What's a outdated practice you know of?

Katherine - posted on 03/20/2011 ( 41 moms have responded )

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Cafemom



How many times have you heard someone try to point another mom towards some safety or health information, only to hear, "My mom did it with me and I'm fine" or "My grandma did with her thirteen kids and none of them died"? I hear it all the time and often have to smash my hands to my face for fear of my eyeballs rolling out of my head.



Look, folks. Medical and science advances are GOOD things. What was okay in 1980 is not necessarily okay now -- that was over THIRTY years ago, people. What your mom did is OLD science. Let's look at some of the things our parents used to do ...



The way things once were:



Parents used cribs with sharp, often flimsy hinges that can cut babies fingers, mouths or heads. Slats were wide enough that babies could get their entire heads stuck, which could lead to death. The CPSC has antique cribs listed as "Most Wanted" because they're just NOT safe. Tall posts could catch clothing and hang kids, and even the soft mattresses could suffocate them -- especially since babies were usually put on their bellies, something 90 percent of moms no longer do for good reason.



Lead paint was used in houses, toys, cribs and more. Banned in 1978, but still existing in many older houses and products, lead paint is just bad news as it enters the bloodstream, and especially in super-sensitive babies and toddlers. It is known to stunt development, cause brain and nervous system damage, and learning disorders. We stopped using it and take serious precautions if we know a home still has it, and ban toys that come up with lead paint too, especially when kids put those in their mouths and paint can chip off. Knowingly giving a baby something with lead is stupid these days.



Car seats were non-existant or dangerous. Many older car seats were shown to cause more injuries than they prevented, if they prevented any at ALL. But stubborn parents refused to upgrade even though the new designs were infinitely safer, so laws were put into place, often banning forward-facing before one AND twenty pounds, and boosters before four AND forty pounds. We now know rear-facing is way safer, and it's only a matter of time before forward-facing before you have no choice is considered as dangerous as these ancient car seats, too.



Homemade formula was made from evaporated milk and Karo syrup. Look, formula may not be perfect, and it's certainly not breastmilk, but it's a hell of a lot better than the old homemade versions people came up with. Karo syrup shouldn't even be given to babies, and while kids may have grown up okay, there's a good reason a lot of Americans have tons of digestive and obesity problems.



See what I mean? Even a decade or two or thirty or forty years ago, things were way different. We did things we wouldn't DREAM of now. Sure many survived the terrible formula or deadly car seats, but many more didn't, which is why we STOPPED doing those things. Don't live in the past. Take advantage of decades of science and please don't defend poor practices with "My mom did it and I'm fine." That doesn't negate the risks.



What's an outdated and dangerous practice you know of?

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Krista - posted on 03/20/2011

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Booze on the gums (my folks used Kahlua on mine!)
Circumcision
Riding in the car with your child on your lap
Early solids

And I do wish that people, when confronted with updated information, would not take it as a frigging personal attack. Yes, you did it the old way. That's what you knew at the time. That's fine. But we have better information now, so to keep promoting the old way, simply because it's what YOU did, is a definite case of pride coming before common sense.

Johnny - posted on 03/21/2011

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Some of the favorites from my MIL are garlic cloves necklace to ward off illness instead of vaccines, tight swaddling until 6 months, and raisins soaked in rum to chew for teething. My husband and his siblings are only still with us on sheer dumb luck.



I think much of the stuff my parents did with me is now completely frowned upon. Lead painted crib, sleeping on my tummy, colic water w/ alcohol, riding in the car on my mom's lap. But somehow my parents have no problem acknowledging that knowing what they now know, they wouldn't repeat any of those things. It's not an attack on their parenting, they did things the way they were supposed to be done. It's just that the way things are supposed to be done changed.



My daughter is 2 1/2 and some of the recommendation from her babyhood have already changed. Just today the new recommendation from the AAP on rear facing child seats. I turned my daughter around at 18 months. That was considered late. Now it's considered too early. It's not an attack on me, it's just that the research supports a change. If I have another kid, I'll do it the new way. If I every have grandkids, I'm sure loads of stuff will have changed by then. And it will probably keep kids safer and healthier just like today changes.



Like the OP from CafeMom, nothing irritates me more than people saying, "well that is what mom did with me and I'm fine." Logic fail!!!



