When moms are preparing to welcome their little ones, they focus a lot on figuring out how to care for them. But sometimes, it's just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do.
For example, moms have to learn a lot about how to feed the baby, whether they are breastfeeding or bottle feeding. But to fully understand it, they have to know to avoid heating the bottle in the microwave and why it's important to not leave the bottle in the crib with the baby. There are a lot of details that might get overlooked, and some of them could have tad results.
While there is a lot of information and advice that can come from family and friends, we trust the advice that comes from pediatricians. Yet, in those first few months, moms can get so caught up that they might forget a few questions or miss the warnings at the doctor's office. This guide might help in allowing them understand those very important don'ts and maybe even keeping the mom and the baby from some heartache and a lot of stress.
Here are 20 things moms shouldn't do with the newborn, backed up by pediatricians.
20 Honey Is A Big No-No
Once the baby is old enough to try solid foods, pediatricians encourage parents to let their little one try a diverse array of nutritious foods. But moms who are tempted to go really natural in their food preparation need to skip one ingredient that they might be tempted to add for sweetness. Honey is a don't when it comes to the baby.
While there are a lot of benefits to kids and adults eating local honey, a baby can get infant botulism. Before the first birthday, the baby's immature digestive system doesn't have the ability to deal with the bacteria, so honey can make the baby really sick. Pediatricians recommend that moms skip the sweetener at least until the baby's first birthday.
19 Don't Put The Baby To Sleep On Her Stomach
Until about 20 years ago, pediatricians didn't talk a lot about the dos and don'ts of how to put the baby to bed. But research has shown that moms shouldn't put the baby to sleep on her stomach, and since pediatricians started talking about the risks, the number of SIDS cases has gone down drastically.
The Back To Sleep campaign has made a big difference in improving health, so most doctors are quick to let parents know that they should not put the baby in the crib on her stomach, even though some babies sleep better that way. It's not worth it, and doctors don't have a problem telling parents how risky it is.
18 Unnecessary Antibiotics
These days, people are used to instant solutions. From quick internet searches on our phones to being able to order groceries delivered in an hour, parents have high expectations to get things done quickly. And they expect the pediatrician to be able to get the baby well right away.
Many times, parents don't want to leave the doctor's office without a prescription, but antibiotics don't do anything to help viruses like the flu or a cold. In fact, they can cause issues of antibiotic resistance. Pediatricians don't like to prescribe unnecessary medications, no matter what the parent thinks that their child needs.
17 No Blanket Needed
We have several entries related to the baby's sleep, since it's a big part of their day — and if parents do something they shouldn't, it could end with bad results. Doctors have figured out a lot more about how to create a safe sleeping environment for the baby in recent years, so they want parents to know that the way that their parents did it is not safe enough.
While swaddling might be good for the baby in the first week or two, babies don't need blankets to feel comfortable in bed. While moms might like to snuggle up with a blanket, it can be really dangerous for the baby. Even though blankets come in many crib sets, they shouldn't be in the crib with the baby.
16 No Water Bottles
In today's world of health consciousness, many people walk around all day with water bottles, being sure to get in their eight glasses of H2O. So they think that their baby needs some water as well, but it's not necessary, and it can actually hurt the baby's health.
You might think that there isn't such a thing as too much hydration, but the baby has enough water, especially if he/she is breastfed. If the doctor recommends some more water, then pay attention, but most of the time, the milk has enough, and if the baby drinks water, he/she won't drink the milk that is needed.
15 Don't Introduce Food Before Four Months
A lot of moms try to rush baby's milestones, but that can be harmful. Most babies aren't ready for solids until they reach six months old, although some show interest and readiness as early as four months. Pediatricians discourage moms from adding anything solid before that, except in special circumstances that involve swallowing issues.
Some parents have heard that adding rice cereal to a bottle can help the baby sleep longer at night, but there are other studies that show that it could cause issues with digestion, so it's best to wait. The baby's nutrition before his first birthday should come from breastmilk or formula, so moms don't need to rush it.
14 Doctors Say No To Co-Sleeping
There are a lot of natural parenting trends that doctors don't agree with these days. One of them is co-sleeping. There are some people who believe that having the baby in the bed allows mom to get better sleep while supporting breastfeeding and bonding, but doctors don't support it.
There are a lot of risks having the baby in the bed. While there are some precautions that can minimize the risk, doctors instead recommend room-sharing, where the baby is in the room and close for nursing but in his/her own safe sleep space. That way the risks are down but the reward is still there.
13 Don't Overdress The Baby
Moms can tend to overdo it when it comes to trying to be a great mom. They worry about their little one getting cold, and the truth is that it can be a problem for the first week or so of life when the baby is just getting used to regulating his/her body temperature. But while the baby is bundled up in the hospital, moms need to be careful about overdressing them when they come home.
Pediatricians warn parents that if they put too many clothing items on the baby, then he/she can get overheated and may even get sick from it. Doctors recommend that parents think about their own comfort and maybe add a little bit extra for the baby. Watch out for red faces and crying and adapt until the baby is comfortable.
12 Don't Panic Over A Fever (After The First Three Months)
Pediatricians have to deal with a lot of parent freak-outs. That's especially true when a newborn gets sick. Any trace of temperature can be scary, especially for a first time mom, but after the first three months, the doctor doesn't want mom to stress out.
A low-grade fever can be a good sign that the body is fighting an illness, and it can help the baby to get better. While it can be distressing at first, after the first few months, moms don't need to freak out until the fever tops 102 or sticks around for several days.
