Old Wives Tales

oldwivesAngel has this competition, with prizes going on right now. (A set of five autographed “No-Cry” books by Elizabeth Pantley and a mystery gift)

Her instructions?

Anyone can enter, and to enter I would like you to write a blog post about an old-wives tale that has to do with raising a child, and whether or not you think it has any relevance today (you can find some here if you’re stuck for ideas).

Link to this post so I can find the posts of course and spread the word. I’ll post the books to the winner no matter where in the world they are.

And I will send something special- and not necessarily parenting related- to the person who refers the most people here, so be sure others know to tell me where they came from ;). Competition closes a week from today on October 29th.”

So here’s my entry. And I have a few things I’d like to talk about:

1. Heartburn means your baby will have lots of hair. I’d say this one’s pretty much true. I had heartburn (not bad either) maybe twice in my pregnancy. My Kid was born practically bald and it took him about two years to grow a full head of hair. He has very fine, blond hair, like me.

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2. If you crave sweets while you’re pregnant it’s going to be a girl. Absolute trollop. At least for me, mother to a boy. I had another reason for craving sweets. Because my morning sickness was SO bad nothing would stay in my stomach for longer than 2 minutes.

Eventually I discovered that I could stomach wine gums and jelly babies and it was all I craved. Why? Because they were digested so quickly, there was nothing that my body could push the eject button on, and I was getting some nutrients and sugar from the sweets, so they stayed.

3. Breastfeeding is easy, simple and natural. I dont know how many times I heard/read that while pregnant. What breastfeeding actually turned out to be was a whole other difficult and time-consuming mess.

Feeds could sometimes take up to an hour. I was always thirsty, tired and hungry and cranky. Bottle-feeding turned out to be so much easier, and so much less traumatic than I’d expected.

4. If your new baby is constantly crying and seems hungry your milk is too weak. I have only one word for this, and I wish I’d remembered it when people were telling me this: “Bullshit”. It means your baby is going through a growth spurt and is demanding more milk, and that your milk supply will soon adjust, if you’re patient enough. Drink as much liquids as you can, and try persist, if breastfeeding is your thing.

5. A baby should learn to soothe itself without a pacifier/dummy. I say nay, and say . Better to be a dummy sucker than a thumb sucker, I say. I know some grown ups who still suck their thumbs, but I dont know any grown ups who still suck a dummy, do you?


Now, at the ripe old age of nearly two, we’re firmly on our way to ditching the dummy successfully. We reached a point where he accepted that dummies were only for sleeping. Then we reached a point where he no longer asked for his dummy during the day at all. And now, we’re on our way to not needing the dummy at night either.

Despite old wives tales, despite having not followed the rules, and despite having been a rather bad mommy, I don’t think I’ve done a bad job thus far. Why? Because I listened to the most important wives tale of all.

Trust your maternal instinct. If it feels wrong, don’t do it. If it feels right, do it.


Photo Credit: ‘Old Wives Tales’: CafeMama on Flickr.


10 Responses

  1. fuck yes! love this post!

  2. Breastfeeding was one of the HARDEST things I have ever done, EVER. It did not come naturally at all. Did I think it would? Yes, of course, I’d been fed that my whole life. Reality was a whole different story though.

  3. 🙂 Will be trusting the gut.

  4. Well, I had zero heartburn in my whole pregnancy and my daughter was born with TONS of dark hair. So I would have to disagree with you there. 🙂

  5. We are a Cape Town based word-of-mouth marketing agency called HaveYouHeard and we believe you are an “influencer” amongst South African moms.
    We are big fans of your blog and would like to offer you and your family 4x tickets to the Sponge Bob Square Pants Theatre production that is being held in Cape Town and Joburg.
    If you are intrested please email me at zarahsmail@gmail.com and I’ll send you more details.
    Kind Regards, Zarah

  6. I’d change the heartburn one to bullshit as well. Besides making absolutely no sense biologically or physically, just because you had that experience is not proof. Correlation does not imply causation. In other words, correlation between two variables does not automatically imply that one causes the other or that they are related in any way. The breast feeding is true however. Totally brutal on the mother. Not fun or easy. However the benefits to the baby are pretty amazing, especially for the first couple of months.

  7. Another fantastic review of another redhead, Nightmare! At least you’re not predictable! Heh heh. I’m kidding, seriously loved it! The Justice line has always been interesting to me just for the bounty of Alex Ross designs, and this one translated really well!

  8. I had also heard that moms of boys do not get morning sickness and retain their beauty, while moms of girls often get terrible morning sickness and have horrible facial breakouts. I’m glad I had a boy because I had no morning sickness or breakouts – so it was true for me!

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