I'm reading Denialism right now, and that's what a lot of that attitude is all about.

[deleted account]

The reasoning is that the tylenol suppresses and minimises the body's reaction to the vaccine (which a low grade fever is an indication of), often resulting in fewer antibodies being generated and thus a lower immunity. For individual and herd immunity to be effective for many vaccine preventable diseases, serum antibodies must be of a certain level (different levels for different vaccines).

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Samantha - posted on 03/24/2011

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Oh ok thanks.....i was just wondering. I had no idea why people kept putting circumcision so i just wanted to know. thank you for filling me in

Ez - posted on 03/23/2011

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Samantha, routine circumcision is outdated because every country besides the US has now acknowledged it is non-therapeutic cosmetic surgery on an unconsenting minor. It is not recommended anywhere else in the world as a routine procedure. I have no intention of derailing this thread with another circ debate, but check the board. There are at least two from the last couple of weeks.

Stifler's - posted on 03/23/2011

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Hahahahaa I get people hounding me to *prepare* my nipples for breastfeeding too. How ridiculous. How is putting lanolin on them going to toughen them up? And last time I tried to breastfeed nipple pain wasn't a problem anyway.

Cyndel - posted on 03/23/2011

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One I heard of was mothers leaving babies in wet diapers because it was to toughen them up.
Not bathing with chicken pox as it would cause infections (almost everyone I know had chicken pox, and the only ones who had infections were over 12 years old when they had it for the first time and had a bad case from the get go).
Routine episodomy (some old OB's who really should be retired are still doing this).
Separating mother and baby at the hospital when there is no indication that either mother or baby have problems.

Amanda - posted on 03/23/2011

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along with all the ones already listed, my MIL told me i had to "prep my nipples" for breastfeeding while still pregnant by scrubbing them with a loofah in the shower. LMFAO, needless to say i did not follow that advice and my nipples were just fine!

Jodi - posted on 03/23/2011

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That's not an out of date practice, Katherine, LOL. It's still the same old wives tale it always was!!!

Vegemite - posted on 03/23/2011

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What is with the solids thing. It's crazy. I felt bad at starting my son on a bit farex mixed in with mashed steamed apple at 4 months after a month of refusing him food and him grabbing a mouthful of whatever i was eating at any chance he got. After talking to my Dr about he said he would usually recommend solids no earlier than 6months but my son's behaviour said he was obviously ready for solids early. To only give bland, home made foods in small amounts and introduce one food item at a time.

Stifler's - posted on 03/23/2011

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Me either I never even thought of giving my kid solids before 4 months and I'd never heard of it in milk. Health professionals don't give people that sort of advice around here either.

Ez - posted on 03/23/2011

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I had honestly never heard of people feeding solids at such ridiculously young ages until COMs. Early solids around here means 3-4 months.

Stifler's - posted on 03/23/2011

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haha all those threads drive me crazy. especially comments such as "he just was not satisfied with milk" or "i knew he was ready for food" so they fed their 3 week old cereal in their milk.

Jodi - posted on 03/23/2011

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Right now, I'm going with feeding baby solids.......as early as when they get home from hospital. There is a topic on that going at the moment that is driving me nuts, because I never realised how many people are actually giving their children solids as young as only a week or 2 weeks old. Ugh!

Vegemite - posted on 03/23/2011

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oh so many things i've never heard of. The only things i have from my mother is metho on cuts and a sip of whiskey for a sore throat.

I knew that one about the panadol and vac's Fiona but my son's prone to febrile convulsions so it's a fine balance of when to give it to him and when to allow a temp to do it's job.

Lacye - posted on 03/21/2011

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My bf's ex used to give mashed potatoes to their daughter when she was 8 weeks old. She also put root beer on the child's passy because the child liked it.

Tracey - posted on 03/21/2011

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That babies should be put to sleep on their front to stop them choking on vomit, and if I carried on putting mine to sleep on their backs (which was advised to prevent cot death) they would all puke in their sleep and die.

