8 Things You Will Definitely Not Miss About the Baby Stage

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Sure there are moments we all miss about our kids being babies (like falling asleep with them in our arms or the smell of their heads, not their diapers) but there are definitely certain things we don’t ever want to relive. Here are a few:

  1. Keeping track of bowel movements besides your own

Along with the smell of poop, you won’t miss having to have every waking moment and every conversation consumed with the topic, either. Although judging by what I’ve overheard at some gyms and health food stores it’s not reserved for just people with babies.

A doorbell, a phone ring, a friendly voice—any of these are enough to make your blood run cold when you’ve got a baby napping.

  1. A world ruled by burp cloths

Someday you’ll be able to leave the house—or even a room—without having to find a burp cloth first. Related: You can also look forward to owning a black top without stains on the shoulders.

  1. Hoarding diaper coupons like they’re priceless heirlooms

I had a neighbor who would go door-to-door asking everyone for their Sunday insert so she could stock up on diaper coupons. I never went this far, although I do remember crying once when my husband accidentally threw away a stack of $1.50 coupons that I had gotten as a supermarket promo.

  1. Not being able to say “goodnight” without lying

Why say “goodnight” to anyone? Those words are empty because you know that there is no ‘good’ in your night as long as your baby will be waking up every 20 minutes. In the future you’ll be able to say something other than, “OK then, see you soon,” before you fake sleep.

  1. Dreading sound of any kind

A doorbell, a phone ring, a friendly voice—any of these are enough to make your blood run cold when you’ve got a baby napping. Once they become better sleepers, though, you’ll be able to dread sounds because you just hate human interaction like normal people.

  1. A bag that doesn’t weigh 50 pounds

Once you don’t have to pack diapers, wipes, snacks, bottles, toys, extra clothes, sunscreen, medicine, a baby monitor and four books on baby care, you can go back to a bag filled with gum and old receipts like you used to do.

  1. Doing five loads of laundry every day

You’ll get a short break from this schedule until your kids become teens.

  1. Taking an hour to get into your car and another hour to get out

I’m not going to lie, one of the happiest days of my life was watching my son toddle to the car, crawl into his car seat and buckle himself in.

I hope you identified on this article, I think inside of us we feel the same way. The information on this article was original from Marsha Takeda-Morrison

 

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Little Things That Mean a Lot to Kids

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Here are a few easy tricks to make your child smile.

  1. Go for a walk with just one child.
  2. Slip a note (and an occasional piece of chocolate ) into their lunch box.
  3. Say “yes” to something usually off-limits, like sitting on the counter.
  4. Show as much enthusiasm on amusement-park ridesas they do.
  5. When their room looks like a tsunami swept through it, close the door and get on with your day.
  6. Skype or do FaceTime with Grandmaevery now and then.
  7. If your child has given it a good try, but he’s still miserable and anxious and really, truly wants to quit the team, give him your blessing.
  8. Go ahead: Let your 4-year-old stomp in every puddle along the way. Even without rain boots.
  9. Take in a pet that needs a home and a child’s love.
  10. Give your toddler a chance to fight his own battles in the sandbox or on the playground before you intervene.
  11. Cultivate your own rituals and traditions: Taco Tuesdays, Sunday-afternoon bike ride, apple picking every fall. Our tradition is Pizza Night on Fridays J
  12. Ask your kid to teach you how to do something for a change. And once you get the hang of it, be sure to tell him what a good teacher he is.
  13. Let your child wear their dress-up clothesto the supermarket. All month if she wants to.
  14. Let your child overhear you saying something wonderful about them.
  15. Stay up late to see the full moon. There’s one on October 27.
  16. Print their childhood photos so they have something physical to look at one day.
  17. Don’t be in a hurry to tell your kid to let it go. He needs to vent too.
  18. Crank up the music in the middle of homework and have a dance party.
  19. Make a secret family handshake.
  20. Hang a whiteboard in their room to leave messages for each other.
  21. Start a pillow fight.
  22. Share your old diaries, photos, and letters from when you were their age.

Motherhood And The Tendency To Alcohol

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Mothers have unique challenges that can aggravate drinking issues in those with susceptibility. However, it is important not to blame external circumstances exclusively for leading mother’s to drink heavily, also are also biological and physiological factors at play.

