You’ve probably got your pregnancy preparation checklist all ticked off. You can just imagine people flooding in and celebrating the birth of your newborn.
Although it’s one of the most exciting times of your life, don’t get carried away in the moment. The guidelines change every so often, but there’s a general trend of what not to do with a newborn. Unfortunately, not many new parents-to-be aren’t aware of these things they shouldn’t do.
For the sake of your baby’s health and safety, be aware of and plan ahead to avoid these mistakes so your little one keeps a clean bill of health in his/her first few weeks out of the womb!
15 things parents should know what NOT to do with a newborn
1. Let him sleep on his tummy
It might seem natural for your little one to konk out on his/her belly. However, sleeping facing the front can lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
SIDS happens when your baby breathes in his/her own carbon dioxide repeatedly. This happens if your little one’s face is facing against somewhere with poor ventilation; think against the mattress or a pillow.
Your baby might not like it at first, but it’s important to keep them safe. Ensure your newborn is sleeping on his/her back.
2. Let anyone kiss your newborn
Newborns are angelic and so precious! But as tempting as it is, avoid kissing your little one during the first few weeks of his/her life.
Your newborn’s immune system is underdeveloped and can easily catch infections or diseases from an innocent kiss. In fact, your baby can even contract herpes!
Ask visitors not to kiss your baby, and also ask them to wash their hands. Be firm but polite as it’s much more important to be safe than sorry, even if it ruffles a few feathers in the process. Most people will understand, though.
3. Leave dirty diapers on for too long
It can seem economical to leave the diaper on until absolutely necessary. However, newborns urinate and excrete a lot more than older babies.
Leaving your little one to sit in his/her own mess for that long is unsanitary, not to mention cruel. It can lead todiaper rash which is extremely uncomfortable, but ultimately avoidable.
Change your little one’s diaper regularly. You don’t have to wait until it’s soaked or heavy.
4. Over-do the outfits
Your newborn might seem cold. However, piling on clothes can be detrimental and actually cause fever and dehydration!
After all, if you wore too many clothes, you’d overheat your own body.
A simple rule to follow is to dress the baby as you’d dress yourself!
5. Let your newborn cry
Your newborn can’t speak. His/her only method of communication is by crying.
If you allow your newborn to cry without giving him/her any attention, it can lead to higher stress levels, which in turn can hamper your little one’s brain development.
Also, your baby could learn that he/she won’t get attention and feel neglected.
Attend to your newborn when the crying starts and try to identify the source of discomfort. It might be a nappy change, feeding time, or just wanting a cuddle.
6. Leave your baby alone
Image source: iStock
Babies are designed to need the companionship of their parents. Until they can take care of themselves, newborns need adults to look after them.
Being left alone for prolonged periods of time will leave your baby distraught and scared. After all, he/she is new to this world and has no idea what’s going on.
Avoid teaching newborns to be independent. Your little one needs you to be a calming and reassuring presence.
7. Punish your newborn
Research shows nearly a third of 12-month-olds are spanked.
Using physical punishment might seem like a good idea to cut out bad behaviour.
However, it has the complete opposite effect. Babies learn from how they’re treated. In essence, smacking your newborn will trust you less, have less motivation to explore, and even misbehave more than before!
Learn to be patient with your little one. If you’re stressed, take some me-time to unwind. Even if it’s just for five minutes, it can really help your state of mind and help you deal with the situation at hand.
8. Give your newborn cow’s milk
Although convenient, don’t give your newborn cow’s milk. Your baby’s digestive system isn’t ready to digest it.
It could potential cause a lot of problems for your little one’s undeveloped kidneys.
Breastmilk has all the nutrients and vitamins your baby needs (unless there are circumstances when a mother is unable to breastfeed).
Avoid water and juice for the same reasons, as well!
9. Leave your baby in water without supervision
Swimming can be an excellent learning opportunity for your baby. Playing in water engages your newborn’s brain in so many ways.
However, you should never leave your baby alone in the water. You run the risk of drowning. Your little one is unable to rescue himself/herself in that situation.
