Every day, moms ask me to verify whether something they’ve heard is actually the truth. These are the myths I’m asked about most often:
Myth 1: Don’t pick up a crying baby right away, you’ll spoil them.
Fact: You can’t spoil a baby younger than 4 months. When a baby cries, it is his/her way of communicating with you. Establish trust by addressing the child’s needs immediately. Babies who have mothers that attend to them quicker tend to be less fussy than the mothers who let them cry.
Myth 2: Putting moisturizer on dry skin (or eczema) makes the skin dependent on moisturizers.
Fact: Putting moisturizer (lotions/creams) on dry skin is exactly what you should do. Treating something properly doesn’t cause dependence; it simply improves the overall health of the skin.
Myth 3: As long as the juice says it contains “100% juice,” it’s good for you.
Fact: While juice is generally better for you than soda, do not be tricked into thinking juice is a health food. Fruit juice tends to have lots of sugar (even if it is fruit sugars) and calories. You are much better off consuming water and the real, whole fruit. That way, you get the other nutritional benefits of the fruit (e.g., fiber).
Myth 4: When it comes to snot drainage, green means bacterial and clear means viral.
Fact: The color of the snot isn’t diagnostic. Most viruses last 7-10 days and, as the illness progresses, the drainage will often turn from thin and clear to thick and yellow or green. So it’s pretty easy to see how people make that jump (since bacterial infections can happen as a complication of a virus), but it doesn’t necessarily mean bacterial. Lots of viruses will give you gross green goo right from the beginning.
Myth 5: Flu shots cause the flu.
Fact: All injected flu shots are killed vaccines. This means that it is medically impossible to get the flu from the flu shot. It’s like saying you got a spider bite from a dead spider. When the virus is killed/dead it can’t give you the illness. Now you may feel a bit crummy as your body mounts an immune response to the injection (e.g., fever, localized soreness). The one exception is the nasal flu mist. While it is very rare, it is technically possible to get the flu from the nasal mist.
For other Myths vs. Truths, see related articles: