Nearly every young girl plays with dolls and in her childhood games. She pretends to take care of her child by imitating what her mother does with her. It is through this role play that most women get the yearning to raise their own kids someday.
The girl goes on to work as a babysitter for her siblings and for some, even neighbourhood kids to earn a buck or two. By the time this girl comes of age, she is quite knowledgeable about all things baby and even though women are having babies later and later in life, this knowledge remains ingrained in their brains.
According to Pregnancy Birth and Baby, "Friends and family can offer a lot of advice, but most new parents will also need some outside support." There are those who are natural mothers. They are the women who take to motherhood like a breeze, the ones who are naturally nurturing. Then there are the mothers who, despite their best intentions, find motherhood as difficult as rocket science. These mothers struggle to go through pregnancy and struggle to raise the kids. These are the mothers who scour the Internet in search of parenting material aimed at making motherhood a lot smoother.
Even with the wealth of knowledge in the world on how to properly take care of children, mothers still find it difficult to follow some of these rules and still take shortcuts that are sometimes quite a problem for the baby.
20 Not Burping
When a baby is breastfeeding, crying or even bottle feeding, there is always the possibility that she will swallow air, which gets trapped in her stomach. To ensure that the child is not uncomfortable, mothers are advised to burp the baby after feeding, a process that takes very few minutes. Unfortunately, mothers still think it is okay to skip a burp or two. This mostly happens whenever mothers are tired or whenever a fussy baby falls asleep during a feed.
According to Kids Health, “An important part of feeding a baby is burping. Burping helps to get rid of some of the air that babies tend to swallow during feeding. Not being burped often and swallowing too much air can make a baby spit up, or seem cranky or gassy.”
We are in no way saying co-sleeping is wrong or right, like every other parenting decision, it is purely a mother’s preference and there is often no right or wrong way of parenting. Mothers who are for co-sleeping sing the benefits of this practice, saying they are able to spend a peaceful night without having to leave the bed for those midnight feedings.
18 Watering Down the Formula
Mothers who formula feed know exactly where the shoe pinches. The goal when it comes to newborn babies is to ensure that the baby keeps gaining weight with the starting point being the birth weight. In order to achieve this, mothers have to ensure that the baby is fed the right amounts of formula. The cost can, however, be a bit straining for many parents and this is why most of them are tempted to add just a little more water to the formula to make it last longer.
According to Health, “If you use too much liquid or powder formula in the bottle, it could hurt the baby's kidneys or brain. A baby can get water intoxication by drinking infant formula that has been diluted with too much water.”
17 Using Regular Detergent
Babies are born with a very thin layer of skin that is yet to be contaminated by the many bacteria in the world. BabyCenter says that this skin is prone to many opportunistic skin infections and it is for this reason that mothers are often advised to avoid using regular detergent on the baby’s clothes and this should be extended to the kind of soap one uses to bathe the baby.
Soaps and detergents are made of harsh chemicals that are too hard on the baby’s skin. Detergents and soaps that come with perfume are also not good for the baby and should be avoided. Even if mom wants the baby to smell nice, a simple bath will do the trick.
16 That Random Kiss
Babies are irresistibly cuddly and not many people can resist giving a newborn baby a kiss. While this was commonly acceptable behavior in the past, it is a habit that should be discouraged. Most mothers let it slide because they feel it is an innocent thing that they would rather not deny people. While it may be uncomfortable to tell granny not to kiss the newborn, this uneasy moment may save the child’s life.
According to Dr. Gina Posner, a pediatrician at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, "People can definitely make a baby sick by kissing them. Saliva carries a lot of germs. If they aren't sick, then the baby won't get sick, but if they have a cold or other virus or bacteria, it can easily be spread by kissing."
15 Dressed Up Cradles
For most mothers, the most attractive sight is a well-decorated baby nursery with a baby crib full of frills in either blue or pink. As beautiful as a dressed up crib may be, it may lead to regrettable accidents that could otherwise have been avoided.
Mothers still think it is cute to dress up the crib with the excuse “what are the odds that this will happen to me?” What they fail to realize is that an infant can get in trouble in minutes. According to Thesleepstore, this can happen if the baby gets caught in the dressings when he rolls over or tries to climb out.
14 The Family Pet
Most families have a pet, be it a dog or a cat. We tend to think that this is a great thing to have around babies because they have something to play with. Pets are great companions and most of us love to cuddle with them or stroke them.
According to BabyCenter, family pets should, however, be kept away from the baby’s room. A pet may easily interfere with a child if it decides to find sleep in his crib. There are also babies who are allergic to pets, not to mention pests that may have stuck to the family dogs coat during that evening walk.
13 The Tribe
Newborn babies tend to attract the whole village to the new mother's door. Since we are social beings, it is quite hard to say no to visitors and so most of us just let the tribe invade our homes in droves as soon as the baby leaves the hospital.
While friends and family can be great and the gifts they bring the newborn are quite tempting, they can overwhelm, not only the baby but also the new mother who needs some time to bond and recuperate. According to Whattoexpect, visitors are also a source of infections and can easily infect the new baby.
12 The Swing Nap
Baby swings and rockers come with a manufacturer’s disclaimer not to let the baby sleep in them. This disclaimer is meant to protect the baby from accidental falls from the swing. Even Babycenter says the same. Babies may also flop over and collapse his airway, which may lead to a dangerous situation.
