New parent myths de-bunked
You are SO excited to share the news of your pregnancy. This is a very special time for you and your family. However it does open the advice floodgates from well-meaning moms. Some of the information you receive will be useful, much of it won't. Here are a few myths you can dismiss...
Your baby will be super cute
Your baby will be incredibly precious because it has arrived happy and healthy and it is yours. But getting from point A to point B is no picnic for your baby, and it shows in the first few days. Your baby's head may very well be misshapen from the birth canal or her little face may be scrunched up. She might have baby acne. She might even be YELLOW for a few days (bigger babies sometimes are a bit jaundiced until their liver starts to function properly). All the battle wounds fade quickly though, and soon you'll be boring everyone with stories of how cute your baby is.
If a baby cries, he must be hungry
We can spot the moms who have bought into this myth because the poor exhausted things are whipping their shirts up every 20 minutes. The truth is, you can set your baby up on a feeding schedule that seems to satisfy his appetite and allows you to relax in-between feedings. If your baby cries between times, remember that babies need to cry. It is their only form of exercise. Sometimes babies just like to suck for soothing purposes. Try a pacifier or try letting your baby suck on your knuckle. Sometimes they just want to be held. Visit with the lactation specialist or your baby's pediatrician about a feeding schedule. As long as your baby has a clean diaper and a full belly, don't freak out if they fuss a bit here and there.
be really quiet during nap-time
Obviously you don't want to startle your baby while she sleeps or conduct orchestra practice in the living room, but don't try and get the Earth to stop rotating either. Your baby is already used to background noise. They have been exposed to household sounds and the voices of family members while you were pregnant. A baby that can settle down and sleep with a certain amount of background noise will be able to sleep peacefully anywhere. If you make things too quiet and precise at nap time, you will be chained to the house because your baby will not be able to rest outside of these conditions.
Cats can steal the air from a baby's mouth
Do people still believe this? Cats probably shouldn't be in your baby's crib, but not because the cat will suck the life out of your baby. Cats eat disease-infested animals from time-to-time like mice and birds. Pets are sometime jealous of a new arrival and may not be overly-friendly to your baby. It's a good idea to keep the cat away from the baby until the baby is older. It's never a good idea to put a pet in a baby's bed.
Breastfeeding will come naturally
Biggest myth of them all! New mothers feel like such failures when they can't get a baby to latch on for the first time. They believe that because it is the most natural way to feed a baby, they are doomed in the parenting department if they can't get the hang of it immediately. The truth: it takes practice! In fact, it is so difficult for most new moms to breastfeed that hospitals employ lactation specialists. Remember, your baby has never nursed before. You've never breast-fed before. You'll get it! Be patient and don't give up. Soon, you'll be nursing like a mom who's had three kids.