Are you doing more harm to your baby than you realise? Here’s what you should stop doing right now!

Having a baby is a wonderful, wonderful thing. You want to give your baby everything, even the moon if he points at it. But how much of what you are doing for your baby is good for him? In fact, what are the things that can really harm your baby? Even the most innocuous-looking things can be really bad for your baby. 

Excessive swaddling

You have been told that your baby’s thermoregulation is really bad so you go ahead and swaddle your baby as much as you can. You put his feet in socks, you put a cute hat on his head and you wrap him up like you gift wrap things. We get that you have his best interests on your mind, but the truth is, so much swaddling can actually overheat your baby. Babies that overheat, or are unable to lose the body heat through their heads because you put a cap on them, are at higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome or even severe respiratory issues. 

Milk and Juices

If you want to supplement your baby’s diet with juices, make sure you only give them freshly squeezed juice and not something that comes in a tetra pack. These have fewer nutrients than fresh juice, and almost always come with a great deal of added sugar that may not be good for the baby. 

Also, be careful about the supplementary milk you give him. We may have been given cow’s milk as children, but that was likely because its effects had not been studied back then. Now, it is believed that cow’s milk has excessive nutrients that are not necessarily good for your child. Plus there is a chance for allergies from cow’s milk. 

Making the baby sit too soon

We know the temptation to make your baby sit up is really strong. The motivations could be anything, from photographing him in his new wardrobe to making eye contact with him. But you have to realise that it is really bad for your baby. See, babies go through a series of developmental milestones before they learn to sit. During these milestones or steps, his body learns to support his movements. He will only sit when his spine and surrounding organs are able to support his head. Forcibly making him sit before that will put undue pressure on his spine and may cause serious developmental issues. 

Walkers and Jumperoos

Walkers and jumperoos are supposed to help your child walk. But the posture that the baby’s body is forced into is really not good for his spine and bones. There is a good chance that this will put excessive pressure on the baby’s spine and hips and may even lead to deformed feet. Plus, your baby doesn’t have the motivation to walk on his own any more so it’s possible that walking, which is a very important milestone, may be delayed because of this. In fact, countries like Canada have already banned walkers and jumperoos. 

Loud, bright toys

Your baby’s vision takes a long while to really develop. Giving him brightly coloured toys that make a lot of noise (think of that one toy we all had – the clown with a drum) often overstimulate your baby’s brain. This can lead to changes in sleep pattern and irritability in the baby. Another concern is soft toys that have a lot of ‘fur’. That teddy bear you get your baby might have a lot of fine ‘hair’ that can get into your baby’s nose or mouth and could lead to infections. 

Phones and tablets

It is common for a lot of parents to prop a camera or tablet in front of the baby with bright videos and music to calm them down. Your baby will be naturally attracted to the lights and sound and you might get respite from a crying baby or be able to do something else while the baby is engaged. But please realise that exposure to the blue screen of a gadget at a very early age can cause retinal damage in the baby. Spending too long in front of gadgets instead of interacting with you might also cause damage to the frontal lobe that is responsible for speech and communication. 

Microwaving the baby’s bottle

As tempting as it is, do not microwave the baby’s plastic bottle even if it says it is microwave safe. Plastics leach chemicals that can be really bad for the baby. In addition, microwaving a bottle can cause ‘hot spots’ within the milk which can scald your baby even when you think it is perfectly lukewarm milk. 

Seatbelts

So this has more to do with safety before the baby is born. Wear your seatbelt in a way that the brace goes between your breasts and under your belly, not over it. This way, in case of a sudden braking, there is no distress or trauma on your baby bump or the baby inside it. 

Feature Image Source: haber10.com

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