Bringing a newborn home is a life-changing event that can be both exciting and overwhelming. Amidst the joy and wonder of your bundle of joy, new parents can easily make mistakes. The thought of keeping a helpless, fragile baby safe and healthy can be daunting, especially for first-time parents. Here are tips for avoiding the top 10 common mistakes with your newborn.
In this article, we’ll explore ten common mistakes new parents make with their newborns. From ignoring sleep schedules to improper feeding, we’ll provide tips on how to avoid these mistakes and ensure that your little one thrives. Whether you’re a seasoned parent or a first-timer, this article will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to give your baby the best start in life.
Common Mistakes with Your Newborn
Improper Feeding Schedules
One of the most important responsibilities of a new parent is feeding their newborn. However, improper feeding schedules can result in health issues for both the baby and the mother. One common mistake is not feeding the baby often enough, which can lead to dehydration and slow weight gain. On the other hand, overfeeding can cause discomfort, colic, and even obesity in the long run.
To avoid these mistakes, it is essential to establish a feeding schedule that works for both the baby and the mother. Sometimes, a feeding tracker is a helpful too. Newborns typically need to be fed every two to three hours, and parents should pay attention to hunger cues like rooting, sucking, and crying. Breastfed babies may need to nurse more frequently, while formula-fed babies may be able to go longer between feedings.
It’s also crucial to ensure that the baby is getting enough milk during each feeding session. Signs of adequate feeding include a strong suck, swallowing sounds, and a satisfied, contented baby after feeding. If the baby seems fussy or hungry after a feeding, they may not be getting enough milk. In this case, consulting a lactation consultant or pediatrician can help parents determine the best course of action.
Finally, parents should be aware of the potential risks of overfeeding and be cautious not to use feeding as a way to soothe the baby when they are not hungry. Instead, parents can try other comforting methods like swaddling, rocking, or singing to help the baby calm down.
By establishing a proper feeding schedule and paying attention to hunger cues, parents can help ensure that their newborn is getting the nutrition they need to thrive.
Ignoring Sleep Schedules
Another common mistake parents make with their newborns is ignoring sleep schedules. While it can be tempting to let the baby sleep whenever they want, establishing a bedtime routine can help regulate their sleep patterns and make sure they are getting the necessary amount of rest.
Newborns need around 14 to 17 hours of sleep per day, which can be broken up into shorter naps throughout the day and longer periods of sleep at night. Creating a consistent bedtime routine can help signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep, such as giving them a bath, reading a story, or singing a lullaby. A soothing sound machine can create a quiet and peaceful environment for your newborn. This Hatch sound machine is a bestseller and comes with tons of sounds, colors and control settings.
By establishing a sleep schedule, parents can also ensure that they are getting adequate rest themselves. Sleep deprivation can have negative effects on both parents and babies, and a regular sleep schedule can help mitigate these effects.
Not burping your baby enough can also lead to discomfort and disrupted sleep patterns.
Not Burping Enough
Newborns require a lot of care and attention, and sometimes it can be overwhelming for new parents. One common mistake that parents make is not burping their baby enough after a feeding. When a baby eats, he or she swallows air which can lead to discomfort, fussiness and disrupted sleep patterns. It can help to burp your baby after each feeding to help release any trapped air and relieve discomfort.
Not burping your baby enough can also lead to difficulty in digestion, and your baby may be more prone to spit-up or colic. However, overburping can also cause discomfort, so it’s important to find a balance and learn your baby’s particular needs. Some babies require only a few minutes of burping, while others may need more time.
By taking the time to burp your baby consistently, you can help prevent discomfort and promote healthy digestion. This, in turn, can lead to better sleep patterns for both you and your baby. Additionally, establishing good burping habits early on can help your baby develop better eating habits as they grow older.
Overdressing or Underdressing
Understanding your baby’s clothing needs is essential to keep them comfortable and promote their wellbeing. Overdressing or underdressing can lead to discomfort, irritation, and even health issues. During the first weeks of life, your baby may need an extra layer of clothing to keep warm, but be careful not to overbundle them. Signs of overheating include damp hair, sweating, and flushed cheeks. On the other hand, if your baby feels cold, they may become fussy, cry, and have trouble sleeping.
When choosing clothes for your newborn, make sure they are made of soft, breathable materials that won’t irritate their delicate skin. Avoid tight clothing, tags, and rough seams that can cause discomfort and itchiness. Dress your baby in layers that you can easily remove or add depending on the temperature. Halo sleep sacks are a great way to keep baby’s cozy and warm.
To avoid common dressing mistakes, check your baby’s temperature regularly by feeling their chest, tummy, and neck. If they feel too warm or cold, adjust their clothing accordingly. Also, pay attention to the weather conditions and avoid exposing your baby to extreme temperatures. By providing your baby with the right clothes, you can help them feel comfortable, relaxed, and happy.
Improper Car Seat Use
Improper car seat use is a common mistake that new parents make, and it can have serious consequences. To keep your baby safe while driving, it’s important to follow some simple guidelines.
First, make sure that you have the right car seat for your baby’s age, weight, and height. Rear-facing car seats are recommended for infants up to at least 2 years of age or until they reach the maximum weight or height limit for the car seat. After that, a forward-facing car seat is appropriate. Finally, a booster seat is typically needed until the child is big enough to use a seat belt alone.
