Putting the care of a newborn into the hands of a relative stranger, regardless of their degree or competency—according to fellow moms—is not an easy feat for a new mother. It takes a lot of trust and even more patience since, for most new moms, the whole taking care of a baby thing, is new as well.
One can only hope that when embarking on the pediatrician-mom relationship, the pediatrician will respect the mom since she's probably a bit frazzled. They should do what whatever they can to make her feel comfortable part of their Hippocratic oath, but if not, there are bound to be a few things the baby doc might leave out; things that mom would, of course, want to know.
Well, we asked a few pediatricians if that ever happens to them, and surprisingly, they all said yes. (Hold on — it's not as bad as it sounds.) For many doctors of little humans, keeping things from mom is usually intended to save mom some worry or unnecessary self-reflection. Interested in what some pediatricians are leaving out of the exam room? Look no further, we've got it covered. Read on to find out 20 things pediatricians will never tell mom, that she would actually really want to know.
20 Fevers Are Not Always Bad
We know what you are thinking: but I read on the Internet that fevers can cause XYZ, and if the fever is over XYZ degrees then a baby... We know, we know. Hear us out first.
Despite the alarm, fevers are actually not all that bad, fevers happen when the body is fighting off infection. The idea is that as the body's temperature rises the heat will kill off any bacteria. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but in any case, moms ought to embrace that their little one's defense systems are working properly, less afraid that they have a slight temperature.
19 Colds Don't Happen Because It's Cold
If your child is sick, it's not because he or she was outside for 10 minutes in the cold. Despite the very common misconception, you may hear from your mother, grandmother, and any other nosy stranger that says please put a hat on that baby's head! "Viral illnesses such as colds come from the spread of germs—kids touching everything and then they touch their eyes, nose, and mouth," Dr. Bill Bush pediatrician-in-chief at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital says. "We see much more spread of illnesses in the wintertime when kids are all condensed into one small area for the entire school day." Hence the whole wintertime illness thing.
18 Stop Showing Up At The ER
Not everything warrants a visit to the emergency room, Mom. Okay, Timmy may have bumped his head on the living room coffee table, but that does not quite mean he needs a CAT scan.
Think of it this way, the ER has germs and can actually make your little one more sick. Instead, you may want to just monitor them to make sure your little one is acting themselves. If you notice anything strange, ring up the pediatrician or their emergency hotline for more advice (but more on that later on in the article). The pediatrician probably won't tell you this because they know you are just doing what you think is best.
17 Skip The Baby Powder
The truth is, baby powder can irritate a lot more than the skin on your baby. The A. Academy of Pediatrics indicates that baby powder can cause breathing trouble and serious lung damage for babies if they inhale the particles. So since it's really difficult to eliminate the tiny powder particles floating in the air when you're using it, it's better to just avoid using it altogether. Some talc-based powders can cause skin irritation, but what's worse is breathing problems. If baby powder is your solution to diaper rash, you may want to consider using a diaper cream instead, it does pretty much the same thing and keeps those lungs safe.
16 Little-Known Facts About The Flu Shot
Every year around the same time tons of commercials about the flu shot flood moms television and advertisements pop up at the local pharmacy. Doctors will tell you to make sure you get that flu shot for your little one if they are over a year old, but what the pediatrician won't tell you is that if you hold out until a certain time of the year (usually in spring), the flu shot is not totally necessary – since the flu season would have passed by then. Also, the flu shot does not always wor — it's flu shot is experimental. The CDC says that it only reduces the chances of getting influenza by 40 percent anyway.
15 Pacifiers Aren't All That Bad
We know you're worried, but pacifiers won't always cause bucked teeth. “Pacifiers are helpful, especially for babies who want to suck all the time and need comfort,” says Dr. Resham Batra. “Make sure it's not time for the baby to eat when giving a pacifier as it may lower the baby's hunger cues and the baby may miss out on a meal." Pacifiers can be a great soother for parents who want to stop a wailing baby, just try to wean them off of them before their teeth are too full grown, as with anything else, too much of a good thing can be bad.
14 They're Going To Get Sick... A Lot
It's okay if they get sick from time to time; try not to worry. We know it's hard. But pediatricians probably won't tell mom just how often little ones will get sick in their first year. The Health Center at the University of Utah states that children will get sick between eight and 12 times in their first year of life, usually after they turn 6 months old. This is because the immunity from mom wears off and they have to build up their own immune system. But this isn't something you did mom, actually, it's kind of a good thing. Germs are everywhere so they need to have some immunity to them.
13 But, They Won't Always Act Sick
Especially for toddlers, running around with a nose like a faucet may be the only telltale sign your little one is under the weather. So mom needs to keep a watchful eye on their little ones in order to tell whether or not a visit to the doctor is necessary. WebMD says that symptoms like fever, rash, or stomach bugs can be a good indicator that something may be up with your little one. So will runny nose, lack of sleep, or different eating habits like not wanting to eat or needing to nurse more frequently. But the thing is, with kids, things can be so unpredictable. The bottom line mom is that you know your little one best.
12 But, They Are Going To Get Mom Sick... A Lot
Have you ever seen those new mothers who are constantly sneezing or coughing? Sound like you? There's a reason for that. The constant touching and climbing on mom is going to get you sick as your little one is picking up bugs and building up his or her own immunity to bacteria. Sometimes baby illnesses will be something mom has already caught, but factor in lack of sleep and running around with a newborn all day, mom's immunity is bound to take a hit too. Stay hydrated and try to get some sleep. Pediatricians probably won't tell you this, but you may need to keep your own doctor on call as well.
