Parents have a lot of different opinions about how to live their lives and take care of their kids. But as much as many options are available these days, doctors aren't always on board with the decisions of today's young moms.
From the trend of moms using a corset to get back their waist in the postpartum period to ditching the stroller and wearing the baby, young moms are doing it differently than a lot of women did in the past. There are some benefits to the new trends, which is why they are becoming so popular, but moms might not be aware of the doctor's take.
There are times when doctors are behind on research for the latest fads, but many times they are basing their recommendations on sound research that has revealed some dangers that moms might not be aware of. Their recommendations — and decisions not to recommend things — can help parents make the best decisions to keep their kids safe. The baby's safety and health are the most important, and that should beat out any trend or fad in a new mom's mind.
Here are 20 things young moms should know are not approved by doctors.
20 Doctors Don't Support Co-Sleeping
There are a lot of people who support co-sleeping — but doctors are not among them. The practice has become more prevalent in recent years as part of the attachment parenting movement, and advocates say that it's a great way to bond with the baby, get more sleep and promote breastfeeding. But doctors don't approve.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has come out against the idea, stressing the fact that co-sleeping increases the risk of accidents since there is a possibility the baby could be smothered by a blanket, rolled over onto, or fall off the bed.
Instead, doctors recommend that parents share a room with the baby at the beginning to allow for breastfeeding but still give baby his own safe place to sleep.
19 Unnecessary Antibiotics
Parents often rush their little ones to the doctor at the first sign of the sniffles. Understandably, they want their baby to be healthy and hate to watch them battle a cold or any other illness. But many times the parents don't want to leave without a prescription, and doctors don't always recommend medication.
Antibiotics are great for helping the baby through a bacterial infection such as an ear infection. But if the illness is from a virus, antibiotics won't do any good. In fact, over-prescribing antibiotics have been tied to more virulent diseases that are resistant to the medication. Doctors are trying to be more selective these days, but often their patient's parents get upset about it.
18 Over-Scheduling Kids
There are high expectations for kids these days, and often that means that they spend a lot more time on activities than they did before. In fact, the concerns about over-scheduling activities for kids has gotten so bad that the American Academy of Pediatrics has a new recommendation for doctors to pass on to parents — be sure to schedule in some time for playing.
While it might seem frivolous to some parents, playtime is really important for children. It helps them develop language, learn to socialize with others, pursue goals and manage stress. Plus, kids need a chance to think creatively and have fun. Piano lessons and scouts can be great, but playing is also important to developing healthy, happy, smart kids.
17 Essential Oils Require Caution
A lot of women swear by the healing and relaxing powers of essential oils these days. But doctors aren't on board with using the products on babies and children since they haven't been fully tested.
While a diffuser with oils might help with stuffy noses, doctors caution that it's possible that the oils could interact with prescribed medications or cause issues for kids with certain health conditions.
Parents should also be careful when placing oil on the skin of a child since kids have thinner, more porous skin and might react differently. The concentration of oils that can be safe for an adult isn't necessarily OK for kids. And of course, parents need to make sure that their children don't ingest oils or touch a hot diffuser. Many doctors are supportive of natural remedies, but they don't approve of going forward without guidance.
16 Getting Their Shots
Vaccinations can be a touchy subject these days. For the last decade or so, parents have worried that their little ones might be getting too many immunizations, even though a report that linked the shots to autism has since been debunked. But doctors do not approve of skipping the vaccination schedule.
The issue has caused some doctors to drop patients, as they try to make a point about the health implications. Some places across North America have had outbreaks of measles — a disease that was once nearly wiped out — because of the drop in immunization rates.
And many doctors stress the need for the flu vaccine among children, as youngsters are often the ones who get the sickest and some even die because of the disease. Doctors don't approve of skipping out since it only puts the child's health at risk.
15 Hand Sanitizer Isn't Best
Doctors definitely want moms to keep germs away from the baby, but many moms go overboard. In fact, doctors don't recommend that moms use hand sanitizer all the time, as it isn't actually the best for the little one.
Hand washing is really important, but skipping it in favour of hand sanitizer can be dangerous. For one, researchers say that the overuse of sanitizers can increase bacterial resistance, which means that germs can get more virulent over time. And the baby might end up with a weakened immune system if he isn't exposed to any germs at all.
Another concern for babies is that they put just about everything in their mouth. That could mean that the baby gets poisoned if there is sanitizer on his hands or toys. It usually dissolves pretty quickly on the parents' hands. But for some little kids, some parents started to send it to school in bookbags, and some kids decided to taste it since it looks so cool. It's not worth the risk, especially since practicing good hand washing is just as effective.
