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True Or False

Debunking the top five child-rearing myths

There’s a lot of conventional “wisdom” floating around when it comes to the well-being of children. Though we felt a little silly, we took a few of the most common theories to our experts and asked them to shed some light. Turns out much of it is just plain false.

Myth: Teething causes fevers.
Truth: Teething is a process, not an illness, explains JJ Levenstein, MD, pediatrician and co-founder of MD Moms. While the pain and discomfort from teething may cause fussiness, loss of sleep, altered eating habits, and increased drooling, it does not cause fever. Since teething is a continuous process in most children from early infancy through the toddler years, it “bumps into” all illnesses, and is blamed for most. But it’s responsible for none.

Myth: Keeping your baby awake during the day will help him sleep better at night.
Truth: Although it seems counterintuitive, babies and young toddlers who have consistent and predictable naps during the day sleep better at night, explains Bronwyn Charlton, Ph.D., a child development expert and co-founder of Seedlings Group. Daytime sleep debt, and the resulting sleep deprivation, actually causes nighttime sleep issues including bedtime battles, night awakenings, and early morning wake-ups.

Myth: Baby Einstein makes your kid smart.
Truth: Using digital “educational” media before age 2 will not make your child any smarter, says pediatrician and media expert Daniel Weissbluth, MD. In fact, it’s more likely to displace more developmentally stimulating activities. “Let’s just say that Professor Einstein never used Baby Einstein,” he adds.

Myth:
My baby doesn’t like asparagus.
Truth: Babies and toddlers typically need to taste a food six to ten times before they acquire a taste for it, says nutritionist and esthetician Kim Walls, founder of Episencial. Around 95 percent of parents give up before they get to six tries, and only 1-2 percent of parents will get to ten tries. So, Walls suggests, “Keep trying!”

Myth: You’ll catch a cold if you go outside with a wet head.
Truth: Colds are caused by respiratory viruses entering the body through the eyes, nose, or mouth, says Levenstein. Wet hair does nothing to promote the entry or propagation of viruses in the body.  The only possible issue is going out in subzero weather with wet hair, which could lead to hypothermia by cooling the head—but it won’t cause a cold.