For a new mom, caring for her little baby may not always be so easy as it seems. It is no surprise that people love to give endless tips to these mothers on what to do and what not to. You must be very familiar with traditional practices for baby care if you have elders at home. However it is essential that we look into some of the outdated practices, continued for long due to ignorance or lack of expert consultation which may harm the baby. Take a look:
» Feeding cow or goat milk
In case a new mother does not lactate enough to feed a child, the most common practice is to give the child cow's milk or goat's milk. Doctors strictly advise that the newborn shall only be fed with breast milk until 6 months. Any other substitute would cause difficulty in digestion and may result in other complications. In case, the milk produced is not sufficient, consult a paediatrician who can help you with a clinically tested milk substitute.
Babies get enough hydration from breast milk alone. Water intake may hamper baby's appetite and thus may make the baby take in less milk. In case you strongly feel the urge to give water to your baby, ask your doctor.
» Squeezing baby's chest
It is common for some newborns to lactate. This is just normal and goes away naturally, and happens due to the hormone influence from the mother's body. The traditional practice in most places is to squeeze the milk out of the baby's nipple. Some stick to these as they feel if milk is not removed, it will lead to larger breast. It can also be done thinking that it might remove baby's pain. However doctors warn that this can be really dangerous for the new born. Whether it be a boy, or a girl, never squeeze out milk as infected hands can cause zits and damage the baby's delicate tissues, exposing him/her to severe infection and swelling.
» Herbal medications
In many places in South India, babies are administered various herbal combinations aimed at well-being. Specific herbs like vayambu (sweet flag) mixed with honey is orally administered for the general well-being of the baby.) Although these herbs might have great health benefits, paediatricians now advise not to give anything other than breast milk and prescribed medicines to babies.
» Use of talcum powder after the bath
It is very common to use baby powder on the newborn after the bath. While the use of talc may keep your baby fresh and dry, the particles of talc may be inhaled by the babies causing breathing troubles to them. Baby lotions are better than talc if you are very particular about the baby smelling good.
» Bathing babies in hot water
Certain cultures insist that babies be bathed in very hot water to promote good sleep. However its important that the temperature of the water should always be checked before bathing the baby. Babies can be bathed in water with temperatures that adults prefer. Always check the temperature by dipping your elbow or testing it on your palm. It is also advised to buy a bath thermometer to be safe.