Parenthood brings with it a new set of rules and dangers, which brings about a level of anxiety that's unlike anything else. I never considered myself to be a worrier until I had two daughters. Now, if there's nothing to worry about, I will find something to be concerned about. It can be hard for new parents to differentiate the myth from the fact but believe it or not , there are many things you don't think are safe for your baby but actually are, and taking these things off your "worry list" can not only alleviate lots of unnecessary stress, but let you actually enjoy your role as a parent instead of always obsessing over what could go wrong.
Of course, many things can be unsafe for your little one when done a certain way or done without proper care and caution. But when it comes to the list of things parents unnecessarily worry about, limiting the options is definitely a good idea. Instead of spending your little one's first year worrying about the "what-ifs," do a little research about your concerns beforehand. This will free your mind and allow you to be the parent you want to be.
1. Touching The "Soft Spot"
One of the very first worries that new parents face is touching their newborns "soft spot." It makes sense, since their skull isn't entirely fused together at birth. Although your baby is very small and seemingly fragile, these soft spots aren't really all that off limits, according to Mayo Clinic. You should be gentle with your baby's head, but you can still touch the soft spots which should disappear fully by the time your baby turns one.
The concerns of SIDS is real, and many people associate it with bed-sharing. Although there are definitely important safety guidelines to follow when it comes to bed sharing (especially with a young baby), it can — and should — be done safely. According to the Mother-Baby Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, as long as safety guidelines are in place, bed sharing has many benefits for the parent-child relationship.
3. Blood Or Strange Colors In Your Baby's Poop
Baby's poop is another area that causes new parents a fair share of anxiety. The truth is, however, that there is a very, very wide range of normal when it comes to baby poop through the newborn stage and beyond. According to Medela, a small amount of blood or bloody streaks in baby's stool is normal, especially in breastfed babies. If, however, the bleeding worsens or continues, you should take your baby in to their pediatrician.
Similarly, when it comes to the color and texture of your baby's stools, there is a wide range of normal. Exclusively breastfed babies, according to Mama Natural, will have yellowish, soft stools for the most part, while formula fed baby's poop is usually thicker and more brown in color.
4. Putting Sunscreen On Your Baby
Many people avoid putting sunscreen on babies who are under 6 months old, for fear of them having an adverse reaction to the ingredients in the sunscreen. Although keeping them inside is the safest way to avoid harmful UV exposure, Parents noted that putting a thin layer of baby-safe sunscreen on the areas of your baby's body that will be exposed to sun is safe and recommended.
5. Feeding Them From Bottles That Haven't Been Sterelized
The need to sanitize baby's bottles has been a battle between generations for years. In the past, mothers were urged to clean and boil their baby's bottles after every feeding. These days that isn't really necessary. Although it's tempting to scrub away all the germs in your baby's bottles, it's not necessary to sanitize them, according to The New York Times.
In the past, water conditions were much less sanitary and to prevent bacteria growth, mother's were urged to sanitize their bottles. But with water conditions that are safe enough to drink, the American Academy of Pediatrics only recommends washing bottles with hot soapy water after each use. You can also place them in the dishwasher for a fuller, deeper clean to ease your mind.
6. Feeding Them After You've Had A Drink
Although alcohol has adverse affects on babies, you don't need to feed guilty about the occasional glass of wine or drink if you're a breastfeeding mom. Like most things in parenting, moderation and following safety guidelines is key. According to Baby Center, the same amount of alcohol that makes it into your bloodstream will be present in your breast milk. It also leaves your breast milk at the same rate, however, so drinking a glass of wine immediately after a feeding or pumping session will ensure that your milk will be alcohol free for the next feeding.
7. Cats And Babies Don't Mix
There are a lot of myths floating around about the coexistence of cats and babies. Although there is some truth buried in the untruth, the myths aren't really all they're chalked up to be. According to Petful, the rumors that cats are unsafe for babies or that they can't be around pregnant women for the risk of toxoplasmosis is simply not factual. Cats, like any other pet, should be prepared to meet a new baby, and watched carefully, but they're as safe as a dog or other pet.
8. Letting Them Swim For Fear Of Dry Drowning
After several recent accounts of babies and toddlers dying of "dry drowning," parents everywhere are (rightfully) concerned about letting their kids swim. Knowing the truth about dry drowning and how to prevent it, however, can give you some peace of mind when you're at the pool or beach this summer. According to Parents, dry drowning is the term used when water is inhaled through the nose or mouth and gets into the airways or lungs, causing difficulty breathing or in worse-case scenarios, death.
That said, dry drowning isn't common nor is it impossible to spot. The article also noted that there are signs of dry drowning such as difficulty breathing, a near-drowning experience in the water previously, persistent coughing, sleepiness, or mood swings. Dry drowning doesn't happen "out of nowhere," like many parents are led to believe, which can cause unnecessary worry about letting your baby or toddler swim at all.
9. Switching Them To A Forward Facing Car Seat When They Outgrow Their Old One
Although this issue isn't one to take lightly, many parents worry that switching their child to a forward-facing seat at all will jeopardize their safety. According to the guidelines in place by the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should remain rear facing until they're 2 years old or have passed the weight requirement for their specific car seat. After that point, they can safely be moved to a forward-facing seat and be just as safe as they would be rear-facing.