Busting myths about newborns
BY ALTHEA PETERSON World Staff Writer
Monday, September 17, 2012
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What don't people tell you about babies before you start having them? Everything.
Let's debunk some popular baby myths that I actually believed before my daughter arrived.
Myth: Don't drive, be quiet, be still, don't do ANYTHING, or you'll wake the baby.
Reality: I used this excuse for the first two weeks of my daughter's life to put off vacuuming, running appliances, you name it.
I later discovered that carrying her in a sling while vacuuming was an easy way to get her to sleep. Driving a baby around in her car seat is another soother of fussiness. The dish washer? The washing machine? Baby loves white noise from them both.
Visitors to our house that first month were quiet to the point of being silly. Eventually, I was just wanting to speak louder and say "She's not waking up, you can speak up!" Our baby's hearing is not like a radar, at least not yet.
Now, a surprise bark from the dogs next to her ear? That'll wake up her Moro relex (when a startled/falling baby suddenly flings her arms out).
Myth: Newborn babies crawl, smile, have full heads of hair, talk baby talk and interact with you just like those babies in movies and in diaper commercials.
Reality: You might get a quick smile when she's asleep, but your first "real" smile probably won't happen until about two months.
Lots of newborns have some hair, but most of it will fall out and regrow later, possibly a different color. So please, don't assume that every baby with short hair is a boy (especially my daughter!).
We didn't really start hearing a lot of baby talk until about two or three months. She really started to coo and laugh at four months.
The crawling? She is almost six months and mostly kicks air while on her belly. We call it "baby surfing." But, hardly any real crawling. She can roll from back-to-belly and back, spin in circles on her stomach, but doesn't charge across the floor after the dogs yet.
Myth: Just sleep whenever your baby sleeps, because newborns sleep more than 20 hours a day.
Reality: An anxious new mother can take hour-long hourly naps like an infant? Ha!
Babies need to eat every two to three hours when they are first born. Any sleep at any point in the day beyond that during the first few weeks is a gift from your baby. Don't expect a newborn to know day from night or what time the clock says for at least a month.
You likely won't get a full night's sleep again for at least a few months. And you just never know when your baby will get sick and decide to fuss all night instead of sleep quietly like a normal person.
For more myths and myth-busting, check out Peterson's blog at tulsaworld.com/becauseisaidso