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  • Myths vs Facts: 7 Things you Should Know about your Newborn

    Distinguish what’s right and what’s not when it comes to caring for your newborn, straight from the experts.
    by Ines Bautista-Yao .
  • Myth #4: Putting a piece of cotton on a baby’s forehead will cure the hiccups.
    Fact: Hiccups are not connected to breathing and are instead caused by contractions in the diaphragm.
    Experts weigh in: According to Dr. Ty-Sy, “Putting a piece of cotton on the baby’s forehead won’t stop the hiccups; but a gentle back rub, a sip of water, or giving the baby something to suck on may just do the trick.”

    Dr. Lopez-Gabriel, however, counters that “if the cotton is cold or slightly wet, the cold stimulus redirects the firing of the phrenic nerve, which innervates the diaphragm—the muscle that involuntarily contracts during hiccups—to another place (in this case, the cold sensation on the forehead).” This explains why your hiccups disappear when someone surprises you. When the baby is surprised by the cold sensation, her hiccups go away.

     

    Myth #5: Exposing your baby to hamog will get her sick.
    Fact: Infections are caused by a virus, not by the cool breeze at sundown.
    Experts weigh in: “Children can catch a virus easily when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also spread through physical contact from hands contaminated by respiratory droplets or secretions. Exposure to hamog will not necessarily cause illness,” explains Dr. Ty-Sy.

    Myth #6: Baby should be on a strict feeding schedule.
    Fact: Babies have changing needs as they grow. It is important to watch for your baby’s hunger cues.
    Experts weigh in: It is important to know your baby, stresses Dr. Lopez-Gabriel., and figure out her feeding pattern: “Know her feeding cues. Does she cry, chew on her blanket, or put her fist in her mouth?” She suggests following a daily routine schedule, but also paying attention to your baby’s cues. “If your baby’s next feeding is still an hour away but she already seems hungry, do feed her. At the same time, if it has been an hour past her feeding time yet she still hasn’t fussed, don’t wait for her to demand to be fed.”

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    Myth #7: You can put cereal into your baby’s bottle to help her feel full and sleep better.
    Fact: The introduction of any food products other than milk before six months old increases the risk of allergies.
    Experts weigh in: Most pediatricians will tell you this is a bad idea. First of all, solids should be introduced only at six months due to the risk of allergies. At the same time, Dr. Lopez-Gabriel says, babies usually wake up every three to five hours, whether they are hungry or not. Feeling full does not affect this. “In addition, there is a certain amount of milk or fluids that is recommended per day depending on how old or heavy your baby is,” she adds. “So theoretically, if your baby sleeps throughout the night without feeding even once, then he may not be getting the required intake.”

    It’s difficult for a first-time parent to distinguish between myth and fact, but if you do your research and consult experts in the field, rest assured that you and your baby are going to be more than okay.

    Photo by Christian Arballo via flickr creative commons

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