In addition to having the right car seat, it’s important to use it correctly. Make sure that the seat is installed tightly and at the correct angle. The harness straps should be snug but not too tight, with the chest clip at armpit level. Finally, do not place any bulky clothing, toys, or other objects under the harness straps, as this can affect the fit and safety of the car seat.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your baby is safe and secure while driving.
Neglecting Skin Care
Newborn skin is incredibly delicate and needs proper care and attention. Neglecting skin care is a common mistake that many new parents make, simply because they are not aware of the importance of it. But by taking a few simple steps, you can keep your baby’s skin healthy and protected.
First and foremost, make sure you are using the right products on your baby’s skin. Stick to gentle, fragrance-free options that are specifically designed for newborns. Avoid using adult products or those that contain harsh chemicals, as they can irritate delicate skin.
When it comes to bathing your baby, keep it simple. You do not need to give your newborn a full bath every day, as this can actually strip their skin of natural oils. Instead, consider giving them a sponge bath or washing their face, neck, and diaper area with a damp cloth.
It’s also important to keep your baby’s skin moisturized. Again, stick to gentle, fragrance-free options, and apply the lotion or cream immediately after bathing while their skin is still damp.
By following these simple steps, you can keep your baby’s skin healthy and protected. And don’t forget, healthy skin is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to overall baby care.
Lack of Tummy Time
Tummy time helps babies develop the muscles in their neck, shoulders, and back, which are essential for achieving developmental milestones like crawling and sitting up.
Unfortunately, many new parents overlook the importance of tummy time, and some may even actively avoid it because their baby seems uncomfortable or fussy. However, it’s essential to persist and gradually build up the time your baby spends on their tummy, starting with just a few minutes a day and increasing as they get stronger and more comfortable.
Of course, never leave your baby unattended during tummy time, and always make sure they are on a safe, flat surface free of any potential hazards. With consistent tummy time, you can give your baby a head start on their physical development and prepare them for the exciting milestones that lie ahead.
While tummy time is essential, it’s not the only factor to keep in mind when caring for your newborn. Another common mistake is not responding promptly to your baby’s cries, which can lead to further problems.
Not Responding to Crying
Another crucial aspect of caring for your newborn is responding promptly when they cry. As a new parent, it can be overwhelming to hear your baby cry, especially when you’re not sure what they need. However, ignoring their cries can have negative consequences, both in the short and long term.
When babies cry, it’s their way of communicating with you. They may be hungry, tired, or in need of a diaper change. If you ignore their cries, they may become more agitated and cry even louder, making it harder for you to soothe them. Additionally, studies have shown that babies whose cries are consistently ignored may have developmental delays in language, cognitive, and social-emotional areas.
To make sure that you’re responding to your baby’s cries promptly, it’s important to pay attention to their cues. Is your baby rubbing their eyes or pulling at their ears? These may be signs that they’re tired or have an ear infection. By responding quickly to their needs, you’ll help to build a strong bond with your baby and promote their overall health and well-being.
However, it’s also important to note that not all crying is a sign that something is wrong. Some babies simply cry more than others, and this is normal. By learning to distinguish between different types of cries, you can better respond to your baby’s needs without feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
Read Next: Must Haves Before your Baby Comes
Allowing Too Much Screen Time
In today’s society, screens surround us everywhere we go, and it’s easy to inadvertently introduce them to our newborns. However, pediatricians recommend that screen time should be avoided for children under two years old. Why? Because it can disrupt sleep patterns and interfere with healthy brain development in infants.
Furthermore, screen time can also decrease the amount of time a parent interacts with their newborn, which in turn can affect the child’s social and emotional development. Instead of screens, try spending time with your baby, talking, singing and reading to them. These activities will not only engage your newborn, but also stimulate their developing brain.
However, it’s important to remember that parenthood is not an easy task and can sometimes feel overwhelming. That’s why it’s crucial to ask for help when you need it.
Not Asking for Help
It’s natural for new parents to feel unsure about how to care for their newborn. They may feel pressure to handle everything on their own and not ask for help, but this can be detrimental to both the parent and the baby. Being a parent is a difficult job, and it’s okay to ask for assistance when you need it.
This can come in many forms, such as hiring a babysitter for a few hours or asking a family member to come over and help with household chores. Not reaching out for help can cause unnecessary stress and exhaustion, which can have negative effects on your mental and physical health, as well as the baby’s.
Furthermore, not asking for help can lead to improper feeding schedules. When a parent is overwhelmed and tired, it’s easy to fall into a routine that’s not optimal for the baby’s development. It’s important to have a set feeding schedule and to stick to it as much as possible.
This will help the baby develop a routine and ensure they are receiving the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong.
You’re Going to Do Great
Caring for a newborn can be overwhelming, but by avoiding the common mistakes discussed in this article, you can ensure that your little one thrives.
Remember to maintain proper feeding and sleep schedules, burp your baby enough, dress them appropriately, use car seats correctly, prioritize skin care, give them enough tummy time, respond to their cries, limit screen time, and ask for help when needed.
As a parent, you play a crucial role in your child’s development. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician or loved ones for support. With the right mindset and preparation, you can provide your newborn with a healthy and happy start to life. You’re going to do great!