We've gathered up some of the advice your pediatrician wishes you would listen to before taking your great aunt's recommendations to heart.
- Babies cry. A lot. Most new babies will cry for as much as three hours a day - it’s the only way they have to communicate. It will take a little time to get to know your baby’s different cries, but if they are more shrill or persistent than usual, or if your baby is impossible to calm down, there may be a more serious issue.
- Antibiotics can do more harm than good, especially for a child one year or younger. Antibiotics are only necessary for a bacterial infection and overuse can change how our microbiome functions. The microbiome is the bacteria, fungi, and viruses that make up 90 percent of the human body and help regulate the immune system. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to autoimmune disorders, so be sure to limit antibiotic use to when it is really necessary.
- Moms need sleep, too. It may be hard to tear yourself away from your sleeping baby, but constantly checking her breathing won’t prevent SIDS. Instead, be sure that she is put to sleep on her back on a firm mattress with no pillows, blankets, or stuffed toys around.
- Don’t fear fevers. Fevers between 100° and 104° F are a normal defense mechanism. In fact, fevers “turn on” the immune system to help fight infection. Treat it as a signal that there is something happening in the body that you should explore further. If your child’s fever is over 104° F, call your pediatrician.
- Just like fevers, not all rashes require a trip to the ER or your pediatrician. If the rash is not itchy or painful and is not accompanied by a fever, give it a couple days to go away on its own.
- Children develop at different rates. Don’t worry too much about the developmental milestones you’ll see on charts or read about. Try to look at the overall picture of your child’s health and development and keep an open dialogue with your pediatrician.
- Trust your instincts and try not to worry too much. With a new baby at home, everyone you know will have a piece of advice or two - and sometimes it will contradict something else you’ve been told. Don’t be afraid to listen to your intuition. You know your child best.
For more information from pediatricians and other medical experts, visit Baby Box University.