There are numerous decisions that new moms and dads need to make when becoming a parent and many of them stretch far beyond what brand of carseat to purchase and what kind of birth plan to have.
There are many parenting habits out there that parents everywhere need to decide their stance on. Will you give your baby breastmilk or formula? Will you put the baby in her own crib or co-sleep? Parenting is full of making tons of important decisions that ultimately determine the fate of your children.
There are many habits that doctors have strong feelings towards and against. We are supposed to trust our doctors and take into consideration their advice. We have compiled a list of 20 parenting habits that some doctors disapprove of. Some of the things that the doc advises against are totally surprising, while a lot of them are understandable.
Your doctor’s goal is to keep your child healthy, happy, and safe, and many of the habits below can actually do the exact opposite. Some parents do whatever they want despite the docs advice, while others refuse to do anything that the doc is against.
Which of these habits do you practice in your home?
20 Skipping Well-Visits
All doctors agree that skipping your child’s well-visits is downright neglectful. Even if your child seems fine, there are many things your doctor looks at when giving your child a check up. Doc will assess your child’s emotional/physical development, look for any signs of developmental disorders, assess her eating/sleeping/playing habits and even check her vision and hearing. It is crucial to make sure your child, no matter what his/her age, is seen by the doctor. If a problem is caught early, it can give you and your child a chance to tackle the problem as soon as possible. It does not do your sweetie any good to skip out on seeing the doctor.
19 Bed Sharing
According to MarchOfDimes, your baby is the absolute safest being in his own crib or bassinet. We know snuggling with your little cutie sounds magical, but it can be deadly. Bed sharing puts your baby at risk for SIDS and other sleep dangers such as suffocation. Believe it or not, bed sharing is the most common death in babies, especially babies three months and younger. Bed sharing increases the risk of mom/dad rolling on top of baby, baby being suffocated by blankets/pillows, baby falling off of the bed, baby getting trapped by the bed frame/headboard and baby getting stuck between the bed and the wall, furniture or other objects. This is just something that doctors do not want you risking, plain and simple.
18 Taking A Puff
According to CDC, smoke can cause a lot of different health problems in children and infants such as: SIDS, respiratory infections, asthma attacks and ear infections. Doctors do not recommend mom and dad smoke because they could be setting their child up for numerous health problems. If smoking is a habit mom and/or dad cannot kick, there are ways to eliminate risks. CDC recommends not allowing anyone to smoke in the car and not smoking near or inside the home. Changing your clothes before coming back in from a smoke and always washing your face and hands can help keep those yucky cigarette chemicals away from the kiddos the best you can.
17 Feeding The Baby Solids Before Six Months
According to CafeMom, it is best to wait until your little one’s six-month birthday to introduce solids. We know how tempting it is to start baby on the path to solids, but it is best to wait. CafeMom states that waiting until the baby is six months lowers the risk of diabetes, ear infections, obesity, and gastroenteritis! Also, waiting until the baby is one year giving the cells lining your baby’s gut time to close and prevents allergies, gas, and medical issues. A bonus to waiting until your baby is six months is that it lowers her risk of choking! Your doc wants you to wait for good reasons.
16 Stuffed Animals And Blankets In The Bed
BabyCenter states that blankets, pillow like toys, quilts, crib bumpers, and other bedding increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and death by strangulation or suffocation. Although you may want to keep your little one company with some stuffed animals in the crib, the doctors beg yo not to. After your baby’s first birthday, the risk of dying from SIDS drops a lot due to your one year old being able to move objects from his face, roll over and sit up. After your little guy turns a year, it is okay to put a blanket or toy in the bed for comfort.
15 Juice Boxes
When it comes to juice, your little one should stay away from it for as long as possible. KellyMom states that there is, in fact, no nutritional benefit to give a baby juice. Juice may have contaminants and/or allergens that are unsafe for the baby. Juice is not recommended for infants under age one due to the risk of dental issues as well and the risk of juice replacing formula/breast milk feeds. After your little one turns a year old, it is best to limit juice and offer your child water when she is thirsty. When giving your kiddo juice (at the appropriate age) you should limit her intake to no more than 3-4 ounces of diluted juice per day.