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Read up on steps to safely introduce your baby to swimming before you attempt to bring him/her to a pool.
10. Allow everyone to visit all at once
Everyone is excited to see your newborn! But when everyone comes all at once, it can be distressing for your little one.
Your baby is still getting used to being alive. It’s important that in these early moments, you spend time holding your child as he/she gets used to you.
Not to mention that you’ll be mentally and physically exhausted as well! A lot of people will be telling you what to do and give you advice. Avoid becoming overwhelmed by staggering your visits. Friends and family will have their chance to see the baby.
11. Give your newborn a pacifier
You might try anything to calm your crying baby down. While a pacifier seems like a good idea, it causes confusion in your newborn who can’t tell between a nipple from a pacifier.
It can lead to issues with latching further down the line.
Wait until your newborn is at least two months old before introducing a pacifier.
12. Leave stuffed toys next to your sleeping baby
As cute as it looks and makes for a great Instagram photo, don’t leave a stuffed or fluffy toy in the cot with your newborn.
It can lead to SIDS if your baby rolls over and buries his/her face into the stuffed animal while sleeping.
It’s safer to introduce toys into the cot when your baby is at least one-year-old.
13. Co-sleeping with your newborn
Many mums are co-sleeping advocates. While it might have been okay for them, it doesn’t reduce the risks involved.
After all, we aren’t in control of what we do while we sleep. You may accidentally roll over on top of your newborn.
Your little one might get caught up in the pillows, the sheets, or duvet.
It can seem like a great comfort to your child, but it comes with high risks.
14. Not cleaning your newborn’s gums
Despite not having teeth, your newborn still needs his/her gums cleaned regularly.
Use a clean and damp washcloth or gauze and wipe your little one’s gums after each feeding.
The remaining milk still has germs and bacteria lingering in your baby’s mouth. Not taking care of the gums can lead to issues with teeth development.
15. Leave your baby alone with a pet
Pets are also part of the family. But leaving your pet alone with your newborn should be avoided at all costs.
Pets who were the centre of attention until your newborn came along can become aggressive. If you have a pet, ensure your newborn is out of touching distance from your furry companion.
It’s easy to get caught up in the celebrations of welcoming your newborn into the world. However, take time to know what you should avoid doing to your newborn baby. It’ll save a lot of headache later, and keep him/her safe!
Common health problems in babies include colds, coughs, fevers, and vomiting. Babies also commonly have skin problems, like diaper rash or cradle cap. Many of these problems are not serious. It is important to know how to help your sick baby, and to know the warning signs for more serious problems.What should I avoid with my newborn? ›
- Salt. Babies should not eat much salt, as it's not good for their kidneys. ...
- Sugar. Your baby does not need sugar. ...
- Saturated fat. ...
- Honey. ...
- Whole nuts and peanuts. ...
- Some cheeses. ...
- Raw and lightly cooked eggs. ...
- Rice drinks.
- Letting Him Sleep On His Tummy. Image source: iStock. ...
- Letting Anyone Kiss Your Newborn. ...
- Leaving Dirty Diapers On For Too Long. ...
- Over-do The Outfits. ...
- Letting Your Newborn Cry For Long. ...
- Leaving Your Baby Alone. ...
- Punishing Your Newborn. ...
- Giving Your Newborn Cow's Milk.
Common health problems in babies include colds, coughs, fevers, and vomiting. Babies also commonly have skin problems, like diaper rash or cradle cap. Many of these problems are not serious. It is important to know how to help your sick baby, and to know the warning signs for more serious problems.What are the 4 basic needs of a newborn baby? ›
Babies have the right to be protected from injury and infection, to breathe normally, to be warm and to be fed. All newborns should have access to essential newborn care, which is the critical care for all babies in the first days after birth.What to do and what not to do with newborn baby? ›
- Avoid feeding them cow milk. ...
- Don't give a bath before umbilical cord falls off. ...
- Don't give water before 6 months. ...
