Pediatricians know it all, and they usually follow their own advice. After years of med school and experience with hundreds of babies, they know more than the average person when it comes to the health and safety of babies.
We go to our kiddo’s pediatricians for advice about our own kids and trust that they would do the same with their own. Below, we have compiled a list of 15 things that your pediatrician would never give their newborn. Some of these things are probably common sense while many of these will be very shocking. We believe that with knowledge comes power and when you know better, you do better. We are sharing with you the tips that the pediatricians follow so that their babies stay healthy, happy and safe. Some of these topics are controversial while others are life or death.
We all want what is best for our babies, and that is why it is best to follow what the pediatricians are doing. Of course, every baby is different, and if you question anything about your baby’s health or safety it is always best to consult with your own pediatrician- but they will probably all tell you the same thing. Below we have advice that the pediatricians agree on, ranging from topics such as from car seat use and the bottle to the dangers of the pacifier. You do not have to follow the pediatrician’s advice, but it is better to be safe than sorry!
Are you guilty of doing any of these things with your baby?
15 Bubble Baths
Bubble baths are a big no-no before age three, and your pediatrician will not be breaking that rule. One big reason is due to the sensitivity of baby’s skin. The chemicals and fragrances in bubble baths can be itchy and drying to baby’s skin which can leave them miserable. Bath time for babies should be ten minutes or under, and parents have a habit of dragging out bath time once there are bubbles in the bath. Another big reason why bubble baths are a bad idea are due to the increased risk of urinary tract infections. Bubble bath or even soapy water can irritate the opening of your baby’s urethra and once the urethra is irritated it can become super painful for baby to urinate.
14 A Nasal Syringe
Nasal bulb syringes have been used on babies for a very long time. It has not been until recently that many mom’s and pediatricians are ditching the syringe due to the mold that can grow in the bulb of the syringe. Exposure to mold under age one significantly increases baby’s risk for developing asthma. Who knows what other bacteria could be building up inside those syringes that are being shot right back up into baby’s delicate nasal passage. Thankfully, there are other options that your pediatrician would much rather you use. On the market there are baby nose aspirators that twist apart for easy cleaning of the middle after each use. There is also the product that has heightened in popularity called the Nosefrida. This product is 100% hygienic due to using disposable filters. It can be hard to know what to do as a new mom, but there are many products on the market that are much safer than a regular old school nose syringe.
13 Cereal In The Bottle
This topic has been a controversial one for ages. Some mama’s claim that adding cereal to the bottle helps baby sleep additional hours, but a pediatrician mama will certainly tell you otherwise. Adding cereal to the bottle is dangerous because your little one’s tummy is just not ready to digest foods before six months. Exposure to solids before six months may also put babies at a higher risk for developing food allergies in the future. Cereal in the bottle is also linked to overfeeding because baby babies only know how to drink their milk based on volume, not calories. A big reason why you will not catch your pediatrician encouraging you to give your baby cereal in the bottle is due to the huge risk of aspiration.
12 Sunscreen On A Regular Basis
You will not catch a pediatrician dead slathering his little angel with sunscreen. Why, you may ask? It has been said that babies under six months have thin skin and may absorb more of the sunscreen than an older child or adult. A scary chemical found in many sunscreens is called Oxybenzone, and is believed to disrupt hormone function as well as cause allergic reactions. Up until two years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised absolutely no sunscreen, but now they say it is okay to use very small amounts of sunscreen sparingly. Sunscreen should only be used if the baby is not completely protected from the sun by other means. Other options are to stay inside or in the shade between 10 am and 4 pm (when the sun is the strongest), sport a hat, or put baby in long sleeved UPF clothing. There are many "safe" sunscreens on the market made for babies, and those are okay to use once in a while.
