Sister Lilian Centre’s Top Ten Things Not To Do With A Baby
As a new parent, you’ll probably find a long list of dos and don’ts given to you by any and everyone! Here are Sister Lilian’s ten practical and important Baby-don’ts which probably didn’t make their lists.
X Continue activities that distress Baby: Babies first get frazzled and then shut down when they get overwhelmed, so don’t keep playing the same game or trying to get a reaction if Baby turns away or becomes restless or unhappy.
X Squeeze pimples on Baby’s face: Many three to six week old babies develop milia; fine white pimples over the cheeks and nose. Squeezing them hurts Baby and can get pus into Baby’s bloodstream. Milia should disappear by three months; just rinse the area with cooled organic rooibos tea, and reduce acid causing food like coffee, pickles and red meat if you’re breastfeeding.
X Try to clean Baby’s mouth: The mouth is self-cleaning and won’t need cleaning until teeth erupt. A white layer on Baby’s tongue is either milk deposits which soon disappear; or thrush, which won’t disappear between feeds and requires treatment.
X Add cereal to Baby’s milk bottle: This won’t make Baby sleep better or go longer between feeds; instead, it can cause allergies and constipation. If Baby is hungry, try to feed him more often. Breast is, of course, the best.
X Force milk-feed Baby: If forced to feed, Baby tends to simply posset the milk. Just like breast babies, many formula fed babies prefer smaller, frequent feeds too. If Baby doesn’t breastfeed for long or finish his formula bottle, he may simply have a small appetite.
X Give sweet or savoury treats in the first year: Babies don’t have a natural craving for unhealthy treats. Offering these can spoil Baby’s taste for healthy food and possibly cause nutritional problems later in life.
X Retract a boy baby’s foreskin before it is loose: This should happen anywhere between two and five years. Forcing retraction can scar the sensitive tissue underneath, so gently pull back just as far as it will go for cleaning. Show toddlers how to retract and clean themselves, but check that they are managing.
X Resent the relationship between caregiver and Baby: It can be difficult when you miss some of those ‘firsts’, and Baby behaves better at crèche than at home. But, if Baby has a good relationship with his primary caregiver, it is a sign that he is secure and content – and that’s worth gold!
X Believe that increased appetite indicates a need for solid food: Baby may simply need to feed more often because he’s teething, niggly, or having a growth spurt. Delaying solid foods usually means far fewer problems – very few babies need solids before six months anyway.
X Compare babies to each other: Babies have certain similarities, and it’s great to chat to other moms, but don’t get caught up in competition! Babies are very much individuals, and their development will be different from others. Just believe in your baby, love him, and be proud of him no matter what!