- Don't give solid food before 6 months. ...
- Don't stimulate their poop. ...
- 5 refreshing cold soup recipes to chill on hot summer days.
There are no set rules about how long to wait before taking a newborn out into the world or when to let people near the baby. Some doctors recommend that parents wait until their baby is a few months old before going to crowded public places (like malls, movie theaters, and airplanes).What is the one baby rule? ›
The one-child policy was a program in China that limited most Chinese families to one child each. It was implemented nationwide by the Chinese government in 1980, and it ended in 2016. The policy was enacted to address the growth rate of the country's population, which the government viewed as being too rapid.What month is the hardest with a baby? ›
The first three months with your baby often seem the hardest. Sleep-deprived parents can feel overwhelmed, but that is normal and you will quickly learn how to read your baby's cues and personality. Don't worry about “spoiling” your baby at this stage.
The Bottom Line. As long as your baby's essential needs are being met and you actively engage them in a loving way, how much or how little you hold them is entirely up to you. If you want to hold them, do. If you want to put them down, even if they cry, that's fine as well.
Neonatal danger signs are signs that sick neonates show as stated by World Health Organization (WHO), which include not able to feed, or stopped feeding well, convulsed or fitted since birth, fast breathing (two counts of 60 breaths or more in one minute), chest in drawing, high temperature (37.5°C or more), very low ...What are signs something is wrong with baby? ›
Crying, irritability, or twitching which does not improve with cuddling and comfort. A sleepy baby who cannot be awakened enough to nurse or nipple. Any signs of sickness (for example, cough, diarrhea, pale color). The baby's appetite or suck becomes poor or weak.What does a newborn need first? ›
Your baby needs sleep and food, and they need to feel secure and warm, so they need to feel your skin. Doing this simple thing: reduces newborn crying.What are the 5 important needs of a baby? ›
Kids must feel safe and sound, with their basic survival needs met: shelter, food, clothing, medical care and protection from harm.How soon is too soon to leave a newborn? ›
This is because before 4 months your baby will still be establishing breastfeeding and building a connection between both parents, so they're a little too young to be away from you. After 9 months, most babies will develop separation anxiety and will likely have a hard time being away from their parents.How do you handle a newborn safely? ›
- Wash your hands (or use a hand sanitizer) before handling your baby. ...
- Support your baby's head and neck. ...
- Never shake your baby, whether in play or in frustration. ...
- Always fasten your baby securely when using a carrier, stroller, or car seat.
You can't spoil a baby. Contrary to popular myth, it's impossible for parents to hold or respond to a baby too much, child development experts say. Infants need constant attention to give them the foundation to grow emotionally, physically and intellectually.When can a newborn see? ›
One week after birth, your baby will start to slowly develop color vision. They can also see about 8 10 10 inches away. At 6 weeks of age, a baby can see about 12 inches away.Should you let kids around your newborn? ›
Parents should try to limit the number of visitors their babies come in close contact with overall. Consider having extended family and friends wait two to three months until your baby's immune system is stronger to plan their visits.What is the golden rule for babies? ›
"Do unto others"… One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. When teaching The Golden Rule, look for opportunities to praise and encourage your child when they exhibit the rule's behaviour.
