Nana (Old School) vs. Pediatrician (New School)

We all have that one person in our lives that their career choices just make sense for their personalities. Like the one friend that has all the book sense in the world but lacks a little common sense and decides to be an engineer or a doctor. Well, mine is my mother. My mother (Nana) is what I would like to call a professional mother. Nana takes care of everyone and it makes sense, she has been a mother since she was 16 years old. Though Nana has had a string of odd jobs just to make sure some of the bills were taken care of and that my sister (Aunt Bae) and I had what we needed, her main priority has always been being a Mom. That’s why it came as no surprise to me that Nana had a lot of “thoughts and recommendations” when it came to raising Saint. Hell… I expect it and welcome it. But, not all the time do those “thoughts and recommendations” align with what our pediatrician says. For starters…

Giving Saint rice cereal at 2 weeks/or when his digested system “seems” normal – Not sure if this is a cultural thing, but it is believed that babies wake up in the middle of the night because they are hungry. To solve this, give the baby a little pinch (literally a pinch) of rice cereal before bedtime to not only introduce them to food but to get them to sleep a little bit longer through the night. Of course, Saint’s pediatrician was totally against this. She explained that Saint’s digestive system is still developing and is very sensitive. He should not be given anything outside of breastmilk or formula so the rice cereal is out of the question. So, where does that leave me? I mean Nana is a professional mom and had 2 kids and 3 grandkids prior to Saint that followed all her rules and turned out perfectly fine. I can’t go against Nana! So, I gave Saint a little cereal before bedtime and he still didn’t sleep through the night, so I stopped. Now that Saint sleeps at least 7 hours during the night, I haven’t thought about trying the cereal again but, once we get the okay from the pediatrician we will start back.

Boiling water for formula or using tap water – Since Saint and I didn’t have the best experience with breastfeeding, we use formula 50% of the time and I pump the other 50% of the time. During Saint’s first checkup with the pediatrician, she advised us that it is totally safe using tap water for formula. As soon as his pediatrician left the room I knew exactly what Nana was about to say. Nana quickly looked at Hubby and I and said: “We are boiling that baby’s water and putting it in mason jars”. Hubby and I didn’t ask any questions, just nobbed and said: “yes ma’am”. Sadly with all water contamination mishaps (Flint, MI for example), there was no way we were comfortable with giving Saint tap water. I am no scientist or chemist, and honestly, I am not 100% sure that boiling water is much safer, but I would much rather take my chance with boiling his water rather than him drinking straight from the tap.

The use of baby powder – As many moms are aware, babies have extremely sensitive skin and Saint was no exception. First, it was baby acne which we completely left alone and it went away on its own by the time he was 1 month. Shortly after the baby acne went away, Saint started getting little small bumps around his neck. We immediately knew it was a heat rash. Nana could recall times when I was a baby and she used baby powder with cornstarch around my neck to dry up some of the moisture and prevent more bumps from coming. This was obviously a no-brainer, we would do the same thing for Saint. After doing this for a couple weeks it was time for Saint’s 2-month checkup, Hubby and I showed Saint’s pediatrician what was left of the rash on his neck. His pediatrician says we should only use Aquaphor and Vaseline since they act as a barrier protectant and no baby powder should be used because the powder can enter into their nasal passages. Since we didn’t want any issues with Saint nasal passages Hubby and I immediately discontinued the use of the baby powder.

First-time mothers receive a lot of recommendations and suggestions from a lot of different sources. Although you should listen to your child pediatrician, there is nothing that can replace that old school wisdom. Knowledge is power, but at the end of the day do what you feel is right for your child whether it’s following the old school or the new school.


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