Surprising Baby Myths

laughing baby boy( — There’s a commonly shared wish among nearly all new parents: that their little joy bundles came with an instruction manual, telling them exactly what to do and exactly what to avoid. From feeding to bathing, playing to dressing, every parent wants to give their babies the very best care they can. But, that natural love and devotion has lead to some misconceptions about the best ways to nurture little angels.

Below are four common parenting beliefs that aren’t entirely true:

Myth 1: Touching Your Baby’s Soft Spot Will Injure Their Brain

The fontanel, or soft spot, at the front of your baby’s head is a skin-covered opening in the skull that pulsates. Understandably, accidently harming this area frightens many parents. “There’s a presumption of vulnerability, but the brain is actually quite well protected,” says Andrew Adelman, M.D., chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Schneider Children’s Hospital in New York and author of 2009’s Baby Facts. The front fontanel typically closes at about 1 year of age, while the smaller soft spot in the back of the head usually closes at 2 months to 3 months. Obviously, take care to avoid accidental falls and bumps, but simple, gentle touching shouldn’t hurt them.

Myth 2: Babies Need Daily Baths

The truth is, constant bathing removes moisture from your baby’s delicate skin, which can make it dry and irritated. Plus, sitting in soapy bathwater can irritate a baby girl’s urethra and potentially lead to urinary tract infections. As long as you keep your baby’s diaper area, neck and other skin creases debris-free, you can give them full baths just three times a week, Adesman says. If your baby enjoys nightly tub time, splash away – just skip the soap!

Myth 3: Early Milestones Equal a Gifted Baby

Exactly when a child first learns to walk or talk has little or no bearing on their later life successes, research shows. “Many parents support the idea of giftedness at birth, but this is not supported by the evidence,” says Adesman. In fact, in some cases, early achievements may indicate a potential problem. For example, children should use both hands equally until 18 months of age – showing an inclination to be either left-or right-handed before that time can point to certain developmental concerns.

Myth 4:  Babies Need To Poop At Least Once A Day

Parents often think a baby is constipated when they’re not. Newborns often have several bowel movements a day, but by about 2 or 3 months, things may slow up a little, and they may poop every three to four days, according to Adesman. If bowel movements are very hard and infrequent, or you see blood in the diaper, then, of course, call your pediatrician immediately.

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