I am constantly around new babies – I swear I sneeze and there are 2 new babies in my life from my best friends to cousins to family members. Sometimes it is overhwhelming hearing about all of their “new-mom” or “to-be-mom fears.” It makes me think, what kind of new mom will I be? I did a little research and here are some new mom baby fears and how you can conquer them. J
LEAVING THE HOUSE WITH YOUR NEWBORN
- Fear: You don’t want to expose him to all sorts of germs.
- Re-Think It: Sneezing kids and groping strangers are legitimate concerns, but cabin fever is an even bigger one. You need fresh air and a change of scenery to boost your spirits. Plus, even very young babies benefit from the stimulation of a different environment.
- Move Forward: Run errands together, go for strolls, and boldly live your life. But be smart about bugs: Avoid crowds until your child is 3 months old (especially during the winter, when colds and flu are rampant).
MAKING NOISE DURING NAPTIME
- Fear: Everyone says, “Don’t wake a sleeping baby.”
- Re-Think It: Tiptoeing around the house impedes your ability to get things done in those precious free moments, like tidying up or phoning a friend. Ordinary household noise won’t wake most babies, who are used to sounds from the womb.
- Move Forward: While it’s certainly not advisable to blast your stereo, break out of your Cone of Silence. If your child is particularly noise-sensitive or tends to awaken prematurely, try turning on a fan. And if you live in a bustling city environment, a white-noise machine can effectively mute street sounds.
PUTTING YOUR INFANT DOWN TO BED WHEN HE/SHE IS CRYING
- Fear: The last thing you want is to leave her emotionally scarred from your “abandonment” or feel like you are being a “mean Mom.”
- Re-Think It: Endlessly rocking and patting your still-wailing baby can heighten up your anxiety, frustration, and exhaustion levels — three things a new mother definitely doesn’t need any more of. What’s even worse: A child who spends almost all of her time in Mommy’s arms may become even fussier when you put her down. Nip it in the bud!! It will become a vicious cycle.
- Move Forward: Accept that crying is part of being a healthy baby, not something you always need to stop. Often, it’s your child’s way of soothing his or herself. While it’s fine to soothe your infant for a while, placing her in the crib and leaving the room to take a breather is totally permissible. Just make sure he or she is not in distress.
- Fear: No one wants to listen to her child shriek for hours nonstop.
- Re-Think It: If a few months of nighttime wakings have left you feeling super tired – now imagine doing it for a year or more! While stumbling into the nursery multiple times a night to help your baby settle down feels like the right thing to do, it’s not: Sleeping through the night and self-soothing are learned skills — and it’s your job to teach them!
- Move Forward: By 3 months, your baby is developmentally ready for sleep-training. While you can certainly wait until, say, 7 or 8 months to let her cry it out, keep in mind that the older she gets, the more ingrained her nighttime habits will become. Start by putting your child in her crib, drowsy but still awake.
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