Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Baby Myths Dispelled

Being a newly minted baby expert (as a result of my studious academic approach to new endeavors) it's hard to imagine that, but a scant eight months ago, I knew very little about babies other than that which appeared in the popular media.  Of course, I knew that they ofter a convenient source of unconditional love for teenage girls (thanks, MTV), can come in sets of eight (thanks... well, everyone), and often bite (thanks, YouTube).  However, I also had several misconceptions about babies.  As a service to those who may not be as far along on the path of enlightenment, I thought I should dispel some common myths about babies.

Myth:  Babies always land on their feet.
Reality:  An infant's vestibular system is insufficiently developed for it to right itself in the air.   Babies land on their feet at a rate no greater than that predicted by chance.

Myth:   If you don't feed a baby, it will stay small and cute forever.
Reality:  While this myth is at least partially based in fact, such an approach is likely to cause significant side effects and should never be attempted.

Myth:  You should never approach a baby when it is eating or playing with a favorite toy, as the baby may become aggressive.
Reality:  This myth has no basis in fact, at least for domesticated babies. It likely originated as an overly broad interpretation of wild animal behavior.

Myth:  You cannot get pregnant when you are already pregnant.
Fun fact: Yes, you can.

Myth:  Teach a baby to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
Reality:  Even basic survival skills such as fishing, hunting, foraging, and opening cans are too advanced for an infant to accomplish with meaningful consistency. A baby must be supplied with food, water, shelter, and heat for a minimum of three years, and often even longer.

Myth:  Babies born in December are doomed to hockey mediocrity.
Reality:  This one's actually true.

I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting - I'll be sure to share any surprises or interesting tidbits as my knowledge base continues to expand.


Wendy Mihm said...

Incredibly funny! But you left out one very important myth: Babies will chew off their own arm if trapped under something heavy. Reality: babies intrinsically know that their digestive system is too new and fragile for ingesting globs of protein. Plus they do not have teeth.

Jemifus said...

Excellent point - the fact that babies are averse to this lifesaving maneuver makes it even more important that any tall furniture be attached to a fixed element of your home.