14 Don't Skip Supplementing
Breastfeeding a newborn is a really difficult task. Even the most prepared and motivated moms might not have the easiest time in the beginning. And even if the baby is latching well and the mom is doing all that she should, it's possible that her milk might not come in quickly enough to allow the baby to grow and thrive.
While some people say that giving the baby a bottle can be a problem since the only way to increase supply is to nurse, doctors, don't approve when moms skip a recommendation to supplement. If the baby is showing signs of dehydration in those early days after the birth, things could go downhill quickly.
Some babies have passed while their mothers thought that they were providing enough nutrition by breastfeeding, so it's critical to listen to the doctor in these situations. Moms can pump while the baby takes a bottle or try other methods to increase their supply, but they shouldn't skip supplementing for the baby's sake.
13 It's OK To Walk Away
When a new mom welcomes her baby, many have hopes that they will be the perfect mother. They can't imagine not responding to their baby's cries. But doctors don't approve of that. In fact, they want moms and dads to know that they can walk away from their baby when they start to feel frustrated.
Being a parent has its amazing moments, but there are times when it is really hard. That's especially true if the baby develops colic, which is a condition where the baby cries for hours and the parents can't do anything to make them happy. It can be really tough to get through those frustrating evenings (since colic is at its worst in the evenings).
But doctors believe it is safer for a parent to put the baby down when the frustration rises. Put her in a safe space such as the crib and go collect yourself. You can come back renewed and better able to handle the situation. If not, parents have been known to accidentally shake the baby, which can have worst-case results. Doctors don't approve of going to the edge, so they say parents should walk away when they need to.
12 Postpartum Corset Concern
A century or so ago, women would be back in corsets within weeks of giving birth. Somehow, the trend has returned. A growing number of women want to get back into shape quickly, and they are taking a cue from the Kardashians by using waste trainers to do it. But doctors don't approve, and they are warning moms about the dangers.
There are some benefits to using a tool to support the stomach area after the birth, especially for women who have had a C-section or who are having lower back pain or diastasis recti. But compression corsets can be really problematic. Too much compression can hinder healing, and that doesn't do a mom in the postpartum period any good.
Doctors recommend moms do what they can to make sure that they are OK and the baby is growing and thriving. The baby weight will go in time; there's no reason to rush.
11 Sugar Issue
Setting good eating habits early is really important for moms. But when you are introducing foods to the baby, it can be really exciting to let them enjoy some of your favorites — and the smash cake is awesome. Often times moms get back into old habits, but doctor's don't approve when moms allow for a lot of sugar in their children's diets.
Sugar is obviously tied to childhood obesity, and it increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes as well as other metabolic issues. While moms are usually careful to keep soft drinks away from kids, some doctors say that even juice should be avoided. Kids' taste buds are set when they are young, so it's important to do what you can to combat the sweet tooth early and make sure that your child has healthy eating habits for life.
10 Baby Walkers Aren't A Good Idea
There are tons of gadgets and baby gear that parents think their little ones need. But some aren't so great for the baby, and doctors recently started warning parents that they should stop buying walkers and bouncers. That's because research has shown that more than five injuries happen each day in the United States because of those contraptions.
Parents picked up on the problem of walkers around stairs more than a decade ago, but it isn't enough to put a gate up. Researchers say that walkers give babies mobility and speed before they are ready, and they don't have the ability to stop themselves.
Walkers also don't do anything to help the baby learn to walk. In fact, doctors have found that they can delay motor and even mental development. Thus, doctors don't recommend them.
9 Playground Slide Warning
There is nothing sweeter than spending time playing with your children. But young moms need to know that there are some risks that they might never imagine. It's not a matter of worrying about falls from the monkey bars, although those do happen. Something as simple and beautiful as going down the slide with the baby on your lap can be a problem.
After a few bad situations in recent years, doctors have said that they don't approve of lap sitting on the slide. That's because the baby's leg could get trapped between the mom's leg and the side of the slide. Some babies have ended up with broken legs. Of course, moms and babies should play together — it's good for them both and amazing for the relationship. But they need to be careful.
8 Vegan Diets Are Risky For Babies
The vegan diet is a big trend for health-conscious millennials. But doctors don't condone the idea for babies or young children.
Although it's possible to get pretty close to vegan in what the baby eats once he starts consuming solids, parents need to be really careful because of the possibility that the child could be missing out on nutrition that he needs.
A baby's diet needs to have a high complement of protein and fat, and while vegetables and fruits and fibres are good for them, it's not OK to leave out the other parts. Fats, especially healthy fats, help with brain development, so moms don't want to skimp on those needs.
Vegan parents definitely need to consult with a nutritionist as they introduce solids to the baby, and the doctor needs to be on board to be sure that the baby gets the nutrition that he needs.
7 Don't Tough It Out With PPD
These days, moms are a lot more aware of the issues that can come with postpartum depression.
