When it comes to raising newborns, many new parents will admit they are a little clueless. One minute a woman finds out she’s pregnant, and before she know it, she has a tiny baby that is all hers- and who she needs to care for 24/7.
Sometimes, parents make mistakes with their newborn babies. There are many reasons why these mistakes occur, anything from being a novice parent to just being plain ignorant. Unfortunately, when these mistakes are made, it can often put the baby in harms way, not to mention make new parents feel incapable of raising their child.
There are common mistakes new parents make with their baby that they just brought home. These common mistakes are not unusual, but they are mistakes that more parents make than they should, hence being common. As parents of newborn babies, it is important to be aware of these common mistakes so we do not fall into the trap of well, “so and so does it, so it must be okay.” Read on for some of the most common mistakes parents make with a newborn, and find out if you are at risk of falling into one or more of these mistakes!
14 Comparing Baby To Others
It is almost human nature to compare with others. One common mistake that many new parents make is comparing their baby to others. It is difficult to restrain from doing this. You naturally wonder if your baby is developmentally on point with other babies her age.
However, it is never a good idea to compare your baby to other babies. Babies develop at different rates. If you see a baby who is rolling over, but yours has not yet, that does not necessarily mean your baby is behind in his development. Making comparisons can only make us worried parents, or the opposite- parents who think their kids are more advanced than others their age! Try to not make this common mistake of comparing your baby to other babies. Your baby will smile, sit up, crawl, and more, all on his own time.
13 Letting Baby Sleep Through The Night
We want our babies to sleep through the night, right? Quite the contrary! It is not a good thing for a newborn baby to be sleeping through the night. If you think your newly home from the hospital baby will sleep through the night, they likely will not- and should not.
Newborn babies need to eat every few hours, most doctors would recommend newborns feed every four hours. This includes in the wee hours of the morning. Most experts agree as well that parents should be waking their newborn babies up to eat, and not to let their newborns sleep through the night. Many parents do not do this, and pediatricians say it is a mistake, and a common one. Failure to wake to feed is a symptom of jaundice. A newborn who does not eat every few hours is also at risk of becoming dehydrated.
12 Crazy Exposure
Newborn babies are at a much higher risk of getting ill due to their lack of immune system which is still developing and strengthening. Newborns should never be exposed to unnecessarily germs. Many new parents make the mistake of bringing newborn babies into crowded areas where exposure to germs is nearly imminent.
The more people that are around your baby, such as a crowded shopping area or birthday party, the more likely your newborn baby’s immune system will not be able to protect her, and she will wind up sick. We do not want our sweet newborn babies to get sick, they will have a hard time fighting any illness. It is best to avoid this common mistake and limit newborn baby’s exposure to crowded areas with lots of germs until she is a bit older and her immune system is stronger.
11 Getting Cabin Fever
While it is not a good idea to bring your newborn baby around lots of people, it is also not good to leave baby home all the time. We do not want baby to be exposed to germs, but baby also needs to be out and about, even just for fresh air.
It can be a common mistake for parents of newborns to keep their newborn baby cooped up at home for the first few months of their life. While thinking about sickness and germs can deter anyone from stepping outside, your newborn baby should get out a little bit. Even just a short walk or a ride around the grocery store (when it is not too crowded) is good for your baby, and for the new parents, who also should not be cooped up at home.
10 Thinking Breastfeeding Will Be Easy
Breastfeeding is different for every mother and is different for every baby. The thought that breastfeeding your newborn will be easy peasy is a common mistake many new parents make. While it is quite possible it will indeed be easy (if so, count your blessings!), for many new moms, it is much more difficult than they ever expected it to be.
It is important for new parents, especially new breastfeeding mamas, to understand that breastfeeding can be quite the process and that it may not come easily to you as the new mom, as well as to your new baby. Some babies have a difficult time latching on, others have allergies, some moms will not produce enough milk, it can be painful, and more. But know there is support out there for breastfeeding mamas.
9 Scheduling Feedings
Many new parents make the common mistake of thinking that their newborn’s habits will be easily scheduled. Newborn babies are not machines! When it comes to eating, your newborn baby may go for a long stretch of not being hungry one day, while the next day he wants to feed every two hours.
Most pediatricians recommend that new parents do not schedule feedings. Newborns should be feeding on demand, meaning, when they ask for it, they get it. A newborn baby, unless something is not right, will not eat if she is not hungry. Therefore, for the first few weeks of life, newborns should be allowed to feed on demand, and should never be deprived of eating because it is not the scheduled time to eat. It is important to be flexible.