There are many challenges and blessings of motherhood that are not unique to alcoholics, as other mothers experience them.  However, it is important to acknowledge them and support other mothers in finding strategies to address the challenges in order to enjoy the blessings:

Challenges:

  • It can be challenging to find time for self-care without the support of loved ones, as an example alone time, massage, exercise, nap, read)
  • Mothers may experience “mommy guilt” for leaving their babies in order to take care of themselves.
  • Hormones are unstable during pregnancy and after, especially if a mother is breastfeeding.  Mood and energy can be effected and difficult to regulate.
  • The extreme change in routine with a baby can throw off the recovery plan a mother may have had previously, one of the most difficult stages in life.
  • HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired) is an abbreviation for possible causes that lead to decline.  These 4 triggers are sometimes hard to avoid as a new mother and it is important to stay aware of how vulnerable they can leave you to fading.
  • Mental health issues as anxiety, and depression can be intensified during early motherhood for reasons that include: stopping psychotropic medications due to pregnancy, hormone variations, sleep deprivation, mood issues, stress.  For those women who used to drink to self-medicate mood issues in the past this can be a difficult and causing time to learn to handle without turning to alcohol.
  • Loss of freedom:  drinking alcohol can be an escape and lead one to forget about their responsibilities for a short time. Parenting can lead some to feel locked and trapped.
  • Mothers put their child first and this can lead them to ignore recovery suggestions and to avoid taking the time to fit their recovery program into their new busy life.
  • Motherhood is continuous in a non stop routine. Alcohol can offer a quick escape and sober mothers need to find other options that may require support from others.
  • Marriages and partnership dynamics inevitably change after a baby enters the family, and there may be an increase in tension for a long period of time.
  • Motherhood is the opposite of a lifestyle and feeling responsible for another human being can lead some mothers to long for a time when they were independent and spontaneous.
  • Motherhood involves delayed gratification and patience in the process.  For those who require immediate gratification and rewards, they may look to other sources as alcohol, and food.
  • Many alcoholics’ desire excitement and stimulation in their life, becoming a mother requires a quieter existence and a monotonous routine.

But don’t be discouraged there are many protective positive factors that motherhood can add

Blessings:

  • Taking care of a baby is the ultimate act of sharing and can increase our selflessness therefore, decreasing selfish addictive behaviors
  • Being a mother may increase motivation to get and stay sober, so that you have something to offer to your child.
  • Being in recovery can prevent feelings that parenting is “getting in the way” of your drinking life.
  • Motherhood brings new meaning to your life and can fulfill you in a way that you may have been searching for through alcohol.
  • Motherhood can inspire you to plan for a healthy future and excessive alcohol would not fit into that type of lifestyle
  • Mothers want to set good examples for their children, and being a mother in recovery is an admirable
  • Genetics account for 50% of the chance of developing alcoholism.  Therefore, it is vital that alcoholic parents take responsibility for getting sober and staying in recovery in order to increase the chances that their children either don’t develop alcoholism or have role models to support them if they do.
  • Drinking alcohol in excess inevitably brings an element of danger into your own life (health, drinking and driving, blackouts, etc.).  Therefore, as a mother, you would not want to bring these issues into your child’s life.

Recovery involves more than just “not drinking”.  It also includes living a balanced and healthy lifestyle.  Here are some suggestions of ways to balance recovery and motherhood:

