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  #1  
Old 30 May 2007, 09:35 PM
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Default Old Wives' Tales about babies

I've heard SO many of these that I thought I should start a list. If anyone knows the origins of any of these, I would love to know. I don't believe any of them but some of them are just so off the wall and my mil told me all of them.

If a woman other than the baby's mother holds the baby while she is menstruating, the baby will get the stretches.

If you cut a baby's hair before his/her first birthday, they will have "bad" hair.

If your baby has an "outie" push the stub in with an egg and tape a quarter or silver dollar to it and bury the egg. In a week, take the money off and the baby will have an innie.

If you are trying to dry up breast milk, express some milk into a glass, pour the milk on a rock, and when the milk drys from the rock, your milk will be dried up.

If you have a cat, it will suck your baby's breath out and kill the baby.

I can't think of any more right now.
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Old 30 May 2007, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mela681 View Post
If a woman other than the baby's mother holds the baby while she is menstruating, the baby will get the stretches.
The stretches? what are those?

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If you cut a baby's hair before his/her first birthday, they will have "bad" hair.
My parents heard the opposite. If you don't cut it all off, then the child will grow up to have "bad" (thin hair, with no body, etc.). So even though I already was born with quite a lot of hair, when I was young (under a year old), my daddy shaved off all my head hair. I did end up with extremely thick hair...but I think that's probably genetics.
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  #3  
Old 30 May 2007, 09:48 PM
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What are "the stretches"?

Here's one, about pregnancy: If the mother reaches above her head for something while pregnant, the baby will be born with the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck.

(A co-worker fussed at me for reaching when I was pregnant. I told her I didn't think the umbilical cord was attached to my elbows.)
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  #4  
Old 30 May 2007, 09:49 PM
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The stretches? what are those?
It's when a baby stretches and yawns a lot. You know, like a baby normally does.
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  #5  
Old 30 May 2007, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Spam & Cookies-mmm View Post
What are "the stretches"?

Here's one, about pregnancy: If the mother reaches above her head for something while pregnant, the baby will be born with the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck.

(A co-worker fussed at me for reaching when I was pregnant. I told her I didn't think the umbilical cord was attached to my elbows.)
I got fussed at about that at work, too. I also wasn't allowed to sweep. I don't remember the reason for that one, though.
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  #6  
Old 30 May 2007, 09:56 PM
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My parents heard the opposite. If you don't cut it all off, then the child will grow up to have "bad" (thin hair, with no body, etc.). So even though I already was born with quite a lot of hair, when I was young (under a year old), my daddy shaved off all my head hair. I did end up with extremely thick hair...but I think that's probably genetics.

Seems to be the same UL, but different view of "bad" hair. I was told that if I cut my son's hair, it would grow in back in thicker and with more texture. My children are mulitracial (AA, NA, and Caucasian) so thin, fine hair is supposedly good hair, lol. I have very fine, straight hair and both of my biological children have European textured, curly hair. They both have "good" hair.........maybe it was because I waited until after they were one to cut their hair As a matter of fact, my daughter was almost 4 before I cut her hair. They both have very thick hair so that really does mess up the legend.
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  #7  
Old 30 May 2007, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mela681 View Post
I also wasn't allowed to sweep. I don't remember the reason for that one, though.

Hmmm
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"When I was pregnant my granny called me and said, 'You don't look at anybody ugly. Don't sweep any floors and don't get upset about anything because you'll mark your child and the baby will be ugly.'
"Hey! Why won't you look at me?"
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  #8  
Old 18 August 2007, 05:56 PM
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Yow! OMG!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spam & Cookies-mmm View Post
What are "the stretches"?

Here's one, about pregnancy: If the mother reaches above her head for something while pregnant, the baby will be born with the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck.

(A co-worker fussed at me for reaching when I was pregnant. I told her I didn't think the umbilical cord was attached to my elbows.)
OMG!!! my best friend was born with an umbilical cord around her neck, now she has tourettes. i have to ask her if her mom reached for something while she was pregnant!
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  #9  
Old 18 August 2007, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Spam & Cookies-mmm View Post
What are "the stretches"?

Here's one, about pregnancy: If the mother reaches above her head for something while pregnant, the baby will be born with the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck.
My son's cord was wrapped around his neck five times... I'm sure if I'd kept my arms straight down to my sides for the whole nine months that wouldn't have happened.

I think it had more to do with the fact that he turned somersaults for hours at a time while I was trying to sleep...
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  #10  
Old 18 August 2007, 06:41 PM
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Icon27 Baby's Wives Tale

One that my MIL keeps saying:

Don't take a baby outside on a windy day, even if wrapped up. It will give the baby inconsolable gas.

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  #11  
Old 19 August 2007, 03:15 AM
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I've heard alot of the above. Here are some others I was always told when I was a kid. I'm from the Ozarks; seems like we have an over abundance of old wives' tales here.

Never let a baby under 1 year old see it's reflection--it will take it's soul.

If a pregant woman looks upon a snake it will "mark" the baby.

Tickling a baby too much will make it stutter.

Ironing when pregnant would cause the mother to go into labor.

Never wash the baby's clothes before it is born; it is bad luck to wash them.

Women who ate many salty foods would have mostly girls.

A new baby had to cry a certain amount or it's lungs "wouldn't develop".

Giving a baby a "sugar tittie" was good for it. (a sugar tittie was some sugar and butter mixed and tied up in a clean rag for a baby to suck on). Chicken bones were also great for babies to cut teeth on. Of course the old whisky on the gums was a big one too.

A baby born in the daylight hours was conceived during the night time and a baby born in the night time hours was conceived during the day.

