One of a mother's worst realizations is finding out her baby is sick. She will do anything to make sure her baby is safe from sickness. Sometimes, though, doing less is actually doing more. Here are five things you may be doing that are actually hurting your child:
You're taking that toy out of your child's mouth
Research is now showing that babies put things in their mouths to better help their bodies. Your child will reach for anything he can get his hands on because he's trying to learn more about the environment around him-the textures, tastes, temperatures, and more. And his immune system has the chance to get even stronger. That doesn't mean you should purposefully put harmful things in your baby's way, but if you constantly take things away, your child may not be able to decipher what is good or bad in his environment.
Dr. William J. Hennen, PhD, said, "babies are natural scientists; they taste test everything! Early oral exposure to its environment allows a baby to adapt and develop immune tolerance to innocuous things. Without tolerance the person's immune system attacks dust as dangerous, and foods as foreign, triggering allergic reactions."
You're cleaning your whole house
You may think you want a spotless environment for your child, but she needs to learn-on her own-about the things that are good and bad for her. I'm not saying leave the window cleaner out in plain view, but let your child put that toy in her mouth. Additionally, when you disinfect with the harsh chemical cleaners, your baby could develop more illnesses. Babies can get many dangerous side effects from these chemicals.
Dr. Hennen added, "Over sanitation separates the child from its environment. Later, when these same things (dust, food) are encountered they are seen by the immune system as something new and foreign, triggering allergic reactions."
One article encouraged parents to let their kids roll around on the floor of a New York subway car. Why? So the children could be exposed to germs, allowing their immune systems to learn how to defend itself early on.
You're isolating your child
Any type of isolation in your child's life can bring on some serious issues. If your child likes alone time, that's a different thing. But if you're trying to quarantine your child, if you're cancelling playdates, or if you're worried about going to the grocery store with your child, you may want to take a deep breath and relax. Your child will become a stronger individual-better able to fight illness-through the process of going through sickness-you can't avoid illness. Don't isolate your child, because your child's immune system may become so used to one single environment that he'll start developing more illnesses anytime she goes outside.
You're giving them too much medicine
Or you're giving it to them the wrong way. Parents should never use kitchen tools like spoons or tablespoons to measure medicine. Children's medicine amounts should be determined by their weight, not their age. There are many medication errors that parents often make. For example, a higher amount of certain drugs, even pain reliever, could heavily sedate a small child. Your child could have worse allergies if they take the wrong medicine. Always be on the lookout for your child's symptoms and how you can administer medicine the right way.
You're treating them like babies
Yes, your babies are babies, but when you continue to treat them like babies for a long time, your patterns of treating them like an infant will flow into their toddler and even pre-teen years. Some parents rush to the hospital or pediatrician any time their child complains of an upset stomach (and yes, hospitals and pediatricians are great and protective parents are fine). Teach your children to learn about their bodies and their own immune systems. Encourage them to use natural methods to fight illness, but use medicine when necessary, not as a first resort.
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Above all else
Give yourself a pat on the back for being an attentive, nurturing parent, and then relax. The fact is that your child's body has been genetically programmed to fight almost all serious disease, and your ongoing care will provide any needed supplementation or medication she needs.