Alyssa - posted on 03/21/2011

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My nanna told me jar baby food has as much goodness as homemade baby food....yeah, maybe during the great depression when she had her kids, but thanks anyway for making me feel better the ONLY time I used some xx

Stifler's - posted on 03/20/2011

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Honey on dummies. Being obsessed with constipation and shoving anything from brown sugar in water to castor oil down babies throats. Circumcision. Pulling back newborns foreskins. Starting solids at 7 weeks because "omg my baby is just not satisfied with milk" ... couldn't be that babies are meant to feed every few hours... you should also apparently wean before 9 months, put a coin on the belly button and bandage it so it doesn't cause a hernia or something like that, babies shouldn't be cluster feeding on the breast they should only feed every 4 hours, the list goes on and on and on of things my mother in law said in the first week of my son's life.

Merry - posted on 03/20/2011

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X rays on pregnant women

Gaining under 15 lbs for pregnancy

Thinking babies didn't feel pain

Foot braces for 'club foot' which was just normal baby feet

Shots with mercury in them

Masterbations causes blindness!

Pregnancy causes breastmilk to turn to poison

Removing tonsils at the first infection

JuLeah - posted on 03/20/2011

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And in 20 or 30 years what will be deemed unsafe. What will our grandchildren look at from our life and feel that way about? We do the best we can. Be smart and sometimes the old ways are better. Formula was deemed better then breast milk at one point in time ... what a joke that turned out to be. Our Grandparents had it right.
My great grandmother grew everything she ate, all orgainc. She would not allow pesticides anywhere near her place. She recycled water, reused everything she could. I would give a lot to have the farm she once had.

Merry - posted on 03/20/2011

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Honey, cows milk, and water for babies.
Off the breast by 6 weeks
Crying it out
Circumcision
Alcohol for teething

Krista - posted on 03/20/2011

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Fiona - I've always given tylenol before vaccinations just for the pain, but not to prevent fever, as that's what my dr recommended. What's the reasoning not to?

[deleted account]

Giving paracetamol/acetaminophen (panadol/tylenol) prophylactically before vaccinations and again regularly after to prevent fever. Health professionals need to start educating parents about the way a body reacts to vaccinations in order to develop antibodies and start practicing current, up to date, evidence based practice instead of recommending or ignoring these out of date practices.

Jennifer - posted on 03/20/2011

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my dad, and his 6 siblings were all fed the homemade formula mentioned in the op. while they all survived to adulthood, i'm not sure i'd consider them all "fine." i do think of my dad as a very intelligent man, but he's certainly not book smart. he failed 7th grade 3 times, then dropped out of school altogether. none of his other siblings ever made it all the way through high school. 2 have died of cancer, my father is a cancer survivor, and they all have various other health issues. and they are all republicans lmao



circ.

early solids and water

sugar water or karo syrup for constipation

Krista - posted on 03/20/2011

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My mom always shakes her head about my grandma and her home remedies. One was to put butter on a fresh burn. There's a good idea - lets put grease on it and keep the fire cooking lol!

Katie - posted on 03/20/2011

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My uncle was born in france in the mid 1950s and at2 months the dr told my grandma that he was overweight and put him on a diet of weak tea and dry toast!

Early solids, I have met a TON of people who would have been more then happy to feed my son entire pieces of pie when he was a newborn if I hadn't been a "bitch" about it :(

Katie - posted on 03/20/2011

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My uncle was born in france in the mid 1950s and at2 months the dr told my grandma that he was overweight and put him on a diet of weak tea and dry toast!

Early solids, I have met a TON of people who would have been more then happy to feed my son whole pieces of pie when he was a newborn if I hadn't been a "bitch" about it :(

Ez - posted on 03/20/2011

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Circumcision
Early solids (ie, before 4 months)
Cereal in bottles
Smacking!!!!

Lacye - posted on 03/20/2011

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When my daughter had an ear infection, my mother told me to blow cigarette smoke in her ear. No I didn't do it!

Another one is when I had gotten stung by a wasp, I was told to take tobacco, chew on it enough to get it wet, and put it on top of the sting area.

Minnie - posted on 03/20/2011

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Hahaha Jenny. I'll stand with ya there on circumcision.



And second the scheduling of breastfeeding.

Lady Heather - posted on 03/20/2011

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When my stepfather was a baby his parents let him chew on a raw steak to soothe his teething gums. I don't think I would do that one myself...

Nikki - posted on 03/20/2011

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Cereal in bottles. Scheduled breast feeding. Sleep training from birth. Smoking around infants. I love this article, it's awesome.

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