11 Food Before Six Months Old
We understand as parents it is exciting to see your baby hit new milestones- and eating solids is a huge one! As exciting as it can be a pediatrician knows better than anyone to wait until their baby hits their six-month birthday. There are many reasons for this, one including that waiting until the six-month mark can significantly reduce the risk of gastroenteritis, diabetes, and obesity! Pediatricians know that breastfeeding (if you are choosing this route) for at least seven months shows decreased rates of anemia. It is also well known that babies are less likely to choke on food if they are older. Waiting until the six-month mark helps give the cells lining your baby’s gut time to close which will prevent allergies, rashes, gas, and medical issues. It is obvious why dads and moms who are pediatricians wait until their baby is six months old to give their sweetie’s solids.
11. sleep time anywhere but their bed (not car seat or rock and play)
10 Teething Products
Many parents' first instinct when their baby is teething is to reach for some teething medication for those sore gums. As tempting as this may be, pediatricians know better. Instead of teething gels and tablets they will give their baby a cold teething toy or washcloth. Another option, if baby is over six months, is to give her cold/chilled food in a mesh baby feeder (bananas or peaches for example.) There are several reasons why your pediatrician will not give their own baby teething gels and tablets. Prescription teething gels contain lidocaine, which are not recommended due to its possible hindering effect on the ability to swallow. Homeopathic labeled teething tablets, gels and liquids may seem like a better option, but they are not. The FDA advises uses against these types of products due to the unregulated form of a plant called belladonna, which can cause serious heart problems and drowsiness. Topical teething gels are not advised either due to the chemical called benzocaine. A rare but serious condition called methemoglobinemia (this makes the oxygen carried to bloodstream is reduced to a dangerous level) has been linked to teething gel use.
9 A Bottle Warmed Up In The Microwave
Using a microwave to warm up the baby’s milk is something a pediatrician would never do. If you give your baby breast milk, using a microwave will destroy some of the milk's nutrients. What is the point of pumping the liquid gold for any of the nutrients to get destroyed? Of course, there is also the well-known risk of heating plastic bottles in the microwave due to the risk of the plastic leaching into the milk which has cancer-causing compounds. Another big reason to not heat the milk in the microwave is that it can cause uneven heating and hot spots in the milk. So, what is a mama to do when she needs a warm bottle? Purchasing a bottle warmer or placing a bottle in a bowl of warm water are two ways to heat up the bottle without the added dangers.
Some will be shocked to hear that many pediatricians won’t give their little one a pacifier. One of the main reasons why pediatricians steer clear of this is due to the increased risk of teeth issues when baby gets older. Prolonged pacifier use can cause problems with the alignment of the teeth, problems with the growth of the mouth and even changes the shape roof of the mouth. These issues can be expensive to fix and for a pediatrician, it is just not worth it. Another reason why a pacifier is a no-no is since it can be a super hard habit to break. Weaning baby from the pacifier can be a draining process for everyone in the house. It has also been found that pacifier use may increase the risk of middle ear infections. Of course, many of us have heard that pacifiers are linked to nipple confusion. This can be a big reason why mama has decreased breastfeeding success.
7 A Used Car Seat
A car seat at a garage sale may seem like a bargain, but it can cost your sweetie his life. A pediatrician would much rather register for or buy a brand-new seat than a used one. If you buy a seat used it is unlikely that the manufacturer's instructions will be intact (which is crucial for installation) and there is a risk for parts to be missing. It is very dangerous to use a car seat that is more than a few years old. Another danger of using a second-hand car seat is the risk of it being involved in a car accident. When a car seat is in a car involved in a car accident, it should be discarded. There is also a risk that the seat has been recalled or is expired.