  • Ask for help!  Mothers are not superwomen and need support in parenting from their spouse, partner, loved ones and friends.
  • Make sure that you are eating regularly and if you need help getting groceries or cooking, then reach out to others.
  • Be sure to integrate self-care into your day when taking care of your child: take a nap, exercise, read a good book, watch a fun T.V. show, meditate pray, etc. Cultivate a hobby.
  • Find ways to combine self-care and childcare: get a jogging stroller so that you can walk/run with your child; do yoga stretches while they are playing in an activity center on the floor; get a seat or “pack and play” that will allow you to shower, cook, clean, etc. Be sure to get outside each day, especially if there is sunshine. A lack of vitamin D from the sun can contribute to depressed moods.
  • Ask a loved one to watch your child or pay for a babysitter so that you can do something good for yourself at least once a week: therapy mutual-help group meeting, yoga, exercise, massage, manicure, etc.
  • Join a Mom’s support group such as “Mommy and Me” or library affiliated mother’s groups
  • Begin to create a daily routine that can bring some predictability and stability to your days.
  • Get sleep!!!  Sleep deprivation can lead to many mood-related issues.  If you are having insomnia or constantly interrupted sleep, then it is important to find some support and solutions:
  • Take a nap while your child is napping even if you have chores and other tasks to accomplish, have your partner alternate getting up to feed the baby at night, sleep with ear plugs and have your partner be “on call” alternate nights, listen to a guided relaxation before bed, turn off all electronics 1 hour before bedtime, go to bed first so that you are asleep before your partner comes to bed and have them be “on duty” so that you can sleep, have a night off and sleep at a loved one’s house so that you partner can cover for you (even one night of good sleep could help to recharge your battery).
  • NOT drink caffeine after 4:00pm, “Sleepy time” tea, consult with your physician about getting a blood test for your Thyroid or other post-partum imbalances that could lead to sleep issues, talk with your physician about non-habit forming sleep aid options if all other techniques do not help you.

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5 Snacks to keep your kids full longer

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Children can definitely eat out of monotony, just like grownups do. But another issue is that sometimes what they are eating may actually not be filling them up. Snack staples like pretzels, gummy fruit snacks, fish-shaped crackers, and even many granola bars simply don’t have much staying-power, so kids are hungrier sooner.

If you’re looking for a snack that will satisfy, here are some ideas:

Cheese & Veggies 

Have been proof that kids that eat as snack cheese and vegetables were satisfied after eating fewer calories than those who munched on potato chips. That’s probably because protein-rich cheese and water and fiber-rich veggies are both naturally filling foods.

Avocado Toast 

Adults who had half an avocado at lunch reported less desire to eat up to five hours later compared to those who didn’t have avocado. But even a kid-sized portion should be super satisfying since avocados are rich in heart-healthy fats that can keep hunger at bay. Spread mashed avocado quarter on a piece of whole grain toast to add extra fiber.

Raspberries & Yogurt

Fruit is high in fiber, which sops up water and swells as it passes through the digestive system, making you feel fuller. Raspberries are one of the highest-fiber fruits, packing a whopping 8 grams per cup (that’s about a third of what school-age kids need for the whole day). If fresh aren’t available, get frozen berries (just make sure they don’t contain added sugar). Add them to yogurt, which is rich in protein.

Nuts or Nut Butter

Nuts contain protein, fat, and fiber, which are all satisfying nutrients. You can serve nuts straight up or paired with dried fruit, or blend nuts or nut butter into smoothies. When kids and parents regularly ate almonds, their overall diet quality improved and they had healthy changes to their gut bacteria. (Just remember that whole nuts are a choking hazard for children younger than four.)

Popcorn

Popcorn is a tasty source of whole grains. Some studies with adults, those who munched on six cups of popcorn reported feeling more satisfied than those who ate just one cup of potato chips—and they also took in fewer calories when given a meal afterwards. Popcorn is big on volume, which the brain sees as being more filling. Skip packaged microwave popcorn and make it yourself on the stove top is simple.

I hope these tips can help you and found this article useful 5 Snacks to keep kids full longer, sometimes is hard to decide the best option and healthier option for your kids, I hope this helps.

 

I Smashed the Legos Today, And Now I’m Filled With Regret

Pete Wilgoren

I warned her.

I really did. I warned her.

And she just stood there. We needed to get ready. We were late. She knew we were late. So I warned her again. I did.

Still, she just stood there.

And I started counting to 30. I gave her 30 seconds to get it together. Time to get ready. Now. We’re late. 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8…. You need to get ready to go. Shoes and socks. Now. 9… 10… 11… 12… 13… 14… 15…. And she stood there. And I counted. And she just stood there staring me down defiantly.

And I counted more. 16… 17… 18… 19… 20. Don’t make me get to 30. She just stood there. Don’t do it. Stood there.

Don’t… 21… 22… 23… 24.

We’ve been here before. The morning battles. The not listening. The stare downs.

Stood there. Not this time. 25…

I took one of her small Lego sets, and I smashed it. Just like I threatened. One of the Lego sets she built piece by piece and proudly displayed. Destroyed. And she ran to her room in tears as Lego pieces scattered across the floor. I didn’t wait ’til 30.