11 Sleeping In Isn't A Thing
Unless you have been gifted some miracle child, kids don't sleep in. Ever. Sorry to say mom, but those days of 10am wakeups on Sunday mornings are over. If you weren't a morning person before, you may want to try your best to become one now. The Sleep Foundation says that children under 2 years old usually need anywhere from about 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night. If you are putting your child to bed around 8pm, you can imagine that he or she will be up and ready to go by 8am at the latest, but there's a caveat to this mom. The later you put them to bed the less sleep they may get.
10 What's Up With Their Hands Down Their Pants?
Notice your little guy or girl keeps tugging at their diaper and just won't get their hands out of their pants. It's normal. As uncomfortable as it may be for mom. Think of it as their way of exploring. Kids are interested in the newness that comes with discovering themselves. Moms all over seem to have this issue with their children having their hands down their pants, yet pediatricians rarely address this topic with moms before hand. Mom Jennifer says that footsie pajamas are the only way to prevent it. Buy footie pajamas, cut off the feet, put it on backward, zip, and snap. It works like a charm and will at least cut down on some of the exploration (along with less chaffing).
9 Still Breastfeeding?
There isn't really a 'perfect time to wean' despite what you may have heard. According to the A. Academy of Pediatrics, there is no cut-off age for breastfeeding. While it is true that breastfeeding a toddler is more often to comfort them than for actual nutritional purposes since by that age kids should be eating solids, deciding when and why to wean depends on mom and her relationship with her baby. Though breastfeeding should not interfere with a child's social development. This means a child should not be so dependent that they cannot function without breastfeeding and having mom close.
8 Diaper Brands
It really doesn't matter. Really. I really wish my pediatrician had told me that when I first had my son. I searched for hours for the "best diaper brand." I was a strictly Pampers mom for a long while when one day while shopping at my local wholesale store they were out of his size! I almost lost it, I whipped out my phone and read reviews on other brands and tried the one that had the most promising stories, he was fine. So were his clothes. In short, if your kid isn't developing a rash from diapers there really is no problem with using almost any available diaper brand. Cloth diapering is a good option, too.
7 Who Knows? We Don't
The frightening truth is that pediatricians don't always know what's wrong or why with little humans. Many pediatricians are plagued with the same issues we moms are, since our babies can't speak, they can't tell us what's wrong. So pediatricians, despite all their science background and years of diagnosis, can sometimes need a little help from mom to figure out exactly what is going on. Questions like "when did this start, how do they sleep, and what did they eat?" can be really helpful in ruling out any possible illnesses. Hang in there mom, they may not know everything. But they know a lot.
6 Take It Easy
The truth is, if you are a mom who is frantic and worried about your little one, chances are you are one of the good ones and are doing everything right, or at least as right as you can. "Try to take it easy," one pediatrician says as her advice to moms of little ones everywhere. "I want to tell you that you are too hard on yourself. That anyone can see how much you love your kids and how hard you are trying. I want to tell you to give yourself a break. To stop driving yourself bonkers trying to find just the right parenting method," says pediatrician Alison Escalante.
5 No Q-Tips!
Q-Tips just are not great for kids, or adults, it just packs the wax farther in the ear canal. Instead, the A. Academy of Pediatrics advises that moms use water during bath time to put a little water in their little one's ears to help the wax flow out naturally, then take a damp washcloth to clean it up. It may seem against the traditional method mom is used to using to clean even her own ears, and your pediatrician may not have mentioned it before, but yes, try to take it easy on the Q-tips, as tempting as it may be.
4 Meds Won't Always Work
Antibiotics don't always work, neither will certain meds, but pediatricians will prescribe them because it makes mom happy and they could potentially help calm a fussy child who has come down with the common cold. But really his or her illness should just run its course. We know mom, this may be tough to read, which is why pediatricians probably won't tell you that, because it may be even harder to hear. Most of what doctors will prescribe will just be something to ease your little one's discomfort while he or she is fighting off whatever it is they have.
3 It Really Is Okay To Call
Pediatricians may not tell you, but really it is okay to call, even when it's late, even on the weekend, even if it's just for really green snot. Things happen, and pediatricians know that being a parent is intimidating. So don't be too shy to give the baby doctor a phone call. It's part of their job to take calls. Most doctors offices have a late night hotline moms can call. All you need to do is ask the front desk at your baby's next appointment to make sure you can always get the help, advice, and best course of treatment you will need for your little one.
2 Allergies Are Hard To Determine
Sure pediatricians can run tests, but all by themselves, allergies can be really hard to determine... The thing is, pediatricians may not know exactly why your little one's tummy is prickly, or why their nose is chafing. Maybe it is the pet dander, maybe his skin is just growing. But did you know as well that children often outgrow a lot of the allergies they may be diagnosed with at birth? That being said, it may be worth moms while, to just experiment and keep note of what she's giving her little ones and try to revisit them later on if there is an acute reaction.
1 Behavioral Labeling Isn't Accurate
At least not always. The truth is different meds used when diagnosing patients with behavioral disorders can help out our friends, the pharmacists. Sorry, mom. Pediatricians will most definitely not tell you that. The thing is if your child is displaying different signs of a behavioral issue, you may want to consider all alternatives before administering meds. Things like learning environment to inner ear issues can all contribute to how your child may be carrying on at an early age. Disorders like O.D.D.–when your little one acts particularly defiant–are perhaps the most common, but there are a number of them.
References: Readers Digest, Parents Magazine, Dr. Resham Batra, M.D., A. Academy of Pediatrics, CDC , University of Utah, Web MD, Dr. Bill Bush, M.D. Kids Health, Better Health Channel.