Predict Your Baby's Future

Don't believe it!

According to the latest scientific thinking, these are merely old wives' tales.

Myth #1
If your baby loves his pacifier, he'll probably be a late talker.
Although speech therapists recommend phasing out pacifiers during waking hours once a child starts to talk, there's no indication that kids who like to suck are prone to language delays.

Myth #2
If your child has a big head, she has an extra-smart brain.
The circumference of your child's noggin has nothing to with her intelligence. "The critical thing is the number and quality of interconnections between neurons," says Dr. Linda Dunlap.

Myth #3
If your infant wants to be held all the time, he's going to wind up spoiled.
Go ahead and pick him up. You can't create an overindulged, entitled baby by snuggling him too much, and research has found that children who have a secure attachment to their parents have greater self-esteem and stronger coping skills.

Myth #4
If your baby turns her nose up at peas, she'll grow up to be a picky eater.
Lots of babies go through fickle phases, so keep introducing new foods. "If you gently offer the same dime-size portion ten or more times, he may eventually eat it," says Dr. Michele Borba.

Myth #5
If your baby is an early walker or crawler, he's bound to be athletic.
A child who hits his motor milestones early might have superior strength and coordination. "But he needs to have an interest in playing sports and the desire to practice," says Dr. Dunlap.

Originally published in the September 2011 issue of Parents magazine.

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