10 popular baby-care recommendations which can make things worse
Sun, 3rd July 2022
|What parents are told||What is actually the case||The risk this advice poses for parents|
|Delaying responses to your baby’s grizzles and cries and sleep routines teach baby to sleep better at night and is best for development||Systematic reviews which analyse existing research show that sleep training approaches don’t decrease night waking||Unnecessary stress and anxiety for both parents and baby. Disrupts trust in the communication between parent and baby|
|Restricted oral connective tissue (in the absence of obvious, classic tongue-tie) causes breastfeeding problems, and frenotomy or bodywork or both is required||In the absence of a classic tongue-tie, there is no evidence that frenotomy or bodywork benefit breastfeeding or unsettled baby behaviour||Pain (particularly if laser) bleeding, oral aversion, severance of branches of the lingual nerve creating numbness of tongue|
|Losec will stop baby’s refluxing and stop baby’s pain||Losec doesn’t make babies who are fussy, backarching, and puking more settled. Baby refluxate is mostly close to pH neutral, not acidic||Side-effects of proton pump inhibitor medications include increased risk of allergy, bone fracture, respiratory infection, and asthma.|
|Eliminating dairy and other foods from a breastfeeding mother’s diet will stop baby’s fussiness||Does not decrease fussy behaviour||Increases baby’s risk of allergy down the track|
|Antifungals for persistent breastfeeding-related nipple pain||No evidence to support long courses of antifungals and little evidence to support the use of antifungals at all in breastfeeding mothers with nipple pain; yeast is a normal part of the skin and human milk microbiome||Does not address the underlying cause of persistent nipple pain. This is most commonly excessive mechanical loads on the nipple and breast tissue due to the way the baby is fitting into the mother’s breast, and can be helped with skillful fit and hold work.|
|Massage out the blockages if you are breastfeeding and have plugged ducts or mastitis||Massaging breastfeeding-related lumps worsens breast inflammation, creating more lumps and worsened mastitis||Increases risk of abscess|
|Bring baby onto breast by squeezing breast and using cross-cradle hold, pointing baby nipple-to-nose and waiting for wide gape||This approach is not consistent with the biomechanics of how baby’s suck||Increase nipple pain fourfold|
|Baby is fussing inside the house due to gut pain, overtiredness overstimulation, stay at home and get into good sleep routine||Baby often unsettled inside the house because of need for richer environmental experience (that is, becomes bored)||Baby becomes fussier inside the house, which is exhausting for the now socially isolated carer, increasing her risk of postnatal depression|
|Burp your baby and hold him or her upright because air swallowing makes baby fussy||Babies don’t swallow much air even when there are breastfeeding problems||Burping and holding upright for a period of time after feeds interrupts baby’s feed-associated calmness, and makes sleep harder|
|Babies need long blocks of sleep in quiet dark rooms during day||Quiet dark room during day conflicts with safe sleep guidelines, and disrupts the baby’s circadian clock||Worsened night waking in time due to gradual disruption of the circadian clock|
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