10 Common Situations Where Parents Unintentionally Harm Their Children

1. Tickle the baby

It’s a very common thing: an adult wants to cheer up a child, and tickles them. But researchers at the University of California discovered several years ago that tickling does not cause the same feeling of happiness that comes from a funny joke: it only creates the illusion of a happy laugh.
In this case, the boy is laughing uncontrollably. After all, almost everyone laughs when they are tickled. But the problem is that kids do it even if they hate tickling.



2. Put pillows and stuffed animals in the crib

Not all parents understand that a baby just needs a good mattress with a sheet and a small blanket in case he or she gets cold in the room. Therefore, they sometimes put a pillow (even if it is small and flat) in the crib. However, some studies show that pillows are harmful to babies up to a certain age.
Nor should you get creative with decorating the crib, as teddy bears and other adorable stuffed animals, which “sleep” next to the baby, can disturb him at any time. Not to mention situations where children toss and turn in their cribs and press their faces into them, which can make breathing extremely difficult.


3. Use the night light while the baby is sleeping

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Dimmed light on all night in the room is not good for the child. Growth hormone is best produced in the dark. The reasons for using the nightlight can be different. It is mainly for the parents’ comfort: for example, they do not have to change the diaper blindly. Some mothers and fathers are afraid of the dark since childhood, so they try to prevent their children from having the same phobia, believing that the nightlight is a panacea.
Tracy Bedrosian, a spokesperson for the Department of Neuroscience at Ohio State University, recommends that those who can’t do without a nightlight altogether should use the right light. Green light has been shown experimentally to disrupt the body clock in about 90 minutes and blue light in 180, plus they make sleep difficult. Red and orange lights inhibit melatonin production the least compared to green, white and blue lights and do not disrupt the circadian rhythm.


4. Excessive rocking

Every parent faces a situation where it is impossible to put the baby, regardless of age, to bed without rocking him or her first. Sometimes this process takes so long that mothers and fathers are exhausted and the child remains awake.
Pediatricians say that sleep problems can be avoided if the baby is accustomed to the daily routine from birth and all external and internal irritants are eliminated, such as hunger, wet diapers, noise, uncomfortable clothes, etc… . If you cannot avoid rocking your child, it is best to keep the process gentle and short.
Young children have an imperfect vestibular apparatus and, due to intense and prolonged rocking, they can lose consciousness.


5. Hiding the mirror from the child because of popular superstitions

In some countries of the world, it is not common to show the mirror to babies so that they do not get sick or “lose their souls”, this belief confounds pediatricians and psychologists around the world. In contrast, Dr. Suzy Green, founder of the Positivity Institute, insists that parents play with their children in front of a mirror because the interactivity of this lesson helps them recognize themselves and shape their personalities.
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It is known that children of different ages react differently to their reflection, but it is always an exciting and positive experience for them.


6. Create sterile conditions for the baby

“Cleanliness is a guarantee of health”: this is what we have been taught since childhood. But modern researchers from different countries are unanimous: excessive sterility is detrimental to the development of the child. It delays the formation of a good immunity prepared to fight infections, and promotes allergic diseases such as bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis.
The main mistake parents make in this case is the excessive love of cleanliness or the prohibition of the child’s contact with pets. The earlier a possible allergen appears in the baby’s life, the sooner it will begin to be perceived by the baby’s immunity as a normal phenomenon.

7. Potty training too early

The urinal is a very controversial subject. But in this case, the main thing is not to follow the advice rashly and always stick to the interests of the child. You should not expect him to start using the potty for the intended purpose at the age of one and a half years. In any case, the baby does not yet fully understand how to respond to his body’s signals.
“Sooner or later, the child will learn to control his urge to go to the bathroom. That’s when he or she will start to use it. The bladder needs 3 to 4 years to develop normally. Relaxing urination, for example in diapers, helps,” says pediatric urologist Stephen Hodges.


8. Let your baby walk barefoot on flat surfaces

On average, children start walking at the age of one. Some parents rush out to buy the first shoes for the house, while others let the child take his first steps barefoot. Orthopedic researchers continue to debate this issue, but agree that not all surfaces are safe for barefoot walking.
It’s fine if the baby walks barefoot on sand, grass, smooth pebbles, but at home, it’s harmful to walk on perfectly smooth tile, laminate or wood floors. At this point, the reflex contraction of the foot muscles does not occur, and the main load rests on the weak ligamentous system. As a result, the natural formation of the arch of the foot is affected.

9. Make the child eat the whole portion

Many grandmothers (as well as fathers) are upset when the baby refuses to eat the portion of food allocated to him. Persuasion, blackmail, various tricks and even threats are used. The result is that the plate is emptied, and the parents are satisfied with this result.
Only a few people know that this habit contributes to the formation of bad eating habits in the baby. He will not be able to learn to understand his body, but on the contrary, he will get used to eating too much.
In addition, the child should not be forced to eat the “starter, main course and drink”, because the large volumes of food ingested overload the digestive tract. One dish and one drink during the meal is sufficient for the baby.


10. Spoon feeding

It’s best not to help children eat when they can already handle a spoon, says Amy Brown, associate professor of child health at Swansea University.
“Infants who are spoon-fed longer than necessary are at risk of being overweight in the future. Under such feeding, it is difficult for children to determine whether they have satisfied their hunger or not. The result is the habit of overeating,” says the expert.
According to the researchers, a child who eats independently has the opportunity to eat at his own pace and learn the taste of food, which helps to form a healthy attitude towards food.

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