14 Forward-Facing Too Soon
Rear facing, and forward facing have been a topic of debate for a long time. The truth is, keeping kids rear facing until they reach the height or weight limit of their seat is the new rule, according to ConsumerReports. Previously, the rule was age two was the golden age to flip that cutie around forward facing, but times have changed. There are no ifs, and's, or butts about it- rear facing as long as your kids car seat will allow will keep Jr safe. Hanging onto the car seat safety manuals is a great idea so you know how long you can keep your baby rear facing and safe for.
13 Too Much Television Time
According to HealthyChildren, screen viewing before your baby is a year and a half can have lasting negative effects on your child’s short term memory, sleep, attention, language development and reading skills. It is best to limit your child from 18 months until age 5 to one hour a day or less of screen time. We understand that sometimes mama needs a break, so an occasional movie here and there isn’t a bad thing as long as you do not make a habit out of replacing your presence with screen time. The doc does not want your child sitting in front of the tv for hours on end, so please don’t do it.
12 Refusing Vaccines
Vaccines have been another highly debated topic on the news and in mommy groups. The truth is, most doctors want your kiddo to get vaccinated, for good reasons. CaringForKids tells us that if you choose not to vaccinate your kid, you should seriously understand the risks. For example, if your little one gets polio it can result in permanent paralysis, or if she gets meningitis it can result in death or brain damage. Delaying or refusing vaccines for your child not only puts his life and health at risk, but it also puts others at risks such as newborns, the elderly, people with chronic medical conditions or weakened immune systems. You probably will find a doc or two out there that believes in not vaccinating, but the majority of doctors encourage it for good reasons.
11 Kissing The Baby On The Mouth
According to YouAreMom, kissing is not advisable due to the risk of harmful viruses and bacteria transmitted to the child. Our bodies are much stronger than theirs with a much greater immune system, and their bodies cannot handle the germs our bodies can. Doctors want everyone to stop kissing your baby. There are many infectious diseases that can get passed through kissing. You don’t want your baby to have the flu or even a dangerous cold sore that can turn deadly. We know how cute and sweet babies are, but kissing a baby on the mouth is a habit we must stop.
10 Relying Too Much On Google Or Mom Friends
Many moms swear by their mommy groups for advice and encouragement about a variety of topics. Us moms are also guilty of going to Google for a quick answer to a question. Although your mom friends and the internet can be helpful, it is best to not rely too much on them. If you have a question about your baby’s health, it is really important to ask the on call nurse or make an appointment to see the doctor. Your doctor is equipped to deal with a variety of issues and he knows and understands your baby’s medical history. It drives the doc crazy when moms swear by what their moms friends say instead of going to him first.
9 Letting The Baby Cry It Out
Many parents resort to the cry it out method based on recommendations from their friends or just pure desperation. PsychologyToday states that this is a terrible idea. When your baby becomes distressed it can cause her self regulation to become undermined, create a distorted stress reactivity pattern for her future, lack of trust, and damage to the neuronal interconnections. Of course, your baby will cry, but your doctor advises that this method is ditched. Your baby grows from being held and her body will become dysregulated when she is physically separated from mom/dad. Also, there are many long term effects of under care in babies.
8 Using Q Tips
According to PediatricSaftey, using a Q tip to clean your kiddo’s ears can cause problems because the Q tip actually pushes the wax deeper in toe canal which can result in their hearing being dulled which can impact speech and hearing! Also, there is the risk of puncturing the ear drum. To clean those ears, PediatricSaftey suggests using a wash cloth on the outer part of the ear. Doctors suggest ditching the Q tips altogether. This is something that most doctors will agree on, and it is best to steer clear of Q tips to eliminate future issues for your kiddo.
