15 Controversial Things Moms Don't Know They're Doing To The Newborn

For a mom who has recently given birth to their beautiful baby, the list of demands and learning the proper ways or techniques for caring for a newborn can sometimes feel extremely overwhelming. It’s hard to remember every last detail that mom had been told while still at the hospital.

There seem to be so many rules to follow, and every other mom you know is trying to tell you the “right way” to do things, when in reality the “right way” is nothing more than that person’s personal opinion as to how they had done things themselves. Then there are the controversial things that a mom has to form their own personal perspective about such as bottle or breastfeeding, to vaccinate or not, and even the decision to circumcise a male or not.

At times, mom’s may be causing more harm to their newborn by doing some of the things that older generations had been taught to do. What was considered safe a decade or more ago was proven to put the baby at risk for some potentially scary stuff. Things like swaddling, having a baby sleep in mom’s bed with her, or using teething gel and so much more. Here is a list of some things moms don’t know they’re doing to the newborn...

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

15 Putting Food In The Baby Bottle

There are a lot of moms out there that believe putting solid food into a baby’s bottle is a good thing. Or maybe someone they know recommended that to them. If a mom is putting food there because her baby is not gaining weight, or because they are regurgitating their milk after every feeding, there is a much safer way to go about correcting those kinds of issues.

If mom is bottle feeding, she should try switching to different brands of formula until they find something that their baby is actually keeping down. Mom should speak to her child’s pediatrician to verify if that is okay do, or even if they could recommend anything else. The reason it is not safe for any kind of food in a bottle is that some pieces could break off and get stuck the baby’s throat causing her/him to aspirate or become constipated.

14 Swaddling Too Tight

To our surprise, swaddling a newborn can sometimes cause more harm than good. I don’t really understand why people think wrapping a baby up like a burrito is a good idea. It severely restricts any range of motion. Think how you would feel if someone wrapped you up like that and you were unable to move around; it would become very uncomfortable after a while.

Plus, by doing this you take the chance of overheating your baby, dislocating a hip if you wrap him/her up too tight, and this also puts the newborn at a higher risk of developing SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). There is a much greater negative impact on the baby than anything that may have seemed like a positive thing to do years ago. To help rectify these issues, if you have been swaddling the newborn, now is a better time than ever to get yourself out of this habit.

13 Cleaning The Newborn’s Umbilical Cord

Usually, when mom is getting ready to bring her newborn home, the nurses will tell her everything that she needs to know about cleaning her child's umbilical cord stump. However, just because professionals in the medical field told mom how to do something, does not mean that they always follow the directions they were given. An old-time way of cleaning the umbilical cord was to swab it with rubbing alcohol, but after a while, they realized that it was doing more harm than good because it would take the stump longer to heal and a greater chance of an infection developing.

Another thing moms are told never to do is pick the stump off because it needs to naturally fall off to ensure that it is ready. Moms are also told that they should not submerge their little one in water until the stump has fallen off and that there are not to touch it with the hand because they increase the risk of infection. So mom, make sure to follow the hospital staff’s orders.

12 Numbing The Baby's Gums

As adults, we can no longer remember what it felt like to be teething since it seems like a lifetime ago that we went through this. So when a mom has a baby, and their teeth are starting to pop through, and they seem so miserable as parents we want to do anything in our power to make the pain go away. As a millennial, my own mom had told me that they used to rub a specific kind of alcohol on my gums. That was what they did back then because my own mom did it, my grandmother did that to her, and great-grandmother also used that method for a teething baby.

We now know that is actually pretty unsafe because babies are too tiny to be able to handle alcohol, in any amount, in their system. Now it has been researched that using teething gel is also no good because it not only numbs a baby’s gum but their mouth and throat as well, which could lead to the baby choking when they try to drink.

11 Bottle Or Breastfed?

Debating on whether a mom should or should not breastfeed is a very important and controversial debate. Each one has their own pros and cons. It could take forever to fully go through this debate and get every key point stated. So I am only going to focus on one specific subject issue, which is overeating, and undereating. For the moms who choose to bottle feed, there is a risk of a baby overeating. It can be a bit more difficult to tell when a baby has had beyond their limit because they will just keep on drinking.

However, if a mom chooses to breastfeed, she runs the very real risk of underfeeding the baby because it is harder to tell how much a baby has drunk when there is no real way to measure how much is actually coming out. There have been tons of cases where the baby starved and became malnourished because of the mom choosing this method for feeding. It does have some amazing benefits though. Mom should try to make the decision that feels right to her.

10 Posting Pics On Social Media

While posting pics of your adorable newborn may not sound bad, it could potentially lead to some unwanted stuff. If you take the pictures in a tasteful manner, there should be nothing wrong with it or even making sure your baby’s face is not fully visible in the shot could be beneficial.

There is a reason for this; it’s that once you put your little one's pic all over social media sites, it can turn into a free-for-all. Meaning that your precious baby’s face could end up all over the internet, in search engines, and it may fall into a stranger’s hands that do not have the purest of intentions. There is always that chance that the moment in time you captured to keep memories alive will end up with a perpetrator who likes looking at photos of little kids for his/her own enjoyment.

9 Sharing The Bed

Having a newborn sleep in bed with mom is another controversial issue. Some say it’s entirely safe while others are strongly against it. When it comes to this issue, there are two major concerns with sharing a bed with an infant; one is that there is an increased risk of mom, or dad, rolling over on top if the baby and literally crushing and suffocating him/her. The second one is that the baby will have a higher risk of developing SIDS. Both things are fatal to a little one.

When a mom puts her baby in their crib, they are supposed to sleep with nothing in the crib because of this increased risk of SIDS. So, if the baby is sleeping in their parent's bed, most people don’t think about removing the pillows and blankets. The newborn will always be safer sleeping on their back in their crib.