11 Don't Let Baby Sleep Through A Feeding (In The Beginning)
There's an old saying to never wake a sleeping baby. But doctors disagree, especially in the first couple of months. One of the biggest struggles in the beginning is getting the baby to grow and thrive, and that means that mom might need to wake up the baby in order to get the feedings in.
Newborns can be very sleepy, and they might nod off while nursing, in the first several weeks. But moms need to make sure that the baby gets in a good session each time, even if it means stripping the baby down and rubbing a wet washcloth on them to keep them awake. Good feedings help stave off jaundice and get the baby back to hi/her birthweight, plus they help a new mom boost her milk supply. After a few weeks, it's OK to let the baby sleep longer, but moms need to dictate the schedule in the very beginning.
10 No Trips Out During Flu Season
Illnesses can be common for babies, but they can be very dangerous as well. That's why doctors ask parents to do their best to protect their little one in the first few months of life. That's why they say moms shouldn't take the baby out to crowded places during outbreaks of the flu.
Babies are vulnerable to getting really sick from seasonal viruses. Sometimes it's impossible to avoid germs, but if it means the baby will remain healthy, then staying home would certainly be worth it.
9 Don't Leave The Baby During A Bath
Bath time can be really fun for mom and for baby, especially once the baby starts to enjoy splashing around and enjoying the water. But it can also be very dangerous. One of the most important rules for bath time, according to pediatricians, is to never leave the baby unsupervised, not even for a moment.
It can be difficult to make sure that you have all the supplies needed for the baby. And there are distractions that can happen. But bad things can happen in only a moment, so moms have to be sure to be ready and alert at all times when it is bath time.
8 Don't Say No To Vaccines
This is a very controversial topic in some mommy circles. But while some parents don't agree, all pediatricians are in favor of sticking to the vaccination schedule. Research has proven that immunizations can protect children from a number of things.
Moms might be divided on the issue of vaccines, but pediatricians are not divided at all on this issue — they know that vaccines save lives.
7 Don't Heat The Bottle In The Microwave
Babies like their milk warm, just like it is when it comes from mama. But it's not always possible for mom to be there or to nurse. Thankfully, moms can offer bottles of either breastmilk or formula, but they don't always have it warm. That's where the doctor's warning comes in — don't heat the milk int he microwave.
Microwaves can heat a lot quicker than anyone can imagine, and that isn't safe for a baby. Instead, the bottle should be heated by boiling water and placing the bottle in the middle. Even then, parents should test the water to make sure it isn't too hot.
6 No Cow's Milk Before The First Birthday
Breastmilk isn't always available, and formula is incredibly expensive. So moms might be tempted to give the baby cow's milk. But that is a bad idea for a lot of reasons. It's definitely not a replacement for breastmilk or formula, since the latter two have a lot of nutrients that aren't available in cow's milk.
On top of that, doctors say that moms should not give the baby cow's milk at all before the first birthday. Even after that some babies' immature digestive systems can't process the milk well. Some do better with goat's milk or soy milk at first. It can take a while for the tummy to be ready for cow's milk.
5 No Coat In Car Seat
Car seat safety is really important for newborns. That's why pediatricians stress the need to always buckle the baby in an approved car seat. And it's important that the baby does not have a coat on in a car seat.
Recent incidents have proven that coats can interfere with the safety of the car seat. They break the seal of the coat to the body, and some babies have actually slipped out of their seats at very high speeds because of their coat. Instead, parents should take off the coat and after tightening the car seat straps, they can cover the baby with a blanket.
4 Don't Skip Tummy Time
One of the earliest instructions from the doctor when the baby goes home from the hospital is to have tummy time every day. But most newborns don't exactly enjoy that part of their day. They usually cry when they are left alone on their tummies on the ground, so many moms are tempted to skip the daily routine.
But tummy time is important for building the baby's neck and back muscles, which eventually help him reach the milestone of turning over and then sitting up. Tummy time is integral to the baby's development in so many ways, so moms can try some things to make it more pleasant, such as allowing the baby to have tummy time by laying on mom's chest. But they shouldn't skip it.
3 Don't Worry About Daily Baths
There are a lot of parts of baby's life that are important to his/her routine. But bath time doesn't have to happen every day. In fact, some pediatricians stress that it can be better to give a bath every two to three days, especially in the winter time when skin can get drier.
While it is important to clean the baby's diaper area really well with each changing and it's a good idea to clean the folds in baby's skin, especially the neck with a wipe, most babies don't get all that dirty. Their natural oils can help protect their skin, and daily baths might take that away. Plus, bath time can be stressful, so moms shouldn't worry and just bathe the baby every other day.
2 Don't Worry About Spoiling The Baby
Grandparents are always warning moms that they shouldn't hold the baby all the time because it could spoil them — all the while planning to spoil them themselves at every opportunity. But the pediatricians know that parents don't need to worry; they can respond to their baby right away and never spoil them.
Research has proven that it's impossible to spoil a newborn. It's also been proven that it's better for moms to respond to their baby quickly. It's just fine to hold the baby to your heart's content, and it's doctor approved.
1 Don't Leave The Bottle In The Crib
A lot of newborns fall asleep while they are eating. So it's tempting, once the baby can hold his/her own bottle, to place the baby in the crib with her bottle to go to sleep. But doctors don't recommend it.
There are lots of reasons why leaving the bottle in the crib is a don't, including the truth that moms should supervise their babies to make sure that they don't choke. But one thing that many parents don't think about is the baby's teeth. Even before the teeth are showing, it's important to clean the mouth out every day to get germs out, and that is even more important once the teeth have started to arrive, so they don't decay. It is possible for a baby to get cavities even before the first birthday, so it's important to start brushing before bed — and not putting the bottle in the crib — as part of the daily routine.