10 Things you should never do to an infant
From feeding them water to nasal douches, here are the things you should never do to an infant.
Do not feed them anything other than breast milk or formula
An infant’s digestive system cannot break down anything other than breast milk or formula. Introducing other foods to a baby under four months may lead to food allergies or intolerances in the future. You should also refrain from feeding them water, as breast milk already contains enough fluids to hydrate an infant. Too much water can lead to a condition known as “water intoxication,” which occurs when the excess supply of water depletes a baby’s sodium levels.
Never shake them
While gently bouncing a baby is safe, shaking a baby out of frustration is not. Babies are born with a fragile brain and weak neck muscles, which do not fully develop until age 2. Forcefully shaking a child by the arms, legs, or body can cause their feeble brain to hit the inside of the skull and cause permanent developmental problems.
Do not dress them in multiple, heavy layers
Babies are unable to regulate their body temperatures. Sure, they get cold quickly, but they are also susceptible to overheating. A baby who is too hot may develop a condition known as “Infant Muggy Syndrome,” which, when ignored, can cause complications such as dehydration, oxygen deficit, and even brain damage. Ideally dress Your Child in breathable clothing made from cotton, linen, or silk. Gradually add layers only when Your Child is visibly cold.
Do not wear perfume around them
You may have coughed, sneezed, or gotten a headache after smelling certain perfumes. This is because most commercial perfumes contain a lot of toxic chemicals. Secondhand exposure to these chemicals, such as phthalates, has been linked to asthma, obesity, and behavioral problems in babies and children. If smelling good is still a priority, opt for natural scents or essential oils instead.
Never clean their stuffy noses with a nasal douche
Sometimes, an infant may need extra help in clearing their blocked nose. Since they do not have the same level of body awareness as older children, injecting a large amount of saline solution forcefully into their little noses can lead to choking complications and other respiratory problems. Instead, drop 2-3 drops of saline solution or breastmilk to soften the mucus before unplugging it with a rubber bulb syringe or nasal aspirator.
Never swaddle their legs too tightly
A swaddle gives a newborn a sense of security and is used to help them transition to life outside the womb. However, improper swaddling can cause problems such as hip dysplasia, where the hip bones are misaligned. When you swaddle Your Child, make sure the legs are not stretched out and pressed together. And always check to see if Your Child’s legs have room to bend up and out at the hips when bundled up.
Never use bedding that is too soft
For newborns, softer isn’t necessarily safer. A soft mattress that conforms to the shape of an infant’s head is considered a suffocation hazard. To prevent this from happening, choose a firm sleeping surface. Clear the mattress of any cushions, blankets, or stuffed animals that can potentially block the little one’s nose.
Never leave them unsupervised with a pet
Most of us may treat pets like our children, but they’re still animals. In this situation, neither the pet nor the infant is trustworthy. A curious infant may playfully grab a toy out of your family pet’s mouth and cause it to act out defensively. On the other hand, an overly-excited pet may accidentally play too rough and injure the baby.
Never leave them unattended in a shower or near a bathtub
Even if it’s just for a few seconds, leaving an infant unattended near water is a drowning hazard – even in shallow water. They may accidentally slip and flip face down in the tub without crying, screaming, or splashing around. A baby’s nostrils are tiny, so when they’re constantly clogged with water, the situation can turn fatal in seconds. To prevent this from happening, make sure everything you need is within your arm’s reach before bathing a baby.
Never bring them near hot liquids or hot burners in the kitchen
While it may be convenient to carry an infant, it is never a good idea to wear them close to an open kitchen or other flammable areas. Hot liquids over a stovetop can potentially splatter into a baby’s sensitive skin. Similarly, drinking a hot beverage over a baby’s head may cause an accident, or the hot cup may also accidentally touch a baby, causing burns.