8 Dangerous Sleep Positions
Do you know how babies should be put down to sleep? A very common mistake parents make with newborn babies is not knowing the safest way to put their baby to sleep, or thinking they know best, when experts recommend the opposite.
The thinking with how we put babies down to sleep has changed over the years. It is recommended that babies are placed on their back to sleep. This is the safest way to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, among other things. As new parents, always educate yourself when it comes to the safety of your little one. And no need to worry, once baby can roll over, if she wants to sleep on her tummy, that is usually okay, but always seek your pediatrician’s advice.
7 When Baby’s Sick
If a newborn baby develops symptoms that indicate she is sick, such as coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, a phone call to the doctor is a necessity. A very common mistake parents make with newborns is thinking the baby will be able to overcome his sickness, or thinking, well, it is just a cold.
Newborn babies do not have strong immune systems. Never, ever hesitate to call you baby’s pediatrician if you feel like something is wrong. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Experts always recommend parents trust their instincts too. It is an all too common mistake for parents to take advice from others. If people around you say your baby will be fine, but your instincts say otherwise, bring your little one in to see the doctor.
6 The Vaccination Debate
Vaccinating is quite controversial. People have their opinions regarding whether or not to vaccinate their baby. One common mistake parents make with their newborns is not educating themselves on vaccines. Some vaccines are very important, and strongly recommended, while others may be more at the parent’s’ discretion.
Parents ultimately make the final call when it comes to which vaccines their babies get or which ones are delayed in given or never given at all. Vaccines that protect against meningitis, for example, are highly encouraged to be given to babies by many medical experts, while other vaccines, such as the vitamin K shot, may be more up to the individual parent. Ultimately, experts advise that certain vaccinations are given, while many parents make the mistakes of not understanding the importance or need of some of these vaccines.
5 Too Much Baby Stuff
A trip to the baby store for an expecting mom can be sheer glory. Loading up on all those adorable onesies and baby gear can make parents-to-be feel ready and prepared for their little one’s arrival. However, many of those baby items are totally unnecessary, and may be in fact, a waste of your baby’s college savings!
Parents, of course, can purchase whatever they wish for their baby, but many parents make the mistake of buying things that they really do not need. To avoid making these wasteful purchases, talk to friends or family who have recently had a baby. They will be able to tell you what you might not want to buy. And if you are lucky, maybe you will get some hand me downs!
4 Constantly Worrying
The moment you have a baby, it is as if a switch is pulled and you become a worry wart. Parents will always worry about their little ones, even when they are not so little anymore. It is just part of being a mom or dad. However, worrying can get to the extreme, which many new parents may make the mistake of doing.
When it comes to newborn babies, it is very easy to closely examine and worry about every little thing your baby is doing. Chances are, your baby is fine. The constant worry can get in the way of truly enjoying your newborn baby, which is why it is advised that parents not get overly anxious and nervous, as it is not good for them, but it is something baby can pick up on as well.
3 Not Sleeping
Not sleeping is a common mistake parents make with their newborns. We know what you are thinking, newborn babies do not let us sleep! While yes, this is very, very true, since newborns are waking up every few hours to feed, there are times we can get some shut eye, but we don’t.
You have likely heard people say, sleep when the baby sleeps. This is true. When baby sleeps, you sleep, as well. Or at the very least get in a quick nap or just lie down for a moment. Parents too often make the mistake when they have a newborn of trying to do too much. The cleaning and cooking can wait. If you need sleep, no matter what time of day it is, take a little nap while your newborn is napping too.
2 Car Seat Installation
If you have a car, your baby needs a car seat. We all know this. There are a ton of infant seats out there on the market, so research needs to be done to decide which one to actually buy! Once you have your seat, it will be time to install it, and this is where many new parents or parents-to-be, make a very serious mistake.
Who knew car seats could be so complicated to install?! While they may seem easy to install, it is not always that way. It is wise to read through the instruction manual to make sure you are doing it correctly. Sometimes, though, parents think they install the car seat correctly when they actually have it in wrong, and that is a common error that is dangerous. Look for events or ask your local police if they check installed car seats.
1 Putting Yourself Last
It is natural for parents to put their babies first. You have a little being in your house who needs constant love and attention, which is why it is so common for parents to not think about themselves, sometimes never, once their baby is born.
This common mistake that parents make with a newborn can last, well, a lifetime. It is easy to get stuck in a rut of caring for another person, in this case, your sweet newborn baby, and then totally forget about yourself. Make time to do things that are important to you, whether it is to go to hair salon, have a date night, or even just walk around the grocery store alone or watch your favorite television show. Do things for you, it will make you are far better parent in the long run.