I warned her I was going to punish her by getting rid of a Lego set. I warned her. I wanted to send a message. It was the culmination of all the not listenings. All the morning battles. All the frustration. So I sent a message. I did it. It was done. And immediately I thought, “What did I do?!”

She got ready for school in silence as I picked up all the Lego pieces I could find on the floor, from under the table, from behind the piano. I never found them all. We were so late that there wasn’t even time for breakfast anymore. We’d lost so much time on a useless battle over being late, the endless parenting battling over morning routines, I had to bag up some fruit and cereal for her and we headed out the door. In silence.

I dropped her off and headed to work, and I couldn’t shake it. In one instant, I created a memory she will never forget. Never.

I called my wife, and we talked it out as I drove. She listened. She’s always a good listener. And at some point, she said, “They’re little. We only have them for such a short time.” And she was right. I wanted to punish my kid, and I wanted to send a message. And I did. Unfortunately.

When I got off work, it was already dark. I battled the freeway home, and as I approached the exit for home, I passed right by it. I went to a local toy store and scanned the store shelves and spotted the same Lego set — the one with the little rocket ship amusement rides that spin around. I bought it.

I brought it home and walked up to the house. My little gal was already in her pajamas for the night. She saw the Lego set and smiled. I gave it to her and I said, “I didn’t handle the situation this morning properly. I was wrong, and I’m sorry.” And she gave me a big hug. She took the Lego box and dumped out the pieces on the floor and immediately started to rebuild. We started to rebuild.

Still, I know I created a memory she’ll never forget — the day Dad shattered her little Lego set — like little scratches on the surface of their childhood. This scratch was all mine. And I can’t take it back but I can do better. And I will.

By Pete Wilgoren

15 Reasons Why Toodlers Are Such Angry Little People

Toddlers get a bad rap. Their lives are tumultuous and filled with people who just don’t understand that they need their sandwiches cut into perfect triangles that don’t touch each other under any circumstances. And the juice should be in the blue cup…I mean the red cup…no, it’s actually the blue. Life is hard for these little dictators because sometimes they need to feel the satisfying crunch of a thousand Cheerios under their feet and most people are trying to take this away from them.

Of course, they feel angry. Who wouldn’t?

Here are some other reasons why toddlers are probably so angry all of the time:

1. They fall down a lot.

Have you ever seen how often those little shorties bite the big one? I don’t know any official numbers, but it’s often. I’d be pissed too if I was falling down all day long on legs that just weren’t working properly.

2. Moms don’t get shit right.

It’s not that hard, really. Moms should be able to figure out that clothes are painful to toddlers extremities, and that if your toddler wants to get into the car all by themselves, well then, the world will just need to wait.

3. There is literal crap in their pants.

And potty training is for losers.

4. Nobody understands what they are saying.

Words are hard, and sometimes screaming just feels right.

5. Everybody is trying to ‘change’ them.

If they have made a self-commitment to cry hysterically each time they don’t get to push the door button at the library, who are you to try and take this from them?

6. Nobody takes their problems seriously.

They don’t want your “help” while putting on their shoes; they just want one thousand years to get it right. Chill out.

7. Pants are the true oppressor of our great nation, and nobody seems to get this.

Toddlers get it. Legs are meant to feel all the changes of the seasons.

8. Time-outs are like jail for innocent people.

Toddlers are ruled by instinct, and their instincts tell them to say, “No!”  in a very loud voice when asked most things.

9. Everyone is always suggesting a nap.

They don’t need a nap; they just need someone to let them paint their body with syrup like God intended.

10. It’s like nobody has ever seen someone want to be naked in Target before.

Toddlers are innovators, and they predict that nudity is going to be the next trending topic.

11. It’s always, ‘hold my hand,’ ‘don’t run in the street,’ ‘don’t eat batteries,’ ‘don’t lick the cat.’

These things bring them joy. You don’t know that toddler’s life, lady.

12. They understand that the choices you are offering

them are complete bullshit.

Oh, really. They get to choose between taking a nap now or taking a nap in five minutes? They know a con when they see one.

13. There’s a never-ending list of things they need to do, and people keep jacking their shit up.

Jacking shit up — every toddler’s mom should wear a shirt that says this.

14. They haven’t known you for very long, so they need to see how long it takes for you to blow.

It’s like a long scientific experiment titled, “How fast can I make these people taking care of me lose their minds?” Their hypothesis is “very soon.”

