There’s no doubt that new mums have a lot on (and in) their hands: a new role, a new baby, and a new lifestyle. So much new-ness can certainly be overwhelming, but thankfully, there are guidebooks, articles, paediatricians—and occasionally unsolicited advice, too—to help answer the most obvious and obscure questions.
But if issues arise, when should you dial your doc or try to problem-solve on your own? “It’s okay to ask your paediatrician questions about your new baby, but it’s also okay to first consult books like What to Expect the First Year put out by the AAP [American Academy of Pediatrics] that can answer a lot of common questions,” says Dr. Resham Batra, M.D., board-certified paediatrician at Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group in San Diego, CA. “Before calling your paediatrician, see if the child is exhibiting behaviours that are out of the ordinary for the child. If the symptoms have been going on for some time or if the child is not eating or as active as they normally are. These reasons should prompt a call to the paediatrician.”
And aside from urgent matters, there are plenty of things your baby doc may be thinking, but won’t say to you unless prompted. Here, five things all new mums should know.
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THERE’S NO RIGHT TIME TO STOP BREASTFEEDING
“According to the American Academy of Paediatrics, there is no cut-off age for breastfeeding. Breastfeeding into toddler age is more likely for comfort than for nutrition, as the child is getting most of his or her nutrition from food sources,” says Batra. “Deciding what age to wean depends on if breastfeeding has become a crutch for the child in that he or she becomes so dependent on breastfeeding that it interferes with his or her social development or someone else is labelling the child negatively because he or she is still breastfeeding.”
EXPENSIVE NAPPIES AREN’T BETTER
“There’s no evidence to support expensive vs. cheaper diapers,” says Batra. “Any diaper is fine as long as it doesn’t cause a rash in the baby.”
DON’T GET LOST ONLINE
“Looking to the internet for answers to medical questions is fine if you are checking credible sources recommended by your paediatrician like the AAP’s website or other reputable medical journal websites,” says Batra. “It can be counterproductive if you are just randomly searching things on Google, as it can be hard to tell factual information from false information.”
DUMMIES ARE NOT THE ENEMY
“Pacifiers are helpful, especially for babies who want to suck all the time and need comfort,” says Batra. “Make sure it’s not time for the baby to eat when giving a pacifier as it may lower the baby’s hunger cues and the baby may miss out on a meal. There is also some evidence a pacifier may help lower the risk of SIDS.”
BE MINDFUL OF SHARING
“Sharing utensils or glasses with your child can pass on germs and infection to the child and even back to the parent, if the child has an infection in his or her mouth.”
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This article originally appeared on Women’s Health.
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