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10 Things Moms Are Doing That They Shouldn't Be

As it turns out, the more kids you have, the better you get at being a mom, . When I was a first-time mom, I did so many things that I thought were okay/appropriate/safe, etc. Now that I've got three kids and have read more articles and statistics than I care to admit, I'm a little bit ashamed of how little I actually knew about baby safety when I only had one little booger to take care of. The sad thing is, most of these things are entirely common. In fact, I've bet you've done or seen one of these things today. Do us all a favor and share this post with your other mama friends. The more awareness we all have about dangers and misconceptions and what not, the better off (and safer!) our babies will be. Without further adieu, here are 10 things moms are doing that they shouldn't be...

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1. Putting carseats on top of shopping carts - Just don't do it. Shopping carts are not made to hold an infant car seat safely. Car seat manufacturers warn against putting them on top of shopping carts. Not only could the carseat fall from the top of a shopping cart, a shopping cart could collapse and trap your baby. They are called car seats for a reason and should only be used in the car.

2. Leaving kids in the car - We've all heard the tragic news stories of babies dying from heat because they were left in a hot car. But heat is not the only danger. No matter their age, children should not be left unattended in a vehicle. There are too many tragedies of children strangling themselves with the seatbelt, setting the vehicle into motion, being involved in car theft while they're inside, and more. Even for a run-in and run-out errand, your children need to go with you.

3. Giving babies Benadryl in hopes of a better night's sleep - You wouldn't believe how many people suggested I give my daughter Benadryl when she wasn't sleeping through the night as a newborn. And I know many parents who use drugs like this to medicate their children during road trips, flights, and and other time they want them sedated. The fact is, Benadryl isn't meant to be given as a sedative. In fact, it can be dangerous. And sometimes, your child can have an adverse reaction to it. Benadryl's sole purpose is to help the body manage it's response to an allergic reaction. If you are reaching for drugs every time your child won't sleep, talk to your physician.

4. Giving young children coffee - I know it might sound crazy, but the trend to give young children coffee and other caffeinated beverages is actually becoming more and more common. However, children who consume caffeine can suffer from several negative side effects such as slowed heart rate, high blood pressure, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, and more. Not only that, children who consume caffeinated drinks are less likely to drink water and milk, depriving their bodies of things they need.

5. Locking kids in their room while sleep training - I've been there. Your kids keep getting out of bed. It seems like they've gotten out 30 times. So, you think you might put a childproof door lock on the inside of their room so that they can't get out. DON'T. I can't think of anything more dangerous than a kid not being able to get out of their bedroom. If there was a fire or some other emergency, children need to be able to open their bedroom doors.

6. Letting kids wear puffy winter coats in the car - Did you know that wearing too many layers and bulky outerwear while buckled into a car seat can actually be very dangerous? When the harness isn't snug and tight, next to the child, it puts them at risk for being ejected from the car seat during an accident.

7. Putting the stroller on the escalator - Thankfully, most escalators have a sign that warn you about taking a stroller. The fact is, it's just dangerous. Strollers are often draped with strings and cords and bags, all of which can get caught in an escalator. Instead, fold your stroller up and carry it while you ride, or better yet, take an elevator.

8. Putting Bumbos, bouncers, and carseats on high surfaces - It seems like a reasonable idea. You're trying to feed your baby or keep them entertained while you make dinner, so you put them in the bouncer on your kitchen table. But, these items do not belong on high surfaces. There have been too many accidents related to falls. Instead, keep them on the floor where they belong.

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9. Not buckling kiddos into strollers, high chairs, etc. - I'm guilty of this one. You're positive your baby can't get up or get out. And then, they are standing in the stroller or high chair and you just about have a heart attack. Even if it seems unnecessary, always buckle your child into these things. Every year, there are countless accidents because children are not properly buckled in.

10. Not babyproofing - I know you've got your hands full and that babyproofing just seems like one more thing to do. But trust me, you need to babyproof. Cover your outlets. Lock cabinets. Gate your stairs. Remove anything that could cause strangulation. Put medicines and cleaning supplies and other harmful substances far out of baby's reach.

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