15. Tantrums are great stress relievers.

It’s better than meditation and/or exercise according to some toddler experts.

So, next time you see a toddler losing his behavior at the grocery store, the playground, the pool, the library, the restaurant, or your own home, remember that they are just trying to live their most authentic life. Instead of trying to escape their wailing, you should really stay and watch and applaud their efforts. And give them candy.

Via Scary Mommy

8 Things That Become Annoying After Becoming a Parent

Before becoming a parent, I probably could have come up with a pretty decent list of things that annoyed me. Things like people chewing with their mouths open and slow drivers in the fast lane mostly just the obvious offenders that annoy most other people too. But since become a parent? Well, let’s just say that the list of annoyances has grown exponentially, though most of the things that make the list are things that would’ve been no big deal in the pre-parent days. Here are lists of things that have become annoying since becoming a parent.

1. The UPS guy who rings the doorbell

Pre-kids, the UPS guy ringing my doorbell was a neutral event in my day. Actually, it was probably an enjoyable event in my day; because it meant some fun item or another awaited me in a package. Now I sort of want to punch the UPS guy (or anyone for that matter) who dares to ring my door bell and wake my baby from his nap.

2. The fact that Costco doesn’t open until 10:00 AM

Before parenthood, I rarely tackled errands before 10:00 AM—because, sleeping in on Saturdays. But now? 10:00 AM rolls around and I’ve probably been up for four hours. I mean, seriously? The day is halfway over by 10:00, Costco. The parents of this nation need economy size boxes of baby wipes and 3-packs of milk and we need it before 10:00 AM. Perhaps I should start a petition.

3. The chatty checker at the grocery store

OK, this was a little annoying before kids as well, but after kids it’s on another level. I’m sorry chatty checker, I really don’t want to hear your life story and I definitely don’t want to tell you mine while my kid is making a mess. I don’t even care. Not even a little bit.

4. Any and all lines

Waiting in lines is never a super fun task for anyone, but it had always just been a part of life. But waiting in lines with kids can be downright hellish. And waiting in line behind someone whose club card isn’t working or who can’t find a coupon while my kid is crying doing even get me started.

5.People who get offended by public breastfeeding

Before becoming a parent, I recognized that some people just don’t feel comfortable with breastfeeding in public. Even though I found it silly, it didn’t annoy me really. After becoming a parent, the ridiculousness of taking offense to breastfeeding annoys me to no end. Seriously people, you’ll see more cleavage walking past Victoria’s Secret on your mall walk then you’ll see while someone is feeding their baby. Get over it.

6.People who talk about their pets incessantly like they are their babies

I’ve never been a super huge animal person, but if other people want to compare and treat kids as a pet and talk about them as such who am I to resent them? Well, after having kids, I find the behavior a lot more annoying. And please do not compare your animal to my child. Totally not the same.

7.Phone calls over text

Talking on the phone is not my jam, but if I had information to communicate I had always been more than happy to give a quick phone call. Now, I basically send all phone calls straight to voicemail. I pretty much would like everyone I know to ask them before calling me: “Is this information that could be conveyed via a text message?” If the answer is yes, then please send a text. It will be much more pleasant for both of us to not have to carry on a conversation while my children yell in the background.

8.Glitter

I suppose the reason I never real took issue with glitter before having children is because I didn’t really have to encounter it very often in my daily life. In the adult world, very few things are festooned with glitter for glitter’s sake. Unfortunately I have learned that in the world of children glitter is on EVERYTHING. Literally everything. And subsequently it is all over my house as well. Glitter is most definitely the herpes of craft supplies and I wouldn’t be particularly sad if it no longer existed.

I identify myself on this POST ! Life changed drastically after having kids, I hope you identify also on this post from my blog about Things that become annoying after having kids

 

 

Little Things That Mean a Lot to Kids

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Here are a few easy tricks to make your child smile.

