After the baby's birth, many parents have the pediatrician on speed dial. They worry over every sniffle and ask a million questions — yet they aren't always honest with the doctor they have chosen to see to their baby's medical care.
These days, parenting is a bit of a competition, and many moms and dads feel pressure to take on all of the trendiest styles and methods. They worry about judgment from their peers, and they are terrified that their pediatrician will think less of them, and that's often when the lies start to creep in. They don't want to admit breastfeeding issues, and they fear judgment on their discipline style. They think that their baby's bouts of colic are a failing, and they think that questions about caretakers and eating habits are too invasive. Even worse, they sometimes lie about symptoms to make sure that the doctor prescribes medication.
Some moms and dads may think that a few fibs on the check-up questionnaire are nothing to be worried about, but they may be missing out on valuable bits of advice, and they could be delaying care that their child needs. The truth is important when it comes to the doctor's office, and we want to make sure that parents know exactly why they need to be more honest with their answers.
Here are 15 lies parents need to stop telling the pediatricians.
15Lying About Breastfeeding Woes
Breastfeeding is tough, especially in the first few weeks of a baby's life. But many moms don't want to admit they are struggling. It can take time for a woman to admit that things aren't going well — but sometimes that can have devastating results. A mom needs to stop lying right away and let the pediatrician know about the problem, so he can keep an extra attentive eye on the baby and make sure that she is gaining weight.
With all of the misinformation out there about breastfeeding, many moms are afraid to give the baby a bottle for fear that it will ruin their chances at nursing before she even has much of a chance to try. That's why they hide the truth about the way that they are struggling. But babies can starve to death even when parents think that things are going OK but not got great. They may have hoped ot avoid the bottle, but it's definitely worth giving it to the baby so that they survive long enough to get practice at breastfeeding.
14Lying About Where The Baby Actually Sleeps
Another big debate going on in parenting these days involves co-sleeping, and because of warnings that have been offered in the past two decades, there are many pediatricians who are totally against the idea. Parents are well aware of the stigma, so instead of talking to the doctor about how to keep their baby safe, they just lie and swear that the baby always sleeps in her crib.
Parents may not want to admit it, but there are dangers to co-sleeping, and while we are in favor of the practice in general, we recommend that parents get educated about how to co-sleep safely. One of the best ways to do that is to have an honest conversation with the pediatrician. He'll let parents know that they need to make sure that they are sober when sharing a bed, that covers and pillows should be moved out, and that there is nothing wrong with putting the baby in the crib even when they are crying if they need a break. Studies have proven that the issue is one of the most lied about, but that can definitely be dangerous.
13Lying About Potty Training Being A Breeze
At some point, parents start to get competitive, and they start to think that when their child isn't the first to tackle a new hurdle, it is a failing on their own parts. But that simply is not true. Doctors will ask about potty training, but all too often, parents just tell them what they think they are supposed to say, not what is true.
They will claim that their kid is showing signs of readiness even though that may be wishful thinking. They will talk about what a breeze the process has been and claim that their child has had no accidents when the truth is that things can sometimes go slowly. The worst part about lying about potty training is that the parents could miss out on some good expert advice. If they told the truth, their pediatrician wouldn't judge them. They would be able to give individualized advice that might help things go better. So we think it's a great idea to stop lying and just tell the doctor the truth.
12Lying About Not Having A Guns In The House
This is another one that parents are afraid of judgment for — the question whether they have guns in their house. For some people who are especially worried about the national gun control debate, the question also makes them wonder if the government is trying to track gun ownership. It's a sensitive topic, so they just lie and tell the pediatrician that there are no guns in the house.
Once again, telling a lie can mean that a family misses out on key advice that could very well save the baby's life. The majority of children who are shot are victims of accidental shootings, and that is why the issue is on the pediatrician's questionnaire. He's not going to tell you to get rid of your gun — well, unless he is on the very liberal political spectrum — but he has pamphlets and information that can inform parents about how to safely store their weapons. It could be a part of babyproofing, although we want to stress that this should be taken care of early because some toddlers have happened upon unsecured guns and tragedy has struck. Lying won't protect anyone, but learning about safe storage could.
