There seem to be a few misconceptions regarding how quickly babies should reach milestones and what can help them reach certain achievements. These misconceptions can lead to parents feeling stressed out and overwhelmed for all the wrong reasons.
We're here to clear up a few myths about milestones while bringing light to those that are actually true. Does breastfeeding really make a difference? At what age should you realistically expect your baby to start walking? These are all great questions when it comes to your baby's development!
However, not all milestones are realistic or even backed by science. Find out which milestones parents should look for, and which milestones are simply myths.
10 Myth: Breastfed Babies Have Higher IQs
Some studies seem to have mixed findings on whether breastfeeding really does lead to higher intelligence in children, but it appears to not make a difference once children reach adolescence. Babies who are breastfed may have higher scores in some areas when younger, but tend to even out with their peers as they age, according to a New York Times article. However, it is reported breastfeeding does increase cognitive functioning in a baby's early years. So, while it may lead to some higher scores for infants, it does not automatically mean your child will have a higher IQ for life.
9 Truth: Some Babies Are Late Walkers
If you look up "what age do babies start walking," you may see results that say as young as nine months old! Other sources state infants are typically walking around 12 or 14 months old, but this is not a hard fact. The truth is some babies walk a bit later than others.
It's not unheard of for babies around 16, 17, or even 18 months to not be walking on their own yet. It may stress parents out to think their baby is behind on this milestone, however, it's normal for kids to develop at different paces. If you start to become concerned about why your 18-month-old is not yet walking or attempting to walk, discuss it with your doctor.
8 Myth: Your Youngest Child Will Be A Late Talker
For some reason, there is a myth out there which states the youngest child of a large family will be a late talker. While birth order may be a factor in things such as personality, it does not impact what age a child starts speaking. Typically, a child is considered a late talker if they are between ages 18 and 30 months with limited or no spoken vocabulary. It's important for parents to pay attention to their child's early vocabulary as language delays can be addressed by doctors and professionals to better help development.
7 Truth: Breastfeeding Helps Keep Baby Healthy
While breastfeeding does not directly equate to higher IQs for children, it has been proven to help keep infants healthier than their non-breastfed peers.
Breast milk contains antibodies that help infants fight off illness and even lowers the risk of diseases such as ear infections and respiratory infections. So while breastfeeding may not directly relate to a more intelligent infant, it can lead to a healthier baby overall.
6 Myth: Kids Potty Train By Age 3
Potty training can be one of the toughest stages to go through as a parent. Not only are you on a strict schedule during potty training, but you know accidents are guaranteed to happen. To make potty training even more stressful, there is not a set age in which kids are ready. Research suggests kids between ages 18 months and 3 years old are ready to potty train, but many parents can agree there is no set age. Today, it is not uncommon for kids past age 3 to still be potty training or not yet started.
5 Truth: Babies Under Four Months Old Should Not Eat Solids
The first few months of a baby's life are strictly bottle-fed. This means no mashed up bananas or baby food. Around 4 to 6 months old, babies are ready to incorporate solid foods into their diet, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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Of course, this is in addition to their formula or breastfeeding. There are a few signs to look for as well before starting foods such as your baby being able to hold its head up. It's recommended to wait a few days in between introducing foods to make sure your baby is not allergic.
4 Myth: Early Talkers Are More Mature
There's no denying parents love to brag about their baby's achievements, and this includes talking at a young age. While it may seem as if a talking baby is ahead of its peers, this is simply not the case. As with other milestones, babies develop at different paces when it comes to talking, walking, and even eating solid foods. An early talker does not necessarily mean a baby is more intelligent or more mature.
3 Truth: Babies Can Outgrow Food Allergies
Having a child suffer an allergic reaction to any type of food may be one of the scariest things a parent witnesses, but some of these allergies may not be life-long. Children with milk or egg allergies are more likely than not to outgrow these allergies as they go into adolescence.
Unfortunately, however, children allergic to nuts or some types of seafood are less likely to outgrow their allergies.
2 Myth: All Babies Learn How To Crawl
The ability to crawl is another one of those developmental milestones that does not apply to all babies. It's reported babies begin to crawl between ages 6 and 10 months, but not all babies meet this milestone at the same time. In fact, some infants may skip crawling altogether and go straight to walking!
1 Truth: Reading To Babies Does Make A Difference
Reading to your children as infants is just as important as the media makes it out to be! Being read to on a regular basis helps improve language skills, socialization, and literacy rates. It may seem as if your child is too young to understand or pay attention for long, but they really are soaking in all your words!