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Avoiding the Mistakes Even Smart Moms Make

I consider myself a pretty well informed mom, yet I'll admit I've done some really stupid things with my 14-month-old.

I fed her jarred sweet potatoes when she was just 3 months old, and that's at least a month earlier than the earliest time experts recommend for the first solid food. (But she was begging!)

I've given her children's ibuprofen instead of the infant kind. (I couldn't read the label. It was 4 a.m. And it's really dark at that time of night!)

Sure, there's some solace in knowing that even the most conscientious moms make health blunders from time to time. After all, the learning curve is pretty steep: One moment you're pregnant, and then suddenly you're supposed to be an expert on eczema and peanut allergies.

The best defense against baby-health mistakes? Understanding moms' most common slipups  -- and what to do instead when it's your turn.

Mistake: Wearing shoes inside the house

Babies live on the floors and rugs  -- and right now you're tracking dirt, chemicals, and street germs on the bottom of your shoes. Babies also put every little thing they find in their mouths.

Smart solution: Invite guests to relax and remove their shoes before entering your home. For those who won't, keep a high-quality mat outside to wipe off shoes and boots, and a softer mat inside the door to catch extra dirt particles.


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