  1. Go for a walk with just one child.
  2. Slip a note (and an occasional piece of chocolate ) into their lunch box.
  3. Say “yes” to something usually off-limits, like sitting on the counter.
  4. Show as much enthusiasm on amusement-park ridesas they do.
  5. When their room looks like a tsunami swept through it, close the door and get on with your day.
  6. Skype or do FaceTime with Grandmaevery now and then.
  7. If your child has given it a good try, but he’s still miserable and anxious and really, truly wants to quit the team, give him your blessing.
  8. Go ahead: Let your 4-year-old stomp in every puddle along the way. Even without rain boots.
  9. Take in a pet that needs a home and a child’s love.
  10. Give your toddler a chance to fight his own battles in the sandbox or on the playground before you intervene.
  11. Cultivate your own rituals and traditions: Taco Tuesdays, Sunday-afternoon bike ride, apple picking every fall. Our tradition is Pizza Night on Fridays J
  12. Ask your kid to teach you how to do something for a change. And once you get the hang of it, be sure to tell him what a good teacher he is.
  13. Let your child wear their dress-up clothesto the supermarket. All month if she wants to.
  14. Let your child overhear you saying something wonderful about them.
  15. Stay up late to see the full moon. There’s one on October 27.
  16. Print their childhood photos so they have something physical to look at one day.
  17. Don’t be in a hurry to tell your kid to let it go. He needs to vent too.
  18. Crank up the music in the middle of homework and have a dance party.
  19. Make a secret family handshake.
  20. Hang a whiteboard in their room to leave messages for each other.
  21. Start a pillow fight.
  22. Share your old diaries, photos, and letters from when you were their age.

This Popular Sleep Aid May Be Harmful to Kids

There’s no quick fix that gets kids to sleep sooner, better, deeper. But melatonin comes pretty close.While medical experts don’t have much bad to say to adults about using melatonin, which isn’t a pharmaceutical rather a health supplement, some are concerned when it comes to regular use in children.

A recent New York Times Well blog post reported that while a lot of parents have given melatonin for their kids because it works—doctors don’t actually know whether it’s doing harm in the long run. Children’s brains are still growing and developing, and melatonin is a synthetic form of a hormone the pineal gland produces, and which signals to the brain it’s time for sleep.

“I think we just don’t know what the potential long-term effects are, particularly when you’re talking about young children,” said Dr. Judith Owens, director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Parents really need to understand that there are potential risks.”

Research isn’t conclusive but some suggests that it could have effects not just on the brain but on other systems developing in children: reproductive, cardiovascular, immune and metabolic.

Melatonin has known possible side effects for adults, including “headaches, dizziness and daytime grogginess,” the Times reports. That last one is what makes it a sleep aid and also dangerous for drivers who might use it. The hormone-like substance, which is also found in foods like barley and walnuts, can also interfere with medications for blood pressure and diabetes.

When researchers looked into consistency across melatonin products, they found that 71 percent of their samples were at least 10 percent off from the written dose.

Doctors who treat sleep disorders in children have long known parents turn frequently turn to melatonin to help their kids with sleep issues, often picking up the pills at a health food store and not telling their own doctors—a mistake.

“I rarely see a family come in with a child with insomnia who hasn’t tried melatonin,” Owns said. “I would say at least 75 percent of the time when they come in to see us” at the sleep clinic, “they’re either on melatonin or they’ve tried it in the past.”

For those who give it to their children, Owens recommends letting their child’s doctor know. She also said the pills should be picked up from a reputable source. Because they’re not regulated by the Food and Drug Adminstration, there’s no way of know how much of the useful ingredient is in each pill. Buy “pharmaceutical grade,” which tend to have “more precise dosing levels.”

When researchers looked into consistency across melatonin products, they found that 71 percent of their samples were at least 10 percent off from the written dose. In fact—and this is where parents, particularly, should be cautious—some contained nearly 5 times the dosage written on the label.

So while there’s still no silver bullet for kids and sleep—except for lots of exercise, predictable nighttime routines and early (yes, early!) bedtimes—the melatonin temptation should be met with caution and some medical support.

Contributions on this post via Mom.me

9 Things a Pediatrician Wishes You’d Stop Doing

One pediatrician tells us the truth about the things doctors wish parents would stop doing, now.
Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook, so unsuspecting moms and dads are left to figure out a lot on their own. Our go-to sources of advice—friends, the internet, our own parents—might not have the most reliable, up-to-date info. Then when we get to the pediatrician’s office, we’re either too stressed, rushed, or embarrassed to ask our questions. Doctors are great at telling you what to do, but even they might be hesitant to be upfront with parents about what not to do. So we asked Bill Bush, M.D., pediatrician-in-chief at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to give us the truth about the things parents should stop doing, now.

