When I had my first child, my mom and I CONSTANTLY disagreed on everything! Because I was a new mom, my own mom did not trust my judgement or knowledge whatsoever! I had such a hard time, trying to convince her that what I knew, was the NEW way of doing things and that some of the things she was trying to get me to do with my baby was the OLD way. Have you guys ever experienced this as new mom? Now that I have 4 kids, she trusts my judgement and sometimes, we just agree to disagree if you know what I’m saying? LOL! But, I can’t disregard her knowledge or experience. She has had 4 kids herself, so I can learn a lot from her. Keep reading if you want know the 5 old school baby tips you should never follow!
Putting Alcohol on the Umbilical Cord before it falls off
My mom and I has such a disagreement over this. She insisted that it is best to use a cotton tip swab and clean the area around the umbilical cord with alcohol to prevent infection and for it to fall off faster. According to my public health nurse, this method is no longer recommended and can actually cause irritation and delay healing.
The recommended way to care for the umbilical cord is to leave it alone and keep it clean and dry. Watch for signs of infection and make sure to fold the diaper down away from it. It’s also a good idea to expose the area to air so that it will dry out faster.
Applying baby powder to baby
My mom always tells me to apply baby powder to all those skin folds, like under the neck, on the legs…basically in-between all those cute chubby fat folds where moisture tends to build up and cause skin breakdown. And I tell her, “mom, that’s not recommended any more!” and then she tells me that she used to do that with us before and we turned out fine.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says differently. They have said that using baby powder can cause breathing problems and serious lung damage for babies if they inhale the products. Even small amounts can irritate the lungs and it’s especially dangerous for babies who are at high risk for respiratory illnesses. Babies at high risk include premature babies and babies with congenital heart disease.
If you still decide to use baby powder, use it in very small amounts, and apply it to your hands first and not directly to baby. Keep the baby powder out of baby’s reach as well. Or instead of using baby powder, ensure that all those skin folds are clean and dry. After a bath, make sure to dry well in-between those skin folds with the towel. I apply a small amount of diaper rash cream to those areas if they are prone to skin breakdown.
Bundling up baby and swaddling
After I had my first baby, I was taught to NOT over bundle the baby. For some reason, my mom likes to dress my baby up in multiple layers! (I still love you mom!) I mean…our house is pretty warm in the winter time and all I need is a t-shirt and I’m perfectly fine. So if I’m good in just a t-shirt, then that means my baby should be fine too.
The rule I’ve been taught is dress up baby as you would dress yourself. For some reason, my mom always thinks the baby is cold! (Sorry, mom again…) A good way to check your baby’s temperature is by checking the back of the neck. If the back of the neck feels nice and warm, then baby is at a good temperature.
Waiting until baby is crying to feed
My aunt would say, “she’s ok…she’s not crying yet.” Then I would say, “crying is a late sign of hunger, auntie!” LOL! Yes….my family members have good intentions, but they still go by the old ways! I have learned that we need to be aware of all the hunger cues. If the baby is fussy, moving their lips around or moving their arms around, they are most likely hungry. You don’t have to wait till they are crying to feed them. Crying is actually a very late sign of hunger. To learn more about hunger cues, check out this post by kellymom.com
Putting baby to sleep on the tummy
With my first baby, my mom used to put the baby to sleep on her tummy. I would then, quickly turn her onto her back. Maybe 30 years ago, having baby sleep on his or her tummy was acceptable, but it’s not anymore. For tips on safer sleep, click here.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom and she has a lot of good advice too! I know she means well and only wants the best for my kids! She has helped me so much with them and they all love her so much! It’s just that some of her knowledge is a bit outdated! If you are unsure of the right thing to do, check with your public health nurse or your family doctor!
What baby tips do you disagree with?
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