As a new parent, you may receive tons of advice from all kinds of sources, especially when it comes to feeding your new baby. While it is true that advice can be helpful, sometimes it can have the opposite effect.
Here are some of the top 4 most common baby feeding myths that are often told to parents:
MYTH #1: Some babies can be allergic to their mother's milk.
REALITY: No baby is allergic to its mother's milk.
It is biologically impossible for a baby to be allergic to its mother’s milk. Some babies can have an allergic reaction to the foods mom is eating during breastfeeding. One of the most common substances to cause problems via mom’s milk is cow’s milk protein, which can also be found in other milk products. Generally, only about five percent of babies are allergic to something in mom’s milk.
MYTH #2: Breastfed babies need water too.
REALITY: Breast milk is the only fluid your baby needs.
Breast milk is 88% water as is, therefore adding water to your baby’s diet can potentially lead to water intoxication. There are times when a baby may develop a medical condition in which the paediatrician may recommend introducing other fluids, such as water. However, a breastfed baby does not need to drink any other liquids until you begin to introduce solids to your baby’s diet (this typically happens around six months or so).
MYTH #3: If the mom has a food allergy, her baby will too.
REALITY: A mom’s certain allergy will not necessarily cause a reaction in the baby's diet.
Sometimes, certain kinds of allergies run in families, but it is not true that if mom or dad is allergic to something, their baby most definitely will too. However, parents are encouraged to monitor their baby’s intake, to be in tune to potential triggers.
MYTH #4: I tried giving my baby (xyz) food for the first time and she didn’t like it.
REALITY: According to experts it takes an infant between 15-20 instances of trying out a new food before a true like or dislike is established.
Many babies have a fear of trying new foods, in fact throughout the first stages of solid food introduction, babies tend to make funny faces and completely refuse the new food. Keep in mind that your baby has been accustomed to nothing but breast milk or bottle for 6 months, so putting a spoon full of a new substance (such as sweet potato) into her mouth can be quite unsettling for her. As your baby tries to understand the textures and taste of the new foods, over time it will become easier for her to accept the new foods.