Many people assume that mothers have greater child custody rights than fathers. However, the fact is that no custody laws in the U.S. give mothers a preference or additional rights to custody of their children.What is the most babies to one mother? ›
It is claimed that Barbara Stratzmann (c. 1448 – 1503) of Bönnigheim, Germany, gave birth to 53 children (38 sons and 15 daughters) in a total of 29 births by 1498. She had one set of septuplets, one set of sextuplets, four sets of triplets and five sets of twins.What month are babies the happiest? ›
General satisfaction with life increased in the first months after birth and peaked when the child reached 6 months old.Which month babies are rare? ›
The least common birth month is predictably February, which only has 28 days.What month has the smartest babies? ›
Those born in September are, apparently, the smartest out of the entire year. According to Marie Claire, a study published in the National Bureau of Economic Research found that there's a clear correlation between the month during which you were born and how smart you are.Should you cuddle a newborn all the time? ›
You may have heard that you risk 'spoiling' your baby by cuddling them too much. However, as health visitor Sarah Heaney explains in the video below, this is a myth - cuddling is great for babies' development and bond with you. Can I cuddle my baby too much? No, absolutely not.Is it OK to watch TV around newborn? ›
Good evidence suggests that screen viewing before age 18 months has lasting negative effects on children's language development, reading skills, and short term memory. It also contributes to problems with sleep and attention.Should I pick up baby every time he cries? ›
A 2017 study confirms what many parents already instinctively know: You should pick up babies every time they cry. The research from the University of Notre Dame found that it was impossible to spoil an infant by holding or cuddling him, according to an article at News.co.au.What are 5 danger signs of the baby? ›
- Persistent Crying or Irritability. All babies cry—this is their only way of communicating their needs to you. ...
- Fever. ...
- Listlessness or Lethargy. ...
- Poor Appetite. ...
- Umbilical Cord Infection. ...
- Diarrhea and/or Vomiting. ...
- Irregular Stools. ...
The following signs should be assessed during each postnatal care contact, and the newborn should be referred for further evaluation if any of the signs is present: stopped feeding well, history of convulsions, fast breathing (breathing rate of ≥60 per minute), severe chest in-drawing, no spontaneous movement, fever ( ...
A rushed entry or exit by parent, Crying from the child, Parent or baby/infant appearing withdrawn, Parent Fatigue from a lack of sleep.What are the red flags for newborns? ›
Crying or irritability which does not get better with cuddling and comfort. A sleepy baby who cannot be awakened enough to nurse or bottle feed. Signs of sickness (for example, cough, diarrhea, pale skin color)What should I watch after having a baby? ›
- Very heavy bleeding, like soaking through more than one pad in an hour or noticing large blood clots.
- A red or swollen leg that feels warm or painful when you touch it.
- A bad headache that doesn't get better after taking medication, or a bad headache that affects your vision.
And babies don't just detect our tension. They are negatively affected by it. It's one more reason to look after your own well-being, and calm down before interacting with your child.What week do most birth defects occur? ›
In general, major defects of the body and internal organs are more likely to occur between 3 to 12 embryo / fetal weeks. This is the same as 5 to 14 gestational weeks (weeks since the first day of your last period). This is also referred to as the first trimester.What causes a baby to be disabled? ›
Low birthweight, premature birth, multiple birth, and infections during pregnancy are associated with an increased risk for many developmental disabilities. Untreated newborn jaundice (high levels of bilirubin in the blood during the first few days after birth) can cause a type of brain damage known as kernicterus.Which gender has more birth defects? ›
Birth defects generally were more prevalent among males than females. This male excess of defects also has been observed in other cohorts. Infant and childhood mortality rates were lower for affected males than for affected females (16% vs 20%).What needs do babies need? ›
From clothing to food and security, the list can seem daunting. There are six basic needs that all newborn babies require: security, clothing, enough sleep, nutritious food, sensory stimulation, love, and attention.What do babies need love? ›
Love and affection are essential to a child's healthy brain development. A child's feelings about themselves, how confident they are and how well they cope with stress, are all affected by the way their parents respond to them.What do babies need from their mother? ›
A mother's physical and emotional presence provides babies with two things: protection from stress and emotional regulation, both of which are important to healthy brain development and the child's future well-being.
Second Night Syndrome
Generally occurs about 24 hours after birth for almost every baby. Your baby will want to be on the breast constantly but quickly fall asleep. If you put him down, he will probably wake up. If you put him back to breast, he will feed for a short time and fall asleep.
