worries behind.
Myth #2: Babies need silence to sleep – FALSE
Sleep is precious, especially when you are a first-time parent and aren’t getting much. This is why interrupting your little one’s slumber can seem almost devastating, so it’s very tempting to construct bubbles of silence around our newborns in an effort to prolong their sleepy time. Babies are used to sleeping around noise: remember they’ve spent nine months growing inside their Mamas beside a rhythmically whooshing placenta. They are used to noise, and according to Dr Harvey Karp – they quite like it.
Myth #3: Babies need you to entertain them – FALSE
Many first-time parents feel like they need to entertain their baby. But what a baby actually needs isn’t entertainment, it’s just your company. New parents don’t need to go to inordinate lengths to occupy their baby, simply being with her throughout the day perfectly meets her need for connection and company. Plus, encouraging your child to play independently, even from a young age, is an important skill for her to learn, too.
Listen to podcast host Sarah Hunstead explain the deal with snot:
Myth #4: Green snot is bad – FALSE
The first sight of green snot can often send any new (and not so new) parent into a fit of panic, because we have been led to believe as a society that green snot is bad, bad, bad. But science says that’s not true. It’s actually an indicator that the body is working hard with the immune system to make us healthier. Who would have thought?!
Myth #5: You can cuddle a baby too much – FALSE
There will be no creating a rod for your back, or teaching your baby a bad habit by cuddling her too much, and this is backed by research. According to one study, cuddling your infant actually has advantages for her brain development, too. And that isn’t taking into account the flood of oxytocin, the love hormone, that parents get every time they snuggle their dearest little one close to them.
A lot of the time, parenting is about trusting your instincts, but it can be hard to tune in to these with so much conflicting advice going around. At least now, with these five myths disproven, you can go right ahead and snuggle your baby in a noisy room, even if she has green snot and the weather has a little nip in the air. Soak them in, for this time is fleeting – and you have better things to do than worry about things you don’t need to worry about.