1. Stop looking to the internet for medical advice

When you’re freaked out about your child’s symptoms, the first place to turn is usually Dr. Google. And while trusted sites like the American Academy of Pediatrics can have useful info, it’s still impossible to diagnose your kid over the internet. Instead, take your concerns to your doctor. “I’ve been given websites to look up because a parent is pretty sure their child has X, Y, or Z disease,” Dr. Bush says. “I’m always happy to look and get back to them, but a diagnosis is based on our medical evaluation.

2. Stop going to the ER for everything

I’m guilty of this one. Recently my 3-year-old ran head-first into the fridge, and after blood started coming out of his nose and mouth, I rushed him to the ER without waiting for a call back from his doctor. Four hours and a $900 bill later, he was pronounced totally fine. “Except for extreme emergencies, getting a phone call in to your physician’s office gives time for the child to calm and the family to make assessments, and for us to determine if there’s an alternative place we can have you seen,” Dr. Bush says. An urgent care facility or the pediatrician’s office the next day may be better options.

3. Stop requesting antibiotics.

It’s natural to want our kids to get better as soon as possible, but Dr. Bush says antibiotics aren’t always the answer. “There are times when it’s absolutely appropriate to give the antibiotic when they have a bacterial infection, but for the majority of the patients we see with viral illnesses, it’s not,” he says. “Colds and coughs don’t need an antibiotic, they just need time to heal.” Plus, giving antibiotics too often can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are then harder to fight off.

4. Stop refusing vaccinations and demanding alternative vaccine schedules.

Ironically, just as some parents rush to medicine, others are scared by vaccines. Even if parents agree vaccines are a good thing, they’re concerned about giving many at the same time. “Very solid evidence exists that immunizations prevent many deadly and debilitating childhood diseases,” Dr. Bush says. “The FDA requires any new combination of vaccines to prove equal effectiveness as if they were given on separate dates so we’re not overwhelming the immune system.” The problem with delaying vaccines, especially with babies, is children then go unprotected for longer. “When you start spreading them out, you put more kids at risk,” he says.

5. Stop allowing unlimited screen time.

Let’s face it: Screens are a part of our lives now, which the AAP recognized when they relaxed their rules around screen time. But even so, Dr. Bush says to make sure your kids have outdoor play for exercise, and face-to-face interaction for social development. “Life’s about interacting with other people, so encourage children to play with their friends in person instead of texting or playing video games online,” he says.

6. Stop blaming your child’s cold on being outside.

This is one myth that just won’t die. But your kid is not going to catch a cold by going jacket-less for the 10-second walk to the car, so it’s probably not worth fighting that battle. “Viral illnesses such as colds come from the spread of germs—kids touching everything and then they touch their eyes, nose, and mouth,” Dr. Bush says. “We see much more spread of illnesses in the wintertime when kids are all condensed into one small area for the entire school day.”

7. Stop skipping well-child visits.

We all lead busy lives, and when it comes time for what we consider “non-essential” appointments, it’s easy to let them pass by. But Dr. Bush says that’s a mistake. “If we switch from providing sick care to well care, we can do a better job of preventing or managing certain diseases,” he says. This includes hearing and vision problems, heart murmurs, blood pressure elevations, kids who are failing to grow and spines that may be developing scoliosis. Plus, the visits give you and your child a chance to feel more comfortable with your doctor, so you’ll be more likely to discuss any concerns in the future.

8. Stop using Q-tips to clean your child’s ears.

You may think you’re helping your child’s hygiene, but you’re really just pushing wax further into the ears. “Kids will come in sometimes with ear pain or decreased hearing because their ears are just so packed with wax from the Q-tip not bringing it out, but pushing it back,” Dr. Bush says. Instead, allow some water to get into your child’s ears at bath time, because the moisture should help wax naturally work itself out.

9. Stop freaking out about your child’s temperature.

It can be alarming when your child develops a fever, but once they are out of the newborn stage when it may be dangerous, it’s just something else to report to your doctor. “It’s a symptom like a runny nose, cough, or pain, part of the collection of information that helps us make decisions on what’s the appropriate diagnosis and treatment,” Dr. Bush says. “It’s very rare that a fever alarms us.”

Via Parents