Don't drink alcohol, use street drugs or use harmful drugs. All of these can affect your mood and make you feel worse. And they can make it hard for you to take care of your baby. Ask for help from your partner, family and friends.How long should newborns sleep? ›
Newborns generally sleep 12 to 16 hours in a 24-hour period and do not know the difference between day and night. Newborns need regular feeding, so they usually sleep in short periods. Newborns sleep in short bursts, known as sleep cycles which are usually around 20 to 50 minutes long.What do newborns sleep in? ›
Simple is safest. Put your baby in a base layer like a one-piece sleeper, and skip the socks, hats or other accessories. Instead of a blanket, use a sleep sack or swaddle. She'll be warm enough — but not too warm.What formula is closest to breast milk? ›
Best Baby Formula Most Like Breast Milk
Enfamil's Enspire is the brand's closest formula to breast milk, thanks to the inclusion of proteins found in colostrum, like lactoferrin. (In fact, Enspire is the first and only infant formula in the U.S. to include lactoferrin as an ingredient, according to the brand.)
Love is the primary need and the foundation on which all other things can build off of. Everything depends on this foundation between a parent and a child. This one seems obvious. Of course you love your child unconditionally.What scares newborns? ›
In newborn babies, common baby fears include loud noises, falling, separation from parents, and strangers. At this stage, babies can't distinguish between objects accurately enough to be scared by looking at them. However, loud noises trigger the startle reflex.What are 5 safety precautions for newborns? ›
- Purchase and correctly install an infant car safety seat.
- Avoid burns by not holding your baby while cooking or holding hot food or beverages.
- Never leave baby unattended on beds, sofas, chairs, or any place where he or she may fall.
- Install baby gates at the top and bottom of stairways.
Preterm birth, intrapartum-related complications (birth asphyxia or lack of breathing at birth), infections and birth defects cause most neonatal deaths.When can I take newborn outside? ›
According to most pediatric health experts, infants can be taken out in public or outside right away as long as parents follow some basic safety precautions. There's no need to wait until 6 weeks or 2 months of age. Getting out, and in particular, getting outside in nature, is good for parents and babies.
Traumatic and life-threatening events may include incidents such as car accidents, bushfires, sudden illness, traumatic death in the family, crime, abuse or violence in the community. Trauma can seriously disrupt important aspects of child development that occur before the age of three years.What two things are newborns scared of? ›
Newborns have two fears: loud noises and falling. "Babies' brains and nerves grow rapidly in the first two years of life, but they are born with very immature nervous systems," says Dr. Brown.What are the two fears of newborns? ›
We are born with only two innate fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud sounds. A 1960 study evaluated depth perception among 6- to14-month-old infants, as well as young animals.What infants are high risk? ›
What are high-risk infants? Doctors refer to babies who are born prematurely or who are sick when they are born as high-risk infants. This means they have a high risk of short and long-term health and developmental challenges.Which infant is at risk? ›
Patients with unpreventable risk factors include mothers of preterm infants and/or multiples, those separated from their infants for medical reasons, and mothers with C-section deliveries, breast surgery, or a previous history of breastfeeding failure.What should newborns never sleep with for safety? ›
* Never place your baby to sleep on pillows, quilts, sheepskins, and other soft surfaces. Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding out of your baby's sleep area. Don't use pillows, blankets, quilts, sheepskins, or pillow-like crib bumpers in your baby's sleep area, and keep all items away from your baby's face.What is the number one cause of newborn death? ›
Some of the leading causes of infant death in the United States include the following: birth defects; prematurity/low birthweight; sudden infant death syndrome; maternal complications of pregnancy and respiratory distress syndrome.What is the most common cause of death in newborns? ›
Preterm birth, intrapartum-related complications (birth asphyxia or inability to breathe at birth), infections and birth defects are the leading causes of most neonatal deaths.Can a mother kiss her baby? ›
In order to prevent serious health issues, anyone and everyone, including parents, should avoid kissing babies. Due to the rise in cases of RSV and other illnesses, it's extremely important for all individuals to be aware of the dangers of kissing babies.How long should mom stay home with baby? ›
While six weeks has long been the traditional timeline for rest and recuperation after a birth, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends ongoing postpartum care from birth to 12 weeks. Six weeks is also the standard recovery time allotted for childbirth-related short-term disability leave.