Things Never to Give Newborns
Parents want nothing but the best for their new babies. It is important to remember that a newborn infant’s needs and tolerances are much different from older babies, toddlers and school-age children.
Make sure you give your new baby everything he needs — proper nutrition, frequent diaper changes and plenty of hugs and kisses — while also avoiding the ordinary things that are dangerous to newborn babies.
Breast milk or formula is the only food a newborn infant should eat for the first six months of life.
Never give a newborn solid foods prior to 4 months of age, since infants that young aren’t able to digest them. Starting solid foods too early has also been linked to a greater chance that a baby will develop a food allergy or obesity.
Also avoid water, juice and other liquids for the first four months, since babies’ swallowing reflexes aren’t strong enough to safely handle such content.
Nothing makes a parent’s heart heavier than watching a new baby suffer from a common cold, flu or fever. Resist the urge to medicate the baby yourself, since many over-the-counter medicines that are safe for children and adults are dangerous for a newborn baby.
The pediatrics department at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation does not recommend giving a newborn any over-the-counter medication — even those labeled for infants and children — before 2 months of age without consulting with a doctor first.
Adorable baby blankets, toys and crib bumpers make it tempting to put your baby to sleep with these comforting items at night, but they can pose serious dangers to a newborn in a crib or bassinet.
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that newborns should never be put to sleep with crib bumper pads or other soft items such as blankets, fluffy bedding, pillows, stuffed animals and other toys. These items pose the risk of suffocation, entrapment and asphyxia to a sleeping baby.
Also, never put baby to sleep with a bottle. Doing so can cause ear infections or choking.
Other Things to Avoid
A newborn baby often gets messy after a feeding or dirty diaper change, but it’s important to never give your baby a bath or submerge him in water until the umbilical cord falls off and the circumcision heals (for baby boys). Stick to cleaning baby with a warm washcloth moistened only with water until he reaches these milestones.
Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics says to keep baby out of direct sunlight until at least 6 months of age. Sunblock should only be used sparingly, when shade is not available.
Loose-fitting clothing that covers baby’s skin and brimmed hats are preferable to sunscreen.
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