It's important to point out that advice, when asked for, is MORE than welcomed. There have been many a day when I've called up my mother and said, I only need 2 minutes, quick baby question...and I am eternally greatful for her quick and helpful response to whatever random question I have for that day...Is it normal that he's getting nervous around other people? Should he have a runny nose? He hasn't pooped in 3 days, should we call the doctor? Thank you Mother.
In light of all of this wonderful parenting advice Steven & I have received over the last 5 months, I thought I'd make a list of some of the parenting advice that is commonly shared, but is completely innacurate. That's always the best kind. Some of these are actually things people have told us about M.D. You can see where it made me nervous in those first few weeks. I had no idea whether these things were true or not. Yikes!
1) Putting Rice Cereal in your baby's bottle will help him sleep
-Not a great idea. #1) Your baby can't even digest rice cereal before 4 months old. #2) There is no scientific proof that putting cereal in the bottle will help the baby sleep. Will it fill them up more? Maybe...but it's not worth the potential risks.
2) Tickling your baby (especially their feet) will cause them to stutter
-Wha-wha-what?! Again, completely unproven. I can't say I've ever met a mother who NEVER tickled her baby, much less the babies feet. M.D. LOVES having his feet touched (and putting them in his own mouth). If he ends up stuttering it will not be from a little tickling here-and-there.
3) Having a dog in your home with a baby will make your baby sick
-I would have thought this one to be true, but it's actually not. I figured if M.D. was picking up toys/getting licked by/crawling on the floor with our 2 dogs who lick their own crotches & each other's butts that he would be MUCH more likely to get sick more often. Truth is, babies who grow up in homes with dogs are LESS sick as they get older because they are exposed to a lot more (*ahem*) bacteria as young children.
4) You should always have your baby in a snowsuit in their carseat
-This obviously is especially prevalent in MN in the winter. The reality is that snowsuits, when it comes to infants, are made for events where you are taking your baby outside for longer periods of time. In the carseat, the snowsuit actually becomes a hazard to the baby. For one thing, if you take your baby on a longer car ride in the snowsuit they are going to get HOT and SWEATY. And then you are going to take them out of the car and they are soaked in sweat...in -30 degree weather. Not a good combo. The other issue is that when you buckle your snowsuited baby into their carseat you aren't going to get as good of a buckle because the snowsuit bunches out in certain spots. Healthcare advisors actually warn that, in an accident, a baby in a snowsuit has a higher likelyhood of slipping out of their carseat buckle because the snowsuit prevented proper buckling.
5) Breastfed babies have a higher IQ than formual fed babies
-Where do I begin with this one? First of all, I am ALL FOR breastfeeding. But sometimes it doesn't work. In M.D.'s case, we got a good 8 weeks of breastfeeding in and then it just wasn't working anymore. He was sick all of the time and miserable. Formula saved him. I think there are a lot of good facts about the upside to breastfeeding, and I also think there are a lot of random "facts" people throw at new moms to convince them to breastfeed that aren't necessarily true. This is one I would argue is not true. There is NO scientific evidence to prove that children/adults who were breastfed as babies are smarter than children/adults who were formula fed as babies. Intelligence level is based more in genetics, environmental factors (do you read to your kids, do you stimulate their minds, etc) than it is on whether they had breastmilk or formula. I am living proof that this is in-fact a myth because I was only breastfed for about 6 weeks, formula fed for the rest of my baby life, and I am a genius. :)
*Please keep in mind that you should ALWAYS consult your child's pediatrician whenever making decisions regarding the above listed "myths". For example...your child might be allergic to your dog, in which case they would be VERY sick because you have a dog in your home. I'm not a doctor people, if I were than I wouldn't be writing this blog from a cubicle.*
In other news, today we have M.D.'s big meeting at the local daycare facility. Turns out he will be going there for a few days in March while his daycare provider (Grandma) is on vacation. We have a meeting today with his "Personal Care Provider". Pretty fancy, huh? I guess they just want to do a sort of intake with Steven, M.D. & myself to get a good idea of his eating habits, sleeping habits, favorite activities, what we are working on with him at home, etc. It's nice that they do take the time to get all of that information ahead of time. It'd be quite the stressful situation to be bringing him to a new place for daycare, at 6am, and having to tell them EVERYTHING about his schedule, and then leaving him with strangers, all at once. Yuck. I'm still not excited about this.