Unfortunately, mothers still flaunt this rule more, so if they have been trying to put a cranky baby to sleep without success. Babies tend to snap awake the minute they are removed from the swing and the whole process starts again. Most mothers, therefore, prefer to let sleeping dogs lie and cross their fingers hoping nothing bad will happen.
11 No Tummy Time
Babies are born with very few developed muscles. Pregnancybirthbaby says that It is for this reason that mothers are advised to assist with the development of muscles by ensuring that the baby gets a few minutes a day lying on his stomach. Most babies do not like this and they tend to get upset and cry.
Since most mothers cannot bear to see their baby’s cry, we tend to pick the baby up at the first sign of a tear and vow never to do it again. The truth is, this simple exercise helps the child develop his back and neck muscles, something he needs in order to hold his head up and be able to walk or sit up.
10 Cotton in the Ears
Hygiene for babies is very important and the ears are the most delicate parts of a child’s anatomy. The ears have some nooks that are hard to reach and even though one can see the dirt, getting to it becomes a huge task.
Many mothers, even with the full knowledge that nothing should go into the baby's ear, still use cotton swabs to clean the ear. Smartparenting says that this is wrong and if the baby was to move or jerk, there are chances that the mother may accidentally harm the eardrum. A bath towel dipped in warm water would do the trick perfectly and is a lot safer.
9 Too Many Baths
Maintaining proper hygiene for the baby is very important but many mothers translate this to mean regular baths. According to Raising Child, while a bath a day is okay, as this is the perfect time to give the baby a massage or that tummy time, mothers with newborns are advised against regular baths as this may wet the umbilical cord.
The baby stump should never be kept wet as it is a perfect breeding ground for infections that can be fatal for the child. Frequent baths are also likely to lower the baby’s body temperature, which is not advisable at this age.
8 Car Seat Sleeping
The rule that babies should never be allowed to sleep anywhere else apart from the crib seems to escape many people. People find it convenient to let the baby sleep in the car seat and it is not surprising to see a baby slumped over in a very dangerous way because the mother does not want to risk changing his position lest he wakes up.
According to Happiest Baby, “When your baby is seated, her heavy head can fall forward causing difficulty [breathing]. That's why car seats outside of moving cars are not safe for naps or overnight sleep for the first 6 months of life.”
7 Breastfeeding in Bed
Having to wake up at night to breastfeed the baby can be tiring. More so because newborns require a feeding every two to three hours. Despite all the dangers associated with it, some mothers who co-sleep prefer to breastfeed in bed and sometimes mothers fall asleep with the baby on their chest as they do so.
This is very problematic as FoxNews says that it is quite possible for the baby to get in trouble this way. Breastfeeding should be a time to bond and nourish the baby while trying to alleviate his stress. The best way to breastfeed is to sit up in a calm, comfortable seat and breastfeed the baby with zero distractions.
6 Stomach Sleeping
For those of us who have had babies, we all know the secret that when the baby is on his stomach he tends to sleep better and longer. This secret thrill we all know is dangerous and no matter how many days the baby has kept one awake, one should never put the baby to sleep on his stomach, especially during the first few months of his life.
Kidshealth says that this is because the air flow risks are increased in this position. Doctors have also associated stomach sleeping with the increased instances of SIDs. This can change once the baby can roll over and change his position, but not before.
5 Techno Nanny
We live in the technological age, a wonder that can keep a person enthralled for hours without moving an inch. These technological wonders have now become a parent favorite with some parents using tablets and TV to keep their children entertained. It now emerges that screen time can be distracting and overstimulating for a child.
4 The Sweet Tooth
Most babies have a sweet tooth, a situation that we aggravate by substituting milk with sugar infused juices. According to Parenting, “Babies do not need added sugars or refined sugar in their diet. The sugar requirements of the baby can be met by food rich in carbohydrates and other naturally sweet foods such as fruits.”
Too much sugar leads to hyperactivity in children and increases the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes later on in life, not to mention obesity. Children who are exposed to sugary drinks also tend to reject breast milk preferring the juices that are filled with empty calories.
3 Too Much to Wear
There are times babies develop rashes that we try to treat with various ointments without success. These rashes tend to appear around the babies neck and on his back at times. This situation often arises from children who are overdressed.
While it is advisable to put one extra layer of clothing than you are wearing on the baby to prevent exposure to the elements, excessive dressing leads to heat rashes and can even lead to dehydration. According to Parentune, the baby should be dressed warm but hot and if rashes appear on his body, it may be time to peel off a layer of clothing.
2 Letting Him Cry it Out
Babies grow up so fast and before one knows it, that helpless infant is a teenager with an attitude. The same child we found too demanding as an infant now cannot be bothered to even give us a hug. Mothers should hold and console their babies when they can because time flies by quite fast.
WebMD says that some mothers believe that holding a baby when he cries will spoil him or make him dependent. It is these mothers who believe in letting the baby cry it out as a way to train him. Babies need to bond emotionally with their mothers and letting him cry it out is emotionally devastating for the baby.
1 Children Feeding Children
No matter how busy a mother is, having a child feed or hold the feeding bottle is not recommended. When a grown-up is feeding the baby, she will notice when the baby isn't swallowing and will even know at what angle the bottle should incline to ensure that the milk does not go the wrong way.
Children are not endowed with this knowledge and according to Strong4life, in case the child is struggling, he will not notice or even be able to help him. Despite the numerous warnings against this practice, mothers still allow their babies to hold the bottle as they finish a chore or two.