Old Wives’ Tales and Newborns

When you have a baby everyone has advice for you. Old wives’ tales run rampant. They range from silly to completely insane.

Most of these crazy bits of advice have no basis in reality, but they always make me laugh. Here are five of my personal favorite kooky old wives tales’ regarding babies.

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“Don’t cut your child’s hair before their first birthday or they will have bad hair”

I did not follow this advice–Lucy was born with more hair than most 2 year olds, and even though she got three cuts before her 1st birthday she still has a head of hair that could be used in Pantene commercials.


“A baby needs to cry a certain amount or their lungs won’t develop”

I don’t even want to touch this one, we all know this isn’t true at all. Babies born at term are usually born with good healthy lungs. Crying doesn’t do anything but let us know baby needs something and it’s our job to make our little ones and comfortable and happy as possible. Purple crying is a development phase some babies go through, but they should still be comforted through it. In fact, research shows that babies who were picked up fast after crying actually went on to be more independent toddlers.

“Blow smoke in a babies ear to put them to sleep” 

Sometimes I’m shocked that anyone made it out of childhood alive. This one is just nuts. Not only is secondhand smoke awful for children, studies now show that babies whose parents only smoked outdoors had six times more nicotine in their blood than a baby whose parents don’t smoke at all. This is due to exposure to
thirdhand smoke–the smoke that sticks to a person hours, days, or weeks after they smoke.

“Don’t let babies stand on your lap or it will cause bowlegs later on”

Once again FALSE! Bowlegs are caused by baby’s positioning in the womb, nearly all babies’ legs look bowlegged when they are born. Babies are learning to bear weight and find their center of gravity, this is actually a good activity. Standing is a good developmental activity that in no way cause issues with the legs.

“Cats will suck the air out of your baby”

This one is just laughable. Cats won’t be sucking air out of you baby, and it’s actually proven that kids who grow up with pets have less allergies than those who don’t. You should always monitor your baby around animals, but not for this particular reason.

You will hear so many bits of “advice” when you have a baby–most of it completely untrue. Take everything with a grain of salt, do your own research, and save the story to laugh about with your girlfriends later on.

Allison Klaine is a Mythbusting mom of 2. She’s here to spread the word that everything you hear isn’t true and to please not bathe your baby in Guinness for smooth skin!


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