We've heard more than our fair share of mom-shaming and unsolicited parenting advice. Do this, don't do this, why are you doing that, blah, blah, blah... It's exhausting! Where do you even start to figure out what's true and what's not? Keep reading... 😉
1. MYTH: “Good mothers know what their babies cries mean.”
HA! We WISH we spoke baby! That would make things a whole lot easier… The truth is, some moms are able to instantly recognize what their baby’s cries and whimpers mean, and some moms can’t. But, if you fall in the latter category, you certainly are NOT a bad mom. After all, not all babies are consistent with their noises! When babies cry, most parents end up running through the usual suspects: Wet? Hungry? Gassy? Tired? Lonely? Sick? Hurt? Angry? Mystery? REPEAT!
We recommend trying to get into a routine. That way it may be easier to understand noises based on context. Some squeaking around afternoon naptime? Maybe sleepy. A bit of whimpering around feeding time? Maybe hungry.
2. MYTH: “Don’t pick up your newborn too much or they’ll always need your attention.”
Newborns always need your attention period. They’re newborns. According to Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., author of Emotionally Intelligent Parenting, your child “…has to gain confidence that you will respond to their needs.” After that point, Dr. Elias says that “Your job is to pull back a bit and let baby figure out that they can survive, for a few minutes at least, without someone rushing to their side.” Having built that trust initially will be critical for this stage and beyond.
3. MYTH: “You should rely more on your maternal instincts.”
Yes, moms may have an uncanny sixth sense at times when it comes to their children, but research shows now that much of what we have thought of as “maternal instincts” can actually be attributed to maternal anxiety. Worry is essential to motherhood and is absolutely normal. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t trust your gut feelings, but simply ensure that your intuition isn’t being clouded by panic. Remember to take a breath, ask for help, and always pay attention.
4. MYTH: “If you don’t attach right away, there’s definitely something wrong with you.”
For some moms, there is an instant attachment, for others, it takes a bit. Some new moms are just too exhausted, too ill, too anxious, or too scared to let themselves fall in love immediately and that is OKAY! Don’t automatically assume or let anyone tell you that you’re suffering from postpartum depression because of this. If you have ANY concerns, please reach out to your doctor to discuss.
5. MYTH: “If you’re flexible, your child will take advantage of you.”
"Be more strict." "Your kids have too much freedom." Boundaries are great, but flexibility certainly has plenty of room in parenting. After all, kids are unpredictable. Take the pressure off of your shoulders a bit and learn to go with the flow. There is no such thing as perfect parenting. Everyone’s s
tyle should be just as unique as their child.
6. MYTH: “Don’t introduce fruit first or your child won’t like vegetables.”
This one always makes us laugh. Trust us, it’s 100% a myth. Just focus on feeding a variety of healthy new foods and your kiddo will get used to eating both fruits AND veggies.
If you’re still convinced that this one is true, you may just have a picky eater.
7. MYTH: “Get your child potty-trained as early as possible.”
Sorry parents, you can’t force potty training if your kiddo isn’t ready. There are some behaviors that signal that your child is ready to potty train like fewer wet diapers and more regular bowel movements, but if you’re not seeing those, it may still be too early.
Think your kiddo may be ready for potty training? Check out our Potty Training Guide!
8. MYTH: “You can’t bond if you don’t breastfeed.”
We really don’t like hearing this one. Moms have so many ways to bond with their babies. For health reasons, if you’re fortunate enough to have the choice, we always encourage breastfeeding, but we respect and support moms who are in ALL situations. Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding there are some surefire ways to bond during a mealtime: keep the room quiet and calm, don’t be afraid of skin to skin contact, communicate with your baby (eye contact, humming, etc.), and sniff that sweet little head (it releases oxytocin)!
9. MYTH: “Your child should be walking and/or talking by age X, Y, or Z.”
Ughhhhhh. We really don’t like this one either. Please don’t fall into the trap of comparing your child’s developments to other children’s. There is a WIDE variance in walking and talking for children.
Research simply shows no correlation between the age at which the children reach these milestones and their intellectual or motor performance between the age of seven and eighteen. In short, by the time they reach school age, children who start walking or talking later than others are just as well-coordinated and intelligent as those who did so earlier!
If you have concerns about your child’s developmental progress, just give a holler to your Pediatrician.
10. MYTH: “You have to read to your child every day to make them smarter.”
Nope. Your child’s academic prowess is not exclusively dependent on you reading to them every single day. Rigorous demands like that cause more stress and will take the joy out of any activity. Yes, reading is an important skill in language development, but don’t put any undue pressure on yourself or your child to read every single day. All it takes for children to understand and appreciate the importance of reading is consistency (set quiet reading times a few times a week), fun (let your child pick the book), and setting the example. They’ll be fine. We promise.