But there are still a lot of women who don't want to admit that they have a problem. They have dreamed about this precious time with their newborn, and they can't admit to themselves that they are struggling emotionally after the birth. But doctors don't approve of trying to tough it out.
Both obstetricians and pediatricians have checklists to try to detect postpartum depression. That's because it is so important for moms to get help. The issues are caused by hormonal shifts, and often medication and therapy can go a long way to helping. Mom's mental health can end up hurting the mom and the baby, and so doctors want moms to get the help that they need.
6 Truth About Fevers
The first time that a baby has a fever, his mom is likely to freak out. And if it happens in the first three months, that is an appropriate response.
But a toddler doesn't need to be rushed to the emergency room with a 100-degree fever (most of the time), so doctors don't recommend that moms panic. In fact, they think that it's a good thing for a baby to have a low-grade fever since that means his immune system is fighting the infection.
No mom wants to watch her baby suffer through an illness, and we understand the concern about fevers. But doctor's don't recommend using fever-reducing medicine until it reaches a certain temperature. That can allow the body to do the work. But if the temperature gets about 103, then the baby needs immediate attention. It's a fine line, so talk to the doctor if you have questions.
5 Spanking Is A Bad Idea
Discipline is a tough topic. Some older generations think that millennial moms are too lax on their kids, but that doesn't mean that they should use corporal punishments. Doctors don't recommend spanking as a punishment because it isn't as effective or as healthy for the child as choosing other methods.
The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a new recommendation in 2018 that strengthened its position against swats or spanks. In fact, they said that the disciplinary strategy doesn't help and it doesn't teach children how to regulate their behaviour. According to surveys, new moms are less likely to spank their children, and doctors say that is a good thing.
4 Crying It Out Shouldn't Happen Early
There is a lot of debate about the idea of letting the baby cry it out. The sleep training method can be seen as cruel by some, but doctors don't have as much of a problem with it, as long as the baby is four to six months old.
Before the four-month mark, many babies still need to be fed every four hours or so (more often in the first two months), but after that, they should be able to sleep for six or so hours at a stretch.
Recent research shows that graduated extinction sleep training (leaving the baby for slightly longer stretches of time) doesn't have any long-term impacts on the baby. A year later, they had about the same level of attachment and emotional issues as babies who did not use that training. It's more a matter of what works for the parents and the baby.
3 Be Choosy Where Baby Sleeps
It might seem like mom's off duty when the baby takes a nap, but doctors know that it is actually one of the most important decisions that moms make. Babies can be very vulnerable when they are sleeping, so moms can't rest until they know that the baby is safe.
Many moms are aware of the Back to Sleep guidelines, which has helped to drastically reduce the amount of SIDS deaths in recent decades. Other than a tight swaddle in the first few weeks, the baby shouldn't have a blanket, pillows, or stuffed animals because they pose suffocation risks.
Recently, doctors have warned moms about letting their baby sleep in the car seat. It's possible that the baby could get in a position where the airway is blocked. Some babies have passed because of it, so pay attention to the warning.
2 Keep Baby-Wearing Safe
Many young moms these days skip the stroller on their baby registry. They would rather keep their baby close and wear them in a wrap or a sling. And doctors support that idea for the most part.
But there have been a number of fatal cases and way too many close calls that have caused doctors to warn moms baby-wearing. The issue isn't the baby wrap itself; it's how moms position the baby inside of it. They have to be very careful to make sure that the baby's airway is clear and that his neck isn't in a position where it could be hard for the air to get through. The mom needs to be very careful that the baby doesn't suffocate.
There can also be risks to overheating, and there is a danger to the baby's hips if the mom isn't careful about how she positions him in the infant carrier, which could eventually lead to problems learning to walk. It's OK to keep the baby close and enjoy baby-wearing, but doctors recommend that moms learn as much as they can before they try a baby wrap or sling.
1 Don't Push Baby Milestones
Moms worry. That's OK since it is part of their job to ensure the health and safety of their baby. But you can't enjoy parenthood unless you relax and allow the baby to experience his own journey.
Moms and dads are already thinking about how their baby can be at the top of the pack even when they are new, but doctors don't recommend competing for milestones. It's not going to help and might even hinder the baby's development and the mom's sanity.
It isn't time to worry if the baby isn't walking at nine months and he's not writing novels by his first birthday. It's perfectly normal for the baby to wait until 18 months to take the first steps. And while moms should alert the doctor about concerns for milestones, it's OK if your baby isn't the first in your friend group to clap his hands.
Some babies reach milestones on a different timeline, and that doesn't have anything to do with whether or not they will get into college. Doctors believe in early intervention for kids who struggle, but most of the time, parents should enjoy the journey instead of overanalyzing milestones.