New-mom anxiety is real and valid. It’s also completely normal. Having a baby for the first time is both an extremely challenging experience and a scary one. You have the precious life of a tiny human in your care – an angel that fills your heart with so much love and joy, you can hardly contain the feelings. Naturally, you want to make sure you’re doing everything right!
It’s not an understatement to say being a first-time mom is an intense roller-coaster ride! Here are five of the most common worries every new mom has.
Why is my baby crying?
Most days, it may seem like all your baby does is cry. Sometimes, calming him down is easy; other times, it’s not. And when baby cries nonstop, you might feel like crying along with him.
You might worry that something’s wrong. Is he hurt? Sick? Does he have a tummy ache? Is he not getting enough breastmilk? Is he scared?
Crying is baby’s way of communicating with you, and it will take a bit of time until you figure out what his cries mean. While you’re still learning, try to stay calm. Just like when he was still inside your womb, your baby can sense what you’re feeling, and you won’t be able to properly soothe him if you’re freaking out. Do not let negative thoughts overcome you.
Remember that a newborn’s basic needs only includes sleeping, feeding, and pooping; and when he cries, it can mean that they’re hungry, they need a diaper change, or they’re tired and sleepy. Talking to your baby in a soothing voice also helps. He may not understand your words, but your voice will help calm him down.
Is my baby developing normally?
Don’t compare your baby to other babies, especially when it comes to their development. Every baby develops at their own pace. Instead of focusing on what she’s not yet able to do, focus on what she’s interested in and cultivate that. You can slowly introduce toys that are designed to help develop her intellectual and motor skills, but don’t force them on her if she doesn’t show any interest. Simply move on to a different one.
Do not worry that maybe you’re not doing enough to help her along. And do not get overwhelmed by the stuff you read and watch online. Most of your time should be spent being with your child – being present physically, mentally, and emotionally. During baby’s first year, developing the mother-and-baby bond is more important than any media-endorsed advancement.
Do I need to call the doctor?
Difficulty breathing, vomiting, a high fever, and other serious issues warrant immediate medical attention and you should call your doctor immediately. Other issues – such as a runny nose or a small cut from when you were clipping his nails – can wait until your baby’s next appointment with his pediatrician or the next day’s clinic hours.
Speaking of visits to the doctor, follow your pediatrician’s vaccination schedule for your baby. This is the standard vaccination schedule established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Despite what anti-vaxxers claim, there are no studies that show that vaccines cause autism. Whatever concerns you may have about your baby’s immunization, discuss them with your pediatrician or a primary care physician near you so you can be better informed.
Everything is harmful for my baby!
It’s true that there are numerous elements that are harmful for your baby. Chemicals, choking hazards, electric sockets, the stairs, germs, and so on and so forth. Protecting her from danger and disease is a major parental responsibility. But you should also be careful not to be overly cautious. Being overprotective can cause more harm than good.
With the deluge of information available online these days, figuring out “the best way to be a parent,” what to do and what not to do, can be a tricky affair. There are countless articles on the internet that tell parents what’s harmful for a baby. Arming yourself with information is always good – as long as you weigh all the pros and cons and look at all sides of an issue. Again, when you have concerns about your baby’s well-being, talk to your pediatrician or a family medicine doctor.
Am I doing enough and am I doing things right?
As long as your priority is your baby’s welfare, you’re on the right track. There will be times when you’ll doubt yourself; when you’ll worry that you might not be doing enough and not doing things right. During these times, trust your instinct as a mother. Do what you feel and think is best for your child.
It’s also okay to seek help from your mommy friends, your own mother or mother-in-law, or your doctor when you’re not sure what to do. But at the end of the day, you will still decide what’s best. You know your baby more than anybody else, after all. And just as importantly, do not let your fear of what other mothers/parents might think of you influence how you care for your baby. If your baby is healthy and happy, then you’re doing okay!
Being a new mom is a wonderful and scary experience; there’s nothing quite like it. Enjoy every moment as much as you can. As the saying goes, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Don’t let your new-mom worries get the best of you and deprive you of precious moments with your angel.