6 Mouth Kisses
We totally understand why the desire to kiss your baby’s sweet little lips is super strong. It may sound crazy to some, but pediatricians will never kiss their babies on the lips. It's not they don’t want to, it is that the dangers outweigh everything else. Babies do not have the same immune system that we do which makes it easier for them to get sick. Sicknesses such as RSV, whooping cough, hand foot mouth disease, cold, and even the flu can get passed very easily from adult to baby just by a simple kiss on the lips. At the end of the day, it is just not worth it. These sicknesses can hurt baby much more than they can hurt us. Also, dangerous cold sores can get passed from adult to baby. Rashes from the chemicals in your makeup or skin care products can give the baby a rash as well. We know babies are adorable, but please hold off on the kisses.
5 Cold Medicines
As parents, we will do anything we can to ease our babies pain. Having a cold can be miserable, and many parents first instinct is to give a cough or cold medicine. Pediatricians who are parents will never do so and would much rather use old-fashioned remedies to ease cold symptoms. Some of these remedies include extra sleep, use of humidifiers and drinking lots of fluids (in this case, making sure baby is nursing or taking the bottle often.) The FDA does not recommend giving babies under age two OTC cough and cold medicines which include expectorants, antihistamines, antitussives, and decongestants. Adverse effects of these medicines can be rapid heart rates, reduced level of consciousness, convulsions, and even death. Your pediatrician will probably recommend nasal saline drops for the relief of nasal congestion an infant, which will bring some relief.
4 Soft Blankets In Crib
Many parents know about the horror of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS.) Thankfully, as a parent, you can aid in preventing this issue. A pediatrician would never put crib bumpers, blankets, or stuffed animals in the crib. It is unsafe to put any of these items in a crib with a baby under a year old. Adding these items to the crib significantly increase the risk of suffocation for the baby. To keep baby warm in bed, it is advised to swaddle your baby, use a sleep sack, or dress baby in warm clothes. When it comes to crib bumpers, there is no evidence that they protect against injury. Instead, they do carry the risk of strangulation, entrapment and suffocation. Stuffed animals are cute, but they are very unnecessary. If you want to introduce baby to a stuffed animal, it is best to do so when he is awake and under strict supervision.
3 Television Time
You will never catch a pediatrician giving their little bundle of joy television time- and for good reasons. Babies need to throw, shake, and touch things as well as interact with people, all so they can learn. This does not mean your little prince cannot video chat with grandma once in a while, but the TV time needs to be almost nonexistent. Screen time before eighteen months has a lasting effect on your cutie’s short-term memory, sleep, attention, reading skills, and even language development. Even having the television on in the background when “no one is watching it” is enough to delay language development. Baby needs to hear mom and dad talk(a parent speaks about 940 words an hour when a television only says about 700) to be able to feed that growing brain of his. We know TV time sounds great, but not even the pediatrician will risk it.
2 Too Many Baths
Everyone loves the smell of a clean baby, but pediatrician’s do not love the smell enough to over bathe their bundle of joy. Believe it or not, there is such thing as being “too clean.” Newborns only need a sponge bath while babies three to six months old only need to be bathed three to four times a week. If you are a mama who bathes their baby daily (or even more than once a day) you are actually setting your peanut up for a highly increased chance of developing severe eczema or developing asthma. The experts say that daily baths remove essential oils from her skin’s surface which is what causes her skin to become dry and expose her skin to the risks of eczema and allergy. Your babies skin is so delicate and fragile and a daily bath can really irritate her precious skin. Even simply bathing your baby in just water can dry the skin out, and bathing with soap can be even worse.
1 Everything Is Used As A Crib
Babies need a ton of sleep, and where they sleep is very important. Any pediatrician, parent or not, will tell you to never put the baby to sleep (unobserved and overnight) in anything besides a baby bed. Using a bouncer, car seat, or swing to put the baby to sleep while you are sleeping can be deadly. Many parents swear by the product called a Rock n Play to keep baby asleep, but it is super dangerous due to the heightened risk of the device falling. Also, the Rock n Play puts the baby in a curved seat rather than a flat surface. It is fine to let baby nap in her car seat while at a restaurant or in her bouncer while folding laundry- and that is only because the baby is being supervised and not left unattended.