According to HealthyChildren, swaddling may decrease a baby’s arousal, which makes it harder for her to wake up. Decreased arousal can be a problem that may be on of the main reason’s babies die of SIDS. Also, swaddling can increase the risk of overheating and hip issues. Once baby is able to roll over, it is crucial that she stops being swaddled. According to BabyGooroo, swaddled infants who roll over are at an increased risk of SIDS or suffocation due to entrapment. There is also the risk of the swaddling blanket becoming unwrapped with can suffocate your baby
6 Formula Feeding
They say fed is best, but all doctors can agree that breast milk is a better option than formula. Some moms do not have a choice but to give formula due to health reasons of their own, tongue/lip tie of the baby and/or inadequate milk production. If mom does not have another choice, then the doc will understand, but if she simply chooses not to breast feed for no reason, it can raise some eyebrows. According to WomenFitness, formula fed babies have more frequent episodes of gastrointestinal ailment and even an elevated risk of developing breast cancer later in life. American baby formula also has been found to contain some yucky chemicals such as aluminum, MSG and silicon! Formula lacks the antibodies, enzymes, hormones, and good nutritional value that breast milk gives your baby. If you choose not to even attempt to breast feed/pump, your doc will probably give you a hard time.
5 Putting Rice Cereal In The Bottle
While your mother-in-law may swear by adding cereal to the baby’s bottle, docs suggest doing the opposite. HealthyChildren states that a baby’s digestive system is not able to process cereal until six months of age, and when she is ready to consume it, it should be done via spoon. It is also known that cereal added to the bottle can result in overfeeding your baby as well as putting your baby at a risk for allergies in the future. Many doctors will advise against rice cereal for obvious reasons. Sticking with breast milk/formula for baby’s first six months is advised.
4 Giving Your Kid's Junk Food
Kid love junk food, but doctors want you to instill healthy eating habits on your children rather than substitute good foods with junk. According to HealthyEating, consuming fattening junk food can be addictive to children and lead to low self-esteem, depression, chronic illness, and obesity. Junk food can even impact your child’s academic and extracurricular activities! There is nothing wrong with a treat once a day or a few times a week but substituting a healthy home cooked meal for McDonalds or a bowl of fruit for a fruit roll up can be dangerous. You know the saying “you are what you eat”, so make sure your kiddos are healthy!
3 Hovering Over Your Kid Too Much
We all want to protect, love, and guide our children for as long as we can, but there is a fine line between loving and smothering our children. According to Bustle, being too overprotective of our kids can result your child being bullied, becoming too dependent on you, rebelling, and having a higher risk of an anxiety disorder. Of course, you should not let your kids roam free every day, but doctors want you to make age appropriate choices for your kiddo. For example, your one year old may not be able to maneuver the playground climbing area by himself, but your four year old most likely can. There is no need to hover over your kiddos if they are able to do something for themselves. Letting your children make their own mistakes and gain independence is helpful for their future.
2 Allowing Video Games
Your little guy may love playing video games, but substituting reading, play time with friends, or sports with video games can be dangerous. According to RaiseSmartKids, video games can not only harm your child’s brain, but cause social isolation, impulsive behavior, increased violence, attention problems and increased aggressive thoughts and feelings. Also, video games can teach your kiddo wrong values and even lead to him becoming addicted to video games. That is not saying that doctors want you to never let your kids play video games, but it is best to limit the time they play and to be aware of what exactly they are playing.
1 Not Putting The Phone Down
Doctors want parents to stop spending so much time on their phones. According to TheNewAgeParents, when parents spend too much time on their phones, they are actually compromising the safety of their children by not keeping an accurate eye on them. They are also unable to meet the physical needs of their babies. Also, research has shown that developmental attention span in young children is impacted by the parents attention. Parents whose eyes wander during parent-child interaction due to technological distractions may be raising children with shorter attention spans. Also, it is known that when parents spend too much time on their phones that it can actually result in social awkwardness in their children as well as feelings of sadness and unimportance. The bottom line is that the docs want you to spend less time on your phones and more with your kiddos.
Resources: caringforkids.cps.ca, marchofdimes.org, consumerreports.org, pediatricsafety.net, womenfitness.net, cdc.gov, bustle.com, babycenter.com, psychologytoday.com, healthychildren.org, thenewageparents.com, healthychildren.org, healthyeating.sfgate.com, youaremom.com, healthychildren.org, babygooroo.com, Kellymom.com