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/child-developement-expert

Myths and Facts

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.)

Q : Baby-talk negatively impacts language development

Ans :

Baby talk is when you use dramatic tone of voice, you sing, you have a high-pitched voice, also known as ‘motherese’. While you talk in full sentences, you dramatize your voice and make it more playful. Babies are most receptive to this type of talk because they tend to enjoy it more; they are better able to make associations of words in their environment and with the variations in pitch, you help the child segment sounds and words in the flow of speech.

Q : Don’t pick your baby up when s/he cries. You will spoil them!

Ans :

Think about your newborn baby’s needs – a new human being out there, in the open…trying to figure it all out. S/he cries. But you are told that picking your child up may spoil them. Newsflash!! You cannot spoil a newborn. End of story! If your baby is crying to be picked up and stops when picked up then this baby needed to be picked up, held and comforted. The most basic need for your baby is trust and safety in this world. By picking up your child, you are telling him that you are a trusted source and you are giving him the confidence s/he needs to know that you will respond to his needs when he calls for it. By 6 months, slow down, don’t rush…give them the opportunity to figure things out for themselves – they are figuring out how to figure it out for themselves.

Q : The Terrible Two's are a terrible time

Ans :

When your child turns 2, it is yet another major stage of growth in their developing lives. At every stage, your child is growing, discovering and trying out new things. You need to be prepared because as your child, intelligently enough, begins to transform and show stubborn behavior, becomes argumentative, resistant and independent. But you should see this as a positive thing. Observe them and marvel at how skillful they are in trying to gain their independence and maneuvering their way around with this new control/power they are gaining over their actions; but at the same time, set limits, give them clear options to choose from and avoid conflict.

Q : Bribing your child is never a good idea

Ans :

Truth is, it is a bad idea most of the times, but it is something that you have control over when you use it skillfully and when you most need it. So it’s not really all that bad. As long as you use it in moderation, it should be fine. Sometimes, when you overuse bribery, just because it can work so well, your child is quick to pick up on it and rest assured, can start manipulating its use. Another thing to keep in mind, if you have to bribe your child to doing something all the time, then you are basically sending a message that says, you don’t have to ‘behave’ unless you are given something for it.

Q : Ssshhhh... too much noise will wake baby up

Ans :

When baby is sleeping, we often try to be extra quiet to make sure that baby doesn’t wake up. In a perfectly quiet environment, the silence can in fact make it more difficult for a baby to fall asleep; or if they sleep, it will not be sound sleeping because the slightest of sounds can interrupt them. Funny enough, constant sounds, also known as white noise that cover up other random noises, while not entirely quiet, make a comfortable environment for your baby to sleep in. Those sounds can be nature sounds in the background, or the sound of a fan running.

Q : Teething is the culprit for babies’ long-term distress

Ans :

It seems all babies experience teething. And all babies throughout their development get fever, poor appetite, runny nose, diarrhea – but trying to correlate this with teething is fairly difficult to do. The most common thing your baby does in a desperate attempt to soothen their gums is reach for objects and place them in their mouths. Those things consist of bacteria that babies may pick up. And, any identifiable symptom observed 2 months prior to teething cannot be associated to the fact that baby is teething. Any symptoms associated with teething happen on the day of, and a day after teething.

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/