14 Common Things You Should Never Do To Your Baby!
7 mins read
Care for Baby
Babies can be a handful, which is why the people in your life can't stop giving advice on how you should take care of your bundle of joy. But have you ever wondered what you shouldn't be doing to your baby? Read on...
14 Common Things You Need To Avoid with Babies
Don't use your smartphone while nursing
Breastfeeding can actually be a relaxing time for the new mom – we are sure lots of well-meaning relatives must have told you that. Well, the only thing we are warning you against is this – relaxation does not mean using your smartphone! Research has proven that when you are nursing your baby, you must give all or most of your attention to him or her. Using your smartphone or doing any other activity will have a negative impact on the bond between you and your little one. This is because a mom distracted by her phone could be ignoring important messages from her baby. Also, using a smartphone means you may be exposing baby to harmful radiation.
Watch: How to Care for a Newborn
Don't leave your baby alone in the bath tub
No matter what, never leave your baby unattended in the bath tub. It takes less than 60 seconds for a baby to drown in less than an inch of water. So if somebody is at the door or you hear the phone ring, wrap your baby in a warm cloth and take him with you. Also, make sure you use mild soap in limited quantity – too much soap can dry out baby's soft skin.
Don't burp your baby too hard
To burp your baby, make sure you always pat softly on his or her back. Experiment with different positions to figure out which is comfortable for you and your baby. Make sure you are not too soft though. The trick is to be firm yet gentle. Check out our guide on how to burp your newborn baby here.
Don't ignore a crying baby
A baby can only communicate by crying before he learns to speak. Studies has proven that when infants cry for long periods, they have abnormally high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and lower growth hormones. This limits the development of nerve tissue in the brain, which in turn suppresses growth and depresses the immune system. However, the best thing to do is to prevent the baby from crying in the first place. To do that, pay attention to signals like restlessness and frowns, and remove the cause for discomfort.
Don't miss an appointment
Even if your baby is in the pink of health, always pay a visit to the pediatrician as scheduled. And if baby is suffering from some health condition, visit the doctor immediately instead of attempting self-diagosis and self-medication. Remember, the best way to reduce worrying is to know exactly what is wrong – so that you can fix it.
Don't keep diapers on for too long
Diapers should be changed before or after each feed, after baby has pooped, or when they are wet. Disposable diapers absorb moisture better than cloth diapers, making it tough to gauge their wetness until they're completely soaked. Make sure you use a clean finger to check for wetness every couple of hours. As a general rule, change baby's diaper every two to three hours. Even if your baby is not uncomfortable, leaving a dirty diaper on for too long can cause diaper rash.
Much like their ears, babies' noses take care of the cleaning on their own. However, if your baby gets a cold, use a bulb syringe or nasal aspirator to suck up the mucus from the nose. Never use a tissue or your finger as it could push the mucus further up the nose or damage nasal membranes. For an easier experience, use saline nasal drops first. Sure, the baby won't like any of this, but it has to be done. A clear nose ensures easier feeding, sleeping and breathing.
Don't make baby sleep on his side or stomach
If your baby is sleeping on his side or stomach, you are increasing the risk of SIDS. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the death of a seemingly healthy baby that is less than a year old. It is also known as crib death because the babies often pass away in their cribs. Although the cause of SIDS is unknown, researchers have identified some measures to prevent it. One of the most important measures is ensuring that your baby sleeps on his or her back.
Don't shake the baby
What do you do if your baby just doesn't stop crying? No matter what you do, never shake him. In fact, don't do this even when you are playing with him. Babies have heavy heads and very weak neck muscles. When a baby is shaken forcefully, the head rotates uncontrollably. The movement bounces the brain inside the skull, and may cause it to bruise or bleed. This can cause blindness, learning problems, brain damage, even death.
Don't neglect oral health
You don't have to wait for baby's teeth to come in to maintain oral hygiene. After every feeding, wipe the gums with a soft, warm and wet cloth. When the baby is one, use a baby brush and fluoride free toothpaste until your baby learns how to spit. Once teeth have erupted, don't give your baby milk in bed as it will increase the risk of cavities.
Don't let anyone kiss your baby on the mouth
Do not let anyone kiss your newborn baby's lips even if they appear to be perfectly healthy. By allowing them to do so, you are exposing them to the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-I). This virus can be fatal for babies under three months.
Don't touch baby's hands
Babies often put their hands in their mouths. So if people are touching your baby, it's the same as them putting their hands in his or her mouth. If they want to touch your baby, let them know that the hands are off-limits. In situations where it is not possible to do that, wipe your baby's hands with wet wipes immediately.
Don't leave your baby alone with your pet
Even if your cat or dog is gentle and has a good bond with your baby, never leave your baby alone with them. The gentlest pet can suddenly become territorial and rough. Also, pets can pass on diseases like rabies and ringworm, so don't let baby get too close until your pet has been treated by the vet. Pet proof baby's crib so that your pets cannot jump in and scare the baby.
Lastly, don't ignore your intuition
There is so much parenting advice available both online and offline that it is easy to get confused and be unsure. However, as a parent, you will always have a force within to guide you – your intuition. If you feel something is wrong with your baby, regardless of what everyone else says, do not ignore it. Remember this - nobody knows your baby better than you, and the paediatrician's judgment is the final word.
Do you know of any other common practices that can harm babies? Let us know in the comments below.