When a baby has colic try breastfeeding it with you shirt off and the babies shirt off so your stomachs touch.

Sparklygirl
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  #12  
Old 19 August 2007, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by sparklygirl View Post
Tickling a baby too much will make it stutter.
Here in the UK there's a very similar superstition, "if you tickle a babies feet, it will make it stutter".

Another one we were told here in the UK is never cut a baby's toenails, "as the devil will get it" (huh?) you had to "bite" the toenails, (EEEEW!) instead.

I can remember another superstition about not bringing a pram into the house for the new baby, till it was born, as it was bad luck. (I mean, that's just plain silly, what happens where you are having your second baby, and you are using the same pushchair for #2 as you used for #1? )

If you have heartburn (indigestion) your baby is going to be hairy, (the hair tickles your stomach, and causes the irritation! lol )

If your baby kicks a lot, it's a girl. (well, I suppose it's got a 50-50 chance of being correct! )

It was bad luck to let a woman in your house after she'd gone through childbirth, if she hadn't been "Churched". (the "Churching of Women" is a ritual where the woman goes to church , and there's a special service of "thanks-giving" for a safe delivery. it's hardly ever done these days, or incorporated into the Christening service)

Forty-odd years ago, when my mother had recently given birth to me, (her first child, my grandma's first grandchild) she trailed, with me, a babe-in-arms, right the way across our city, with me, to go to her mother's house, to show me off to her.

My mother hadn't been "churched"

My grandmother flew off the handle at my mum, for coming to her house, "unchurched".

Had it not taken my mother over an hour to get from where we lived, to my grandmother's house, my grandmother would have refused to let my mum in. As it was, she did let her in, but extremely reluctantly.

unbelievable, huh?
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  #13  
Old 19 August 2007, 01:59 PM
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When a baby has colic try breastfeeding it with you shirt off and the babies shirt off so your stomachs touch.
There might be something to that, actually -- the body heat might be comforting, sort of a portable warm compress.
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  #14  
Old 19 August 2007, 02:48 PM
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When I was pregnant with both my kids, I had a lot of heartburn. Most of the older women I came in contact with would tell me that meant the baby had a lot of hair. (I think it really had to do with the fact that I'm just over 5 feet tall and don't have much room in my trunk to keep from squishing out the stomach acid, and I had two babies that were well over 8 lbs.!)

This isn't exactly an old wives' tale, but I think it's interesting. When Mom had my oldest brother (born in 1949), she tried to nurse him but wasn't producing enough breast milk. The doctor told her to drink beer to increase production.
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  #15  
Old 19 August 2007, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by sparklygirl View Post
A new baby had to cry a certain amount or it's lungs "wouldn't develop".
My mother tried to convince me of that when DS was born 3 years ago. She said I had to let him cry for a couple hours everyday or he'd have "sickly lungs" I was glad I lived 3,000 miles from her at that point!
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  #16  
Old 20 August 2007, 02:06 AM
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A woman I worked with was adamant that if a pregnant woman had a strong craving, she had to get whatever she craved as soon as possible. In the mean time, she couldn't touch herself anywhere on her own body (with her hands, presumably) or else the baby would be born with a birth mark in that spot. She believed it, too. I also heard the heartburn one, and the reaching over the head one from her. I kept telling her I could write a whole book based on her pregnancy and baby superstitions!

I heard lots of breastfeeding old wives tales, when my kids were babies, but I don't remember them all. My mom, who was a nurse during the 50s, was taught that women must "condition" their breasts and nipples before the baby was born, by vigorously scrubbing them daily. Then, she had to wash each nipple with soap and water before each nursing session, because BFing was unsanitary.

If you were BFing, you couldn't drink coffee or eat tomatoes in any form. I think the tomatoes were supposed to give the baby colic. And demand feeding was sure to spoil the kid.

I remember going to baby showers when I was a little girl, where a needle and thread was used to predict the sex of the baby. The needle was held stil over the left wrist (or the stomach) of the pregnant woman. If it swung slowly in a circle, the baby was a girl. if it swung back and forth, the baby was a boy.
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  #17  
Old 20 August 2007, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by lynnejanet View Post
I remember going to baby showers when I was a little girl, where a needle and thread was used to predict the sex of the baby. The needle was held stil over the left wrist (or the stomach) of the pregnant woman. If it swung slowly in a circle, the baby was a girl. if it swung back and forth, the baby was a boy.
The way I heard that one is that the needle over the stomach predicts the sex of the child in utero, while held over the left wrist predicts the sex and birth order of all the children a woman is going to have in her life.
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  #18  
Old 20 August 2007, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by CrysAM View Post
My mother tried to convince me of that when DS was born 3 years ago. She said I had to let him cry for a couple hours everyday or he'd have "sickly lungs" I was glad I lived 3,000 miles from her at that point!
If you had only lived 3000 feet from her, the advice would have been different, I'm sure.
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  #19  
Old 20 August 2007, 08:02 PM
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Fright

My grandma has a small hole in her external ear. It's like she had only one ear pierced, except that the hole has been there since she was born.

While her mother was pregnant with her, she accidentally dropped her sewing scissors one day and stabbed herself in the foot. She was convinced for the rest of her life that this was the cause of the hole in my grandma's ear.
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  #20  
Old 20 August 2007, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyfancypants View Post
This isn't exactly an old wives' tale, but I think it's interesting. When Mom had my oldest brother (born in 1949), she tried to nurse him but wasn't producing enough breast milk. The doctor told her to drink beer to increase production.
I think my La Leche book mentioned beer or wine as a relaxing agent to help let the milk down. I read it almost 20 years ago, though, and my memory is faulty, so please don't make any childrearing decisions based on this post.
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