10 Popular Parenting Hacks Moms Should Avoid

Stephanie Booth | Jan 5, 2015 Big Kid
10 Popular Parenting Hacks Moms Should Avoid

We've all cruised around the Internet looking for life hacks. And as you well know, in cyberspace you can find one for pretty much every issue you have. But although a shortcut you found on Pinterest may make a certain parenting task faster or easier, it's not always necessarily the smartest or safest choice for your little one. Not even if another mom is raving about it.

Don't believe us? Click through to see some of the craziest parent hacks we found -- which we don't recommend you try.


Would you dare to use fabric softener for #7?

Image © iShutterstock.com/clintscholz

  • You're Going to Drink What to Cure a Headache?


     Image © iStock.com/CraigRJD

    Ibuprofen for a headache? Makes sense. Kids' Tylenol? Sure. But two bottles of Gatorade? Of course, dehydration is a common cause of headaches, but shouldn't you just offer your kiddo a glass of water instead of a sports drink? Experts say yes.

  • This Might Really Burn


    Image © iStock.com/Dave_Pot

    Remember that old wives' tale of how butter helps soothe burns? (Doesn't work, BTW.) Here's another not-so-fresh idea: rubbing toothpaste on a burn. Well, while the mint it contains might initially cool the burned area, since the toothpaste isn't sterile, you're actually increasing your child's chance of a skin infection.

  • Place Your Laptop in the Bin, Not Your Baby


    Image © iStock.com/izusek

    When you go through airport security, you remove your shoes and jacket, take out your laptop and toiletries ... you know the drill. But here's something you don't want to do: Stow your baby in one of those plastic bins on the conveyor belt. Not only could your infant become injured by falling over -- or onto the ground -- but that belt leads to a potentially harmful x-ray machine that emits radiation.

    More From The Stir: Mom Whose 5-Month-Old Died After She Placed Her on Airport Conveyor Belt Sues

  • A New Kind of Latch-Key Kid?


    Image © iStock.com/CHellyar

    You put your toddler to bed, they toddle downstairs. You put them back, and five minutes later, here they come again! It's one of the most frustrating sleep issues parents face, but here's a fix we don't recommend: switching the door handles so the lock is on the outside of your child's bedroom door and locking them in for the night. Besides possibly freaking them out if they can't get to you (or even see you), this represents a serious fire hazard.

  • Baby Seriously on Board


    Image © istock.com/aphrodite74 

    We can just hear the inner dialogue that led to this hack: "Aw, that big playground slide looks like fun. I bet my baby would love to go down it. Too bad he can't walk yet. Going down might hurt him." (Eyes cut to baby still safely nested into car seat.) "Wait a second. Why don't I just keep him in the car seat and push the whole thing down the slide?"

    Um, because safety? Car seats are made to be fastened into a base. Otherwise, they tip. A lot. Sending your babe down a slide in one might result in a serious head injury.

  • There's a Front and a Back for a Reason


    Image © iStock.com/snpolus

    Plenty of accessories are available to keep kiddos safe in the water, including life vests. But what happens when an enterprising child is prone to unbuckling theirs? Some parents have a fix: Putting on your child's life vest backward so the clasps stay out of reach. Well-meaning, sure, but since vests are designed to keep kids face-up, this maneuver could actually push their faces into the water. A huge dangerous "don't."

    More From The Stir: The 5 Water Safety Tips That Will Help Your Kid's Summer Stay Fun

  • It's to Soften Clothes, Not Hair!


    Image © iStock.com/markcarper

    Fabric softener takes static out of clothes, that is true. And it is good for detangling doll hair, which might be what's causing some confusion. One parent hack suggests mixing liquid fabric softener with water and misting directly onto kids' hair to keep it soft and remove gnarly knots. We don't recommend it: There's evidence that some of the chemicals in fabric softener may cause asthma, resistance to antibiotics, and even cancer, meaning this is the last thing you want to allow to soak into your child's scalp.

  • From Binky to Choking Hazard in One Easy Step


    Image © iStock.com/sunemotion

    One parent hack floating around online suggests making a hole in a baby's pacifier to turn it into a make-shift medicine dropper. The only problem: if your baby's binky develops a crack or hole, it becomes a serious choking hazard, and experts warn to immediately toss it out.

  • Firework Fail


    Image © iStock.com/RichVintage

    Most small kids are just a bit frightened of sparklers, which keeps them safe come Fourth of July. The main worry: that they'll burn their fingers. But one parent found a way around that (or so they think): making a holder for the sparkler by threading it through a plastic cup. (Hey, it works for popsicles!) But plastic melts rapidly, and with this scenario, it could melt onto a child's skin, causing serious burns.

  • How to Tick Off Your Child


    Image © iStock.com/CareyHope 

    Image © iStock.com/CareyHope  

    If you live in a place where ticks are common, you have probably heard enough about Lyme disease to be freaked out about them. Still, panic is no reason to try to remove them with ... dish soap. Harsh chemicals on baby's skin? Probably not a good idea. But even worse -- doing this can makes ticks burrow deeper, which is the opposite of what you want!

    More From The Stir: Ticks & Pregnancy: How to Protect Yourself From the Little Buggers


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