There are so many things to think about when your baby is born. Let’s start off by saying that these five ‘mistakes’ are all perfectly natural and expected. We all do them, and we think it will help you to know that you are not alone with your concerns.
1. Worrying about everything
2. Not letting baby cry
3. Wrapping up too tightly
5. Taking advice from everyone & everywhere
Worrying about everything
This is a big issue for almost all new parents! Unless you are a super-human being with a super-human ability to switch off the thousands of thoughts that the majority of new parents have flooding through their minds every hour of the day, you are going to worry and yes, you are probably going to worry about everything.
First of all let’s look at the reasoning for your worry because, in the main, most of your worries will be rational concerns. You have bought this new life into the world and you love your baby more than you could possibly imagine. You want to care for and protect your baby as if your life depended on it.
You may worry on a variable scale of importance from losing your baby to wondering whether baby is cool enough, warm enough. What I found helped me was (if I could catch myself in time before the worries spiralled out of control) to stop whatever I was doing ad sit down. I would close my eyes for a moment and then religiously ask myself a set of questions. What I then did with my worry would depend on my own answers to the questions, so here they are:-
1. Is this an urgent concern – does a doctor need to be involved?
2. On a scale of 1 to 10, what number does it rank on my worry scale?
3. Is there anyone I can ask about this right now?
4. Could I find a sensible answer to this from an Internet search?
5. Will this be a worry for me tomorrow or am I just being anxious today?
First and foremost, your prime concern is baby’s health. If there is ever the tiniest doubt in your mind, it is far better to be over-cautious than to wait it out. Always seek advice on health concerns even if you are made to feel you are worrying unnecessarily. You know your baby better than anyone and there is no doubt that mother’s instinct is finely tuned in these situations.
You may come up with your own set of questions of course but, for all the teeny day-to-day worries that you have, try to put them aside. One of my friends has a worry jar. She will write her worry on a small notepad, tear it off and put it in the jar. As she puts the note in the jar, she imagines that the worry has moved from her mind to the paper and then locked away in the jar. I never tried this but I have heard that it works well for quite a lot of people.
Remember too, that you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t worry a little. It is perfectly natural. It only really becomes a problem if the worries are dominating your life and spoiling your time with baby.
Not letting baby cry
Babies cry for many reasons, here are a few:-
3. Too warm
4. Wrapped too tightly
6. Awake and wanting attention
7. Dirty or wet diaper
You might, like me, may find it hard to ignore your baby crying but, as my mum explained to me, if you always rush to baby when he or she is crying, they will grow up as children that know they only need to make a fuss to get what they want. We all want our children to grow up as well-balanced adults that learn to work for what they want in life, and to be polite and courteous to others.
If you know that baby has been fed, is warm or cool enough, not wrapped up too tightly and has a dry diaper then there should be no reason for the crying other than wanting attention. By all means, check baby if you are concerned but don’t get into the habit of diving into the nursery at the tiniest squeak of sound every few minutes. I did, and it took me many months to get Paul used to not having me jump immediately he cried. I was exhausted and yes my mum did try to tell me but I wouldn’t listen.
Wrapping up too tightly
Make sure that your baby can move freely and that his or her blankets are not too heavy, giving a constricting feeling of pressure. Some babies don’t like sleeves and get frustrated with the feeling of tightness on their arms. Imagine yourself being restricted, especially when you are trying to sleep. It would be impossible. The main thing is to make sure that the room is warm enough that you can leave baby comfortable without too many layers.
There is no doubt that parents who are able to relax and be calm in their approach to baby, and life for that matter, has an easier ride. Your baby picks up on calm energy and naturally feels calm with very little effort from you to create that. If you are agitated, stressed or panicky, it is pretty much a certainty that your baby will become agitated and stressed and end up crying.
When you panic, you lose your sense of logic and make poor decisions. At these times, take a deep breath and maybe ask yourself the set of questions that I mentioned above in regards to worrying. You want to teach your baby to grow up as a calm and rational adult so it is great to be a role model for that behavior by being calm yourself from a very early stage of his or her coming into your world.
Taking advice from everyone and everywhere
You will get advice from your mum, your mum-in-law, your friends and the rest of your family, your colleagues and other mums. You will have perfect strangers feel that they know your baby better than you do! If you listened to all of this advice, your head will be reeling and, as most of it will be conflicting advice, you will end up not knowing what to do for your own decisions on parenting. Learn to switch off; try not to get annoyed because it will drive you nuts! Smile sweetly and say thank you and back away as quickly as you can!
The other danger is the Internet. You see a small health issue and you browse the Internet, immediately putting yourself into a tailspin because your search returned terminal or serious illnesses. The Internet is fantastic for finding products, especially for baby and the nursery, but it can be a total nightmare when you research a symptom. Should your search unfold this scenario, my best advice would be to talk to a health professional as soon as you possibly can to put your mind at rest.
We live in a society where we have information overload – which is both a positive and negative experience, sometimes tipping the balance almost completely one way and then the other.
Always talk to an expert or health professional and save yourself hours and hours of worrying.
These five things are what most of us parents are guilty of in the first year or with the first child. As time goes on and you become more experienced, you will find that you worry less and less and learn how to get on with your parenting without turning yourself inside out with worry.
5 things that new mums worry about
You wouldn’t be normal if you didn’t worry. Bringing a new life into the world is a scary prospect for all of us. When I was completely freaking out with worry, it would have helped to know that others mums went through the same thing as I was going through.