Disclaimer: The Information available on this section/page, where not referenced, is provided by our expert Dr. Garene Kaloustian PhD, Child Development expert and does not reflect the opinion or views of the brand or the Nestlé Group of Companies. For more information on Dr. Kaloustian, please refer to her bio: https://www.goldlearners.com/nutrition-expert

Myths and Facts

Q : Early talkers are geniuses amongst their peers

Ans :

Unless there is a major concern for speech/language delays, starting to talk early for a child means very little in the grand scheme of things. The truth is that language and speech development need nerve growth – a normal one. If your muscles and nerves are not intact, then genius or otherwise, your child will not talk. In order to be able to do so, mouth muscles and nerves need to be developed – and each child has their own pace for this development.

Q : Boys are usually more hyper than girls

Ans :

While there is plenty of scientific evidence for human behaviour, we are all too often misguided by existing stereotypes of girls vs. boys. And we may ‘blame’ it on culture, values, and such. But actually, it is simply because of misconceived, and misunderstood stereotypes that have in fact become internalized in our understanding about children’s behaviours (boys or girls). Girls are actually more prone to the inattentive type of ADHD where behaviours are not explicitly disruptive. But the one main reason why these misconceptions persist is because of the stereotypes that we cannot get past, which has resulted in the unlikelihood of girls being perceived as being hyper.

Q : Classical music makes our babies smarter.

Ans :

When babies do listen to classical music, certain parts of the brain are primed to allow them to perform certain special problem-solving tasks a bit better but only for a short period of time.

Q : It’s OK! They’re kids. They don’t really understand!

Ans :

Oh ooooooh! Think again! Babies start learning when in the womb. NEVER underestimate what the child hears and learns. They are listening to every word you say and watching every facial expression, gesture, sound you make. They’re ready to take on the world with their curiosity, exploration and experimentation. So go on…talk, laugh, sing, read, laugh and smile. They’re up for it – in fact, they’re eagerly awaiting!

Q : My child is a genius because s/he scored high on the IQ test.

Ans :

We all have this notion that IQ test scores are perhaps the most telling of our (child’s) intelligence. But if we consider the human being to be a phenomenon, (which we are) this means that considering intelligence alone does not do justice for your child. There are so many other important considerations to factor in such as your child’s personality, their level of motivation and confidence, their ability to adapt to different situations, their inter and intrapersonal skills, and the environment you expose your child to - ultimately, the support, nurture, care, love, motivation.

Q : Play time is just pass time:

Ans :

Play and specifically with the mother is the single most important component of your interactions with your child. Children need stimulation (but beware of over stimulation), and who better than YOU to give that to your child. Every interaction is an opportunity to play! Sit down face to face with your baby (no matter what age) and just play. Keep in mind that your child is counting on you for the human interactions, and as much as anyone tells you otherwise, keep playing. These are important years for both you and your child.

Q : Children are fragile.

Ans :

Your children are much stronger than you imagine. While they’re not emotionally invincible, they can deal with quite a bit. So don’t worry too much if you get angry or lose your temper from time to time. As long as you’ve created a loving environment for your child most of the time, he will survive.

Reference: http://www.twoofus.org/educational-content/articles/10-myths-about-parenthood-/index.aspx

Q : It’s better to speak only one language with your child.

Ans : There are many ways in which parents can raise kids to be fluent in numerous languages. Often, each parent speaks only one language with the child, or families adapt languages to various settings, like one at home and one in public. Children’s brains have a fantastic capacity to absorb different languages and differentiate them.

Reference: http://www.brainskills.co.uk/GrowingUpBilingual.html

Q : The bigger the size of the head, the smarter your child is.

Ans : Some parents think that a child with a bigger head must have a bigger brain and therefore be smarter. That’s not true simply because brain size has no relation to intelligence. The critical thing is the number and quality of interconnections between neurons.


Q : Newborns can’t tell the difference between their mother and any other person.

Ans : There is a lot of evidence that shows that babies can recognize their mother’s face and smell. There is also evidence that babies recognize their mother’s voice, from having heard it while in utero.

Reference: http://www.todaysparent.com/baby/baby-health/baby-myths-busted/

Q : Starting solid foods early will help your baby sleep longer.

Ans : Not only is this not true, it can also harm your baby because their gut is not mature enough to handle solid foods. In addition to that, his kidneys are not capable of handling much more than breastmilk. Exclusive breastfeeding is highly recommended for the first 6 months, as it is highly beneficial to the proper development of your child.

Reference: http://www.todaysparent.com/baby/baby-health/baby-myths-busted/

Q : If my child holds books too close to her eyes, it will damage her vision.

Ans : Holding a book really close to her face will not damager her vision, though it may indicate that she is nearsighted, especially if she insists on keeping it closer. Check with your doctor, but if it’s just her preference, it’s ok.

Reference: http://www.parents.com/baby/development/growth/baby-development-myths/?slideId=42752

Q : Babies need sophisticated toys for maximum brain stimulation.

Ans : A stimulating environment is important for kids who are exploring everything around them, but sophisticated toys are not necessary. Babies have a preference for contrasting black and white images, but that shouldn’t make you expect it will increase their intelligence.

Reference: http://www.parents.com/baby/development/growth/baby-development-myths/

Q : Your child throws tantrums to get his way.

Ans : Your child is not a miniature version of an adult, and he’s unable to think that way. Tantrums are part of normal toddler development and almost every child goes through them as part of growing up. It might be that he just needs attention, but this need is important and should be satisfied throughout his growth.

Reference: http://www.nestle-baby.ca/en/life-with-baby/facts-myths-and-tips/baby-toddler-myths-facts-tips

Q : Homeopathy can replace vaccines.

Ans : There is absolutely no evidence that homeopathy can protect your children against illness and diseases, while there are many studies that show that vaccines can protect them against potentially serious infections.

Reference: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/myths-truths-kids-vaccines.aspx

Q : Your child will tell you if he is in pain.

Ans : Some kids may hide their pain from you in order to avoid more pain from a needle, for example, or a fear of being separated from you. Comforting them if the best way to make them confident enough to express their pains.


Q : If your child rejects a food, it’s pointless to try serving it again.

Ans : Research shows that toddler may have to try a new food up to 15 time before accepting it. More often than not, the rejection is a result of surprise, not dislike. Try introducing new foods as often as you can, but don’t take it personally if she rejects everything she tries the first few times around.

Reference: http://www.parenting.com/article/9-food-myths

Q : Maternal instinct is all you need to have a child.

Ans : While maternal instinct is helpful and important, it often turns into maternal anxiety. Gut feelings are important, but don’t let them take over and turn into constant worry. It’s important to remain calm because when you’re anxious, it’s hard to get in touch with your intuition.

Reference: http://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/advice/14-surprising-myths-about-parenthood/

Q : All babies sleep through the night by three months of age.

Ans :

While many parents wish this was true, it’s not. In fact, it’s fairly uncommon for a baby to sleep through the night at 3 months. Sleeping through the night is part of a baby’s development. For the first three months, babies sleep between 16 to 20 hours a day, spread out within 24 hours. At around 4-6 months, they start to get a sense of day and night, and might sleep a bit more at night. By the time they’re 9 months old, 75% of babies will actually sleep through the night. Don’t worry too much if your child doesn’t. It will come with time. Resource: (Friedman J., & Saunders N. Canada’s Baby Care Book: A Complete Guide from Birth to 12 Months Old. (The Hospital for Sick Children). 2007. Toronto, ON: Robert Rose Inc.)