Baby Development Myths You Ought to Know (So You Know Which Ones to Listen to and Those to Totally Ignore)
While every stage of your baby’s development is considered as a milestone, this can also be a cause of concern, especially with all the myths surrounding the subject. And as these myths can be quite persistent, it might lead to some problems. Hence, we have decided to take a deeper look at some of these myths and see the truth behind them.
Myth no. 1: Your newborn baby can only see silhouettes
This myth arises from the assumption that a newborn baby’s eyesight has not yet fully developed. However, the fuzzy vision that is often associated with the myth is present only during his early days. This is also the time when his eye movements would be jerky and not yet stable.
By his 8th to 10th week, your baby’s eyes become more coordinated and will be able to follow objects moving vertically or horizontally. However, his is not yet sharp enough to see finer detail. Instead, he will focus his gaze more on points of contrast.
At this point, you can help your child improve his gaze by putting black and while objects in places where he usually stays, such as beside her crib. Also, your face is something your baby is really fond of looking at, which can be helpful in training his eyesight.
Myth no. 2: Babies will be able to sleep through the night by their third month
As you already know from our previous article, your baby’s sleeping patterns can vary significantly. During his first three months, you can expect your baby to sleep for 16 to 20 hours a day. These are broken into several 3-4 hour periods. The distribution of these periods can vary greatly. Hence, he might sleep through the night one time, then be awake at an ungodly hour the next.
Your child’s sleeping patterns start to normalize by four to six months when he is then able to recognize day and night. At this point, his night time sleeps become longer and more constant. Around 75% of babies will finally be able to constantly sleep five and a half hours through the night by their 9th month, while the remaining 25% will take a little while more to settle into this.
Myth no. 3: There is nothing to worry about your child’s speech delay
While it has been stressed a lot of times before that baby development can vary from individual to individual and that there is nothing to worry about if your child is delayed in acquiring a particular skill, this does not mean you should be complacent. As it is, these delays could still be a sign of some problems.
This is more so the case with speech delays. Here, it is important that you know the distinction between speech and actual language and note when milestones for these should occur. If delays appear, consult your child’s paediatrician or a specialist to determine if these are signs of some cognitive problems. Remember that the earlier you detect these, the earlier intervention can begin.
Myth no. 4: Your child will have developmental issues if he skips the crawling stage
This myth stems from a somewhat rigid view of your child’s development: that he will go through specific stages during his first year. However, it is worth noting here that crawling is actually the only milestone that can be skipped without any ensuing developmental problems later on.
While crawling does develop certain muscles, those babies who do not go through this phase would still be able to build up those muscles later on. Also, the coordination skills gained from the stage could still be learned by your baby, hence there is no need to worry about potential intelligence and cognitive issues.
Note that these are just some of the most common myths that you will encounter during the duration of your baby’s myths. We will tackle more of these in later articles.