7 Common mistakes parents make with newborns
7 Common mistakes parents make with newborns
When you bring your baby home for the first time, it is completely normal to have that overwhelming feeling that you might do something wrong. Newborns can seem so fragile that you might think there’s no room for error when taking care of them.
In truth, though, it is impossible to do everything right. You’re going to make mistakes, and you are going to become a better parent as you learn from those mistakes.
That said, there are a few common mistakes that a lot of parents make. Learning about these mistakes before you make them is the best way to avoid them completely. Here are some of these mistakes:
- Not letting your baby cry it out
It is your job as a parent to ensure that your baby is not crying, right? Wrong. Most new parents associate crying with something negative that needs to be fixed. However, crying is how newborns communicate. It does not mean that they need to be consoled every time.
Therefore, when your little one is fed, diapered, and well-rested, it is perfectly OK to let them cry it out every once in a while. As you do so, keep a close eye on potential signs that there might be something going on. If they are crying inconsolably, if they are crying for over an hour, or if there’s something unusual going on like a rash or a fever, call your doctor. Always check with your doctor whenever you think something is not right.
- Ignoring your newborn
This might seem ironic considering what the last point was, but it isn’t. Letting your newborns cry it out does not mean that you ignore them. It is OK to let your baby cry it out once in a while, but it should not go on for too long. Newborns who cry for too long get stressed, and when this happens, their bodies release the stress hormone cortisol. Studies have shown that cortisol inhibits normal growth and development in babies.
Therefore, while it is OK to let your newborns cry it out when you think they are just doing it for attention and when you are sure that everything is alright with them, don’t do it for too long or too often.
- Not burping your newborns properly
Burping is something that you have to learn to do as a new parent. You shouldn’t be nervous about handling your newborn. Burp them after every feeding to reduce how much they spit up and lose milk that would have otherwise kept them sated for much longer.
- Not feeding on demand
Many new parents take every chance they can to get some rest. If the newborn sleeps for too long, they take advantage to get some sleep themselves, too. This is a common mistake.
When you have a newborn, you need to ensure that they are always well fed. Schedule your feeding sessions every two to three hours both during the day and at night. This might mean waking them up to feed them, especially when they don’t demand to be fed.
The good news is that babies only need to be fed with this frequency over the first few weeks. Once they regain their birth weight and start sleeping for 5 or 6 hour stretches, you can start gradually taking it easy with the nightime feedings.
- Not taking care of their oral health
Oral care in infants is just as important as in other kids. It is also very easy to accomplish. All you have to do is take a soft, wet cloth and gently wipe their gums and tongue after a feeding session. As your baby grows and start transitioning from breast milk, you can start introducing a little bit of water after feeding them to help prevent cavities when teething.
- Ignoring fever
It’s not normal for newborns to have a fever. When you notice that your newborn has a fever, don’t just sit back and hope that it will go away on its own. A lot of parents also administer home remedies and hope for the best. This is another common mistake that you should not make with newborns.
If your newborn has a temperature, it is smart not to take any risks. Just talk to your doctor, preferably one that already knows your baby, and listen to their advice.
- Comparing your newborn with others
Every newborn is different. However, if you know other parents with newborns who are around the same age as your little one, it is easy to fall into the trap of making milestone comparisons. Who is sitting up? Who isn’t sleeping through the night yet? Who isn’t doing this or that?
Comparing your newborns with others can leave you thinking that there is something wrong with your little one. So don’t do it. As long as your newborn is within what is considered a normal developmental range by doctors, there is no cause for alarm.
So there you have it. These are the most common mistakes parents make with newborns. Now that you know them, you will be in a better position to avoid them. Just remember that it is completely normal to make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up when you do. Good luck!