11Lying And Exaggerating Symptoms
Pediatricians expect to hear from frantic parents who are in a panic over their baby when they have even the slightest fever or at the first sign of sniffles. That isn't a big deal — as long as they don't exaggerate the symptoms. That can be not only annoying but very dangerous.
All parents hate to see their children sick and not have anything to do to help them. But some tend to fudge the truth to pressure the doctor to give their child some antibiotics. The problem is that the overuse of antibiotics has created a big problem with diseases becoming resistant to antibiotics. Superbugs can be deadly, so it's really important to cut down on unnecessary antibiotics, especially since they won't do anything but make parents feel like they are doing something. Exaggerating symptoms isn't just a lie; it can also be dangerous, so parents definitely need to stop doing it.
10Lying About Properly Installing Car Seat
Speaking of deadly lies, telling the truth while talking about the car seat is unequivocally a life or death moment. The laws are car seats can range from state to state, and there are plenty of parents who opt for comfort when they realize that their kids have passed certain thresholds. They opt to switch the baby to face forward because that can be easier and because it's hard to comfort a child when you can't see them.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children remain in rear-facing car seats for two years. That recommendation is fairly new, so many states only require it for one year. And after that first year, most kids outgrow the infant car seats. When their parents install the bigger convertible car seats, they should continue the rear-facing position, but many don't, and they lie to the pediatrician about it. It's much safer for a baby to face backward in an accident, and parents need to tell the truth — and face the truth — on this one.
9Lying About Kid Walking And Talking
The car seat factor isn't the only reason parents should be honest about things that happen as the child ages. Milestones happen a lot in the first few years of a child's life, and they aren't simply about making memories and notations in the baby book. They could be an indicator of a medical issue, so it is important to tell the truth about them to the doctor.
It may not seem like a big deal, but a baby who doesn't smile back at his parents after a couple of months may need to be checked out. Some babies never crawl, and there is no reason to panic if the baby hasn't started walking at 18 months. But doctors will know more about what other tests could determine if all is well or they should investigate potential conditions. If there is a problem, therapy and other treatments could make a big difference, and the earlier the intervention, the better the results. Since time is of the essence, parents need to stop lying to the pediatrician and tell him the truth from the very beginning.
8Lying About How Much The Baby Cries
Moms love their babies from the very beginning, and often they don't want to admit that there are struggles in soothing their sweet one. Babies cry a lot, and most of the time, they stop when their mom meets a need such as feeding them, changing their diapers, wrapping them up in a blanket or rocking them to sleep. But sometimes nothing works, and moms can't figure out what to do. The baby may cry for hours each night, but they lie to pediatrician and say that everything is OK.
Moms shouldn't be ashamed that their babies cry, though. If they were only honest with their pediatrician, they would learn that many babies — as many as 10 percent — suffer from colic. It's not a failing on the mom's part, and if the parent told the truth, the pediatrician would reassure them of that. There are some tips that could help in dealing with a colicky baby — most of all, the doctor would let the mom know that they need to make sure to put the baby down in a safe place when they feel frustrated. In the worst cases, some caregivers get frustrated and shake the baby, which can cause brain damage, and getting information on how to avoid that is definitely the best thing that a mom can do for her colicky baby.
7Lying About How Much Time Baby Spends On The Screen
OK, the debate is still going on for this one, so we really aren't sure about the recommendations of screen time. We do know that pediatricians use to frown upon just about any television watching for small children, and they didn't like the ideas of computers and smart phones as well. Parents don't want to hear the judgment that they believe is inevitable if they admit to Friday night movies and time on a tablet most afternoons.
But last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed their recommendations for screen time with the understanding that it is a part of life in the digital age. While the group still strongly recommends unplugged playtime for infants, the recommendations allow for media as a learning tool and, in limited use, as entertainment. Parents could learn a lot about having a healthy approach to electronics as a family, if they don't lie to the pediatrician when she asks about screen time.
6Lying About Drugs And Alcohol
The list of questions that a parent has to answer at the pediatrician's office is really long — and it can feel very invasive. But the truth is that the questions aren't designed to intrude but to uncover the kinds of information that parents will need to give the best care to her children. That includes questions about others who are responsible for the care of the child, and it's important that the parent doesn't lie about that.
First, anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol could put the baby in danger, whether it's the parent or not. There could be harmful chemicals at an older home of a grandparent or a daycare provider. In addition, the caregiver should consider getting certain vaccinations, and there are safety issues that the doctor might warn a parent about that they hadn't considered since it wasn't their home. Lying about who cares for the child can just put him in more danger, so it's best to stop lying and tell the pediatrician the truth.
5Lying About Symptoms Of Autism
Many parents are well aware of the increase in the past few decades of autism diagnoses in children, and they may fear that their own child could have the condition. They may be hyper aware of some symptoms, but not realize that there are other signs that doctors will be on the look out for early in a baby's life. Some parents may lie to get the doctor to investigate their child more thoroughly, and some may lie because they don't want to face the truth — both, though, need to stop and tell the truth.
According to the latest research, babies can show symptoms of autism as early as three months of age. Most kids aren't diagnosed until they are 3 years old or older, but research has also proven that the earlier that the child receives therapies and other interventions, the better the outcome. So the truth is very important, and it could make a big difference for a child diagnosed with autism. Just stop lying and be honest.
4Lying About Horrible Eating Habits
When today's moms were kids, mac and cheese and hot dogs were the staples of childhood. There were people with weight issues, but obesity wasn't a national epidemic, and eating habits weren't really discussed in the pediatrician's office. But these days, parents and doctors are well aware of how diet is integral to the health of children, and it will be a topic of conversation during check-ups.
Parents shouldn't be afraid to talk honestly about their kids' eating habits with the doctor. They can admit to giving their children dessert, and the doctor won't be surprised to learn that the kids get the occasional meal of hot dogs and mac and cheese. Lying about eating habits is really pointless, since the scale and the blood tests can tell a doctor everything she needs to know about how healthy a family eats. Parents should just fess up and listen to the pediatrician's advice.
3Lying About Spanking And Yelling
Once again, the doctor will seem nosy when he asks about how you discipline your child. And we absolutely understand why people lie about it. We do it every day in public, when we put on a front and smile to people staring in the store while we whisper in our child's ears. There are many different schools of though on how to discipline a child, and all too often parents tell the doctor the answer that they think he wants to hear instead of the truth.
Lots of parents struggle with discipline, and if they find that their method isn't working, no matter what it is, they should stop lying and tell the pediatrician the truth. It's possible that the doctor has other suggestions that could work better. Of course there is a fear of judgment, and worse, some parents worry that they could end up getting in trouble for spanking. But as long as the discipline has not bordered on abuse, the doctor only wants to help with the situation and may help steer the parent in another, more healthy direction.
2Lying About Not Giving The Right Dosages
We mentioned antibiotics earlier as a real issue for parents, as it works well to treat some diseases but it doesn't help others and can actually build up the possibility of antibiotic-resistance. Doctors have to work carefully to prescribe the right antibiotics and dosages, and parents need to stop lying when they don't follow the directions.
Kids often start to feel and act much better just a day or two after starting antibiotics, but the bacteria remains for several days. The doctor usually prescribes antibiotics for 10 days to make sure that the entire disease is taken care of, but when the baby isn't acting sick, many parents forget about continuing the regimen. If the baby relapses, don't be embarrassed about your forgetfulness and admit that the baby didn't get the full course of medicine. That will help the doctor in determining the next steps, so it's important for parents to stop lying to the pediatrician.
1Lying About Your Mommy Skills
The pediatrician is the baby's doctor, but he isn't the only person that the doctor is worried about. In fact, a new mom will spend a lot more time with her pediatrician that with her own doctor in the first few months after the baby's birth, so he is on the front lines for looking for the symptoms of postpartum depression.
It may seem like the doctor is trying to pry when he asks questions about life as a new mom. But the pediatrician is concerned about the health of the baby and the mother, and without those questions he may miss signs of issues that he could help with. The doctor has invaluable advice and that is more important than a mother's pride, especially when it could mean the difference in having a healthy family. Parents need to stop lying and realize that the pediatrician is on their side in more ways than one.
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