Babies can be scary to handle. Oh sure, it’s amazing to find out you’re pregnant and lovely to expand your family once you’re in a place to do so! But there’s so much worry you’ll have to deal with as well! And so many new parents can be overwhelmed by the idea that something might go wrong, or that they’ll do something ‘wrong’ when it comes to raising their baby.
It’s important to understand that; this kind of worry can keep you up at night and even make you ill. But that’s no good for anyone! Whether you feel ready to burst or you’ve just brought your newborn home, stress over making mistakes can cause you to panic more than you need to. Not only does that feel horrible, but it can also make you more liable for mistakes, and on the cycle goes.
But every parent out there has problems during the newborn period. It’s very normal to feel like your baby isn’t hitting their milestones on time, or that the sniffles they get every now and then are serious. In truth, your baby is just going at their own pace! As such, let’s go through the common problems parents like you will go through over the next few months, and why you shouldn’t worry too much about them.
Dealing with Crying
Babies cry, and they can cry a lot. That sound can be incredibly grating to the ears, and sometimes you’ll feel yourself being unable to handle it. Don’t panic – this happens to every new parent. It’s why anyone leaving the birthing suite with their newborn is advised to take a step back and go for a breather if their baby won’t stop crying. It prevents you from getting overwhelmed and keeps your baby healthy during those moments.
Being attentive to your child when crying isn’t bad either. Leaving them to cry it out tends not to work in the long run, and can even mean a child will become shy and reserved as they get older. Make sure they’re fed, changed and clean, and comfortable, and always go back for another burping session just in case there’s a gas build up.
Don’t Fret Too Hard Over Their Hygiene
A baby’s hygiene is incredibly important, of course, but your child doesn’t need to be squeaky clean. Indeed, no human ever is, or ever will be! And if you bathe your child a little too frequently, their skin will dry out and may even become brittle. Keep the washing brief and only a couple times a week, and always use a nice soft flannel or sponge when your child is in the bath.
Issues with Feeding
Feeding your baby can be hard if you’ve chosen to breastfeed. While pregnancy classes can teach you a lot about the right position and what supports to use, doing it in the moment might take time to get used to. After all, you need to find out what works for you and your baby, and what doesn’t lead to cracked nipples and a hungry child!
Take your time, and adjust as much as you need to! And remember, if breastfeeding is painful for longer than these first few feeds, be sure to talk to a doctor.
Getting Your Baby to Sleep
Sleep is the main villain of the newborn period. Sure, some babies are easy and tend to get into a routine as soon as you set one for them, but many babies struggle to sleep alone and/or according to the schedule you’ve set for them. Indeed, many parents find their baby won’t sleep in bassinet or refuse to sleep anywhere except in their arms. While that can be very sweet, it can be incredibly frustrating if you’ve got other things to do or want to lie down for a nap yourself!
But sleep issues are normal, and the more you stick to your guns over the schedule, the sooner your baby will adjust. Bathtime, cuddle time, bedtime – stick with it and they’ll get used to it. They’ll stop waking for night feeds, they’ll be tired on time and ready to go down, and you’ll soon get into a more healthy sleeping routine yourself. A few weeks of struggle are worth it when you’ve got months of peace ahead of you!
Being at Home a Lot is No Bad Thing
When it comes to caring for a newborn, ensuring they’re not exposed to coughs and colds, sniffles and the flu is one of the biggest actions you can take. That means limiting their exposure to people who aren’t their primary caregivers within the first couple months of life. In the grand scheme of things, this is one good thing to worry about, and you’re right about avoiding too many people at once.
So, no big crowds and no extended family reunions right now! Wait a little longer, especially if your baby is set to be vaccinated in the near future but isn’t inoculated yet. You can go out every day to quiet areas where there is plenty of fresh air, but stay away from downtown metropolises and systems like an underground subway. However, if you want a couple more days at home, that’s fine too.
Have a Small First Aid Kit Available, Just in Case
It’s something you should have in your house anyway, but make sure it’s updated with all the right tools and supplies. Namely, if you don’t have a thermometer in there, you’ll need to invest in one. Why? Because babies are liable for fevers, and they’re usually the first sign your infant could be going through something serious.
But on the other hand, they could also mean your baby is just a little too hot right now, or has picked up something small. As a rule, anything over 100 is something to call the doctor over. In the meantime assess their other symptoms as well; if there’s an absence of these, you might not need to worry at all.
Enjoy the Cuddle Time!
If you’re worried you’re cuddling your baby a little too much, or even that you’re not cuddling your baby enough, feel free to lift them onto your chest right now and have some cuddle time! Babies love to be with their parents, and it’s the one thing that makes them feel comfortable and secure at such a young age. So never let yourself worry you’re holding your little one too often – that’s all part of the bond!
Of course, you can structure cuddle time around feeding times and their bedtime, but never neglect it. If your baby won’t settle, bring them up for a cuddle and a story and they’ll soon calm down enough for their usual routine. Sometimes all they need is a reminder that they’re with people they know; it gives them a chance to breathe in your scent as well as listen to your heartbeat, which we now know they love a lot.
If you’re worried the newborn stage will be too difficult for you, you’re not alone. So many parents have been in this position, and have muddled their way through just fine. But all in all, it’s OK to think you may make a mistake! As long as you’re caring for your child, and you’re aware that problems like those above are common, you’ll be just fine. Keep the points above in mind if you can’t get your thoughts off of those newborn blues right now.