8 Using The Baby As A Fashion Accessory

Something that has risen in popularity is the wraps that a mom would wear around her and she could place the baby in the front, and he/she will be ultra snug inside of it. While they may sound amazing because mom can get so much more done if her newborn is strapped to her, but there are some serious risks. The risks are very similar to swaddling. The newborn can get overheated which could be fatal, and they could also have a hip displacement issue that can be very painful.

Mom may not even notice that one of two things were happening to her little one until it’s too late. When it comes to overheating, mom may think her baby is just quiet because he/she fell asleep until mom tried to wake up her limp baby. I am not by any means saying that every child who is worn like a fashion accessory that this is definitely going to happen, but more so that parents should always be aware that there is the potential for things to turn out bad.

7 The Cry It Out Method

This is another thing that is controversial in today’s society; the cry it out method. Whether you decided to let your little one cry for a period of time or to run right to their rescue, there are downfalls for either way and mother would have to make an educated decision after they look up the facts surrounding each one. A baby’s only means of communicating if they need something or if something is wrong, by crying. So if you neglect your baby fully, you will never know when something is truly wrong.

However, if you run right to pick him/her up after every little peep, that is not good either because there is a good chance that your baby will randomly cry just to see you run in and give them attention. The recommended way is it let the baby cry for longer than five minutes and then go in to check on him/her without making too much of fuss or giving them too much attention so that they will go back to sleep.

6 To Circumcise Or Not?

When it comes time for a mom to make a quick decision regarding whether they should have their baby boy circumcised or not, for some moms it is a very tough call. If you are going to be or already have researched which one is better, you most likely have taken notice of the fact that either one has the potential for causing issues. These days, mom usually go with yes, they want it done because it prevents a lot of problems down the line.

If a mom decided that her little boy is going to have this procedure done, they know that there are two main concerns; one is that having it done comes with the risk of the baby developing an infection, and two it may not heal properly since there are going to be times the baby gets urine and feces all over it. If they decide not to go through with it, they risk two things as well, which are the potential for frequent urinary tract infections and not being able to clean the area properly. No matter what you decide, at least look into both options, so you know what to expect.

5 Relying On Pain Relief

This next one is more for the parents who do not pay close enough attention to the doses. When babies are in any kind of pain or discomfort, their mom wants to be able to give them something to relieve the pain, and that will help make them feel better. It has now been studied that unless a parent really needs to, they should not be administering pain relief medications because when the parents do not pay full attention regarding how much to give, they risk causing the baby to overdose, which is not good. So, in a nutshell, the parents who don’t pay attention ruin it for the ones who actually take the time to make sure that they are giving the right amount. Parents should be more careful and listen to the proper dosage instructions.

4 Nursing After A Night Out On The Town

Breastfeeding your beautiful newborn after having a night (or day) out while partying and drinking mommy’s happy juice, is never a good or safe thing to do. Whatever mom has put into her body, there is a good chance that her baby will consume the same thing through her breastmilk. That even includes alcohol. Babies are tiny and have a smaller liver that do not tolerate alcohol very well. So, if mom drank a lot, the baby will be drinking a lot too as well.

What is safe for mom may end up being toxic to her little one. If a mom is going to drink, she needs to at least pump and dump and wait a little bit before trying to give him/her any milk. To make it even safer, they do sell strips that test moms milk for alcohol. Those would be beneficial to have.

3 Skipping Out On Vaccinations

Vaccinating your newborn has become a serious controversial issue within the past couple of years because some parents have it in their mind that getting these vital shots causes autism. When Jenny McCarthy started to speak up as an advocate against vaccinations, this is a little-known fact, but it was on the news that she was basing this opinion off of a false study. If you have ever worked in a doctor’s office, you would know that the real doctors do believe in vaccinations and do not say that it causes any issues like some people are claiming. They actually save lives.

If mom’s want to question that statement, they can research the real facts and studies about this huge issue. I was vaccinated and came out normal, the same with any child in my family as well as my extended relatives. Skipping out on vaccinating your newborn, they have a major increased risk of developing the diseases that could turn fatal, and that could have been prevented by allowing children to get vaccines.

2 Big Screen Entertainment

Many parents are guilty of placing their newborn in front of the TV to try to keep their kid content. However, TV’s and other electronics like cell phones and tablets give off a light source called blue light. Researchers now know that this type of light not only causes vision problems, but it is also known to cause insomnia like issues or trouble falling asleep when viewed before bedtime. We live in a time when electronics are in such great supply, but not too many people know or realize the sleep issues that it causes.

Blue light is said to suppress melatonin by up to as much as 85 percent. It is advised that people turn off all sources of this light for anywhere from at least 30-60 minutes before you plan on going to bed. In babies, it can bring out sleep regression much quicker compared to the babies that are not stuck in front of a screen before bedtime.

1 Sugary Drinks

Those parents who give their newborn soda or other sugary drinks should really be careful. Besides giving the baby a sugar rush at the moment there are some potential things that could harm the baby later in life, whether it’s when they are a small child, a teen, or an adult, the risks are still there. Giving the baby a sugar infested drink could ultimately lead to the baby packing on the pounds, becoming obese, or even lead up to the baby developing diabetes later on in life. As with any child, the younger they start drinking soda, the more they are going to crave it.

While some newborns turn out fine, others don’t. There is no prediction which baby will be put in harm's way. Not to mention, soda dehydrates even adults so can you imagine what it will do to someone that is under 50 pounds. It’s not a pretty thing.

Sources: LiveScience.com, HuffingtonPost.com,

More in Did You Know...