Sunday, October 14, 2007

Weirdest Parenting Advice - Bait and Switch

If your baby won’t take a bottle, just put chocolate milk in it. Variation: If your baby won’t take a pacifier, dip it in honey.

Ah, the old bait and switch. Both these pieces of advice were actually dispensed to me in the doctor's office (by fellow patients).

Do not try this at home, folks. Seriously, these are both very bad ideas even if your baby still doesn’t have any teeth to rot.

First, babies usually don’t need bottles or pacifiers – in fact, introducing these too soon can interfere with breastfeeding. A bottlefed baby who suddenly refuses a bottle should be seen by a professional as soon as possible as something else may be at work.

Second, even if you are a breastfeeding pro, chocolate milk does not contain all the iron or fat that a baby needs and contains a whole lot that she doesn’t (like refined sugar, colour and other additives). Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that she’ll accept breastmilk or formula in that bottle. Besides that, chocolate is among the more allergenic foods and it’s wise to delay its introduction beyond the first year.

Honey has to the potential to be even more dangerous – spores that cause infant botulism (Clostridium botulinum) can be found in honey and your little one’s immune system can’t fight these off. It's rare, very very rare, but it's dangerous and sometimes deadly. And probably useless anyway as he’ll be able to tell when there’s no sweet nectar on the end of that soother…

1 comment:

Jennifer Sprague, All Natural Mommies said...

Oh - or the classic, my dad told me when my daughter was young and teething to make a "titty baby" - IE a cloth, dipped in liquor, and then dipped in sugar - to help "ease" teething pain!

EAK!