I could write a book on all the mistakes I have made as a parent, like the time I was not paying attention while my son decorated his room with baby powder ( I still have nightmares about cleaning that up!). I have learned that there are common mistakes that every new parent makes, myself included.
1. Over estimating your time
You think to yourself, “Gee, I am going to have so much time to get everything done when I’m home with baby.” Newborns need to be fed every 2-4 hours. Many parents find it takes 30 minutes to an hour to feed their little ones. This is round the clock. Not to mention if your baby has colic or just trouble sleeping. Do the math. This takes up 90% of your time!
2. My baby NEEDS a schedule
Infants will tell you when they are ready for a schedule. I know it would be easier if they were on a schedule earlier, but sometimes that is not possible. Follow your babies cues. If they are tired let them sleep. Sleep is important for their growth and development, and newborns need approximately 18 hours a day of sleep.
3. Comparing your baby with other babies
Every baby is different. New parents will drive themselves crazy comparing milestones. “Why isn’t my baby smiling? My friends baby was born two weeks later and he is already smiling!” This includes comparing to older siblings (I have done this so many times! It is a habit I am slowly breaking). Remember, follow your instincts and always talk to your doctor if you have concerns. Infants develop at their own pace.
4. Over feeding your baby
If you are bottle feeding, it is very easy to over feed your infant. Think of it this way: You do not always eat on a strict schedule and sometimes you eat more, sometimes you eat less. Why would it not be the same for your infant? Watch for their baby signals. Are they crying to eat or do they have gas? Are they spitting up after every feeding (this can also be a sign of reflux so please talk with your doctor)? If they are full, stop feeding them. Reevaluate the times you feed your infant. Perhaps you are feeding your baby too much all at once and need to break the feeding into two smaller feedings. Remember, you are teaching them healthy eating habits even from this young age.
5. Spending too much money
Infants do not need that much. Make sure to not over-buy diapers, because your little one might start to grow out of them sooner than you think. The same goes for clothes! There are so many beautiful infant clothes and often babies get to wear them once or twice before they grow out of them. Save that money for a college fund!
You are your little ones first teacher and you need to speak to them. The earlier the better! Build that baby vocabulary up! Many parents say, “But they do not understand me anyway.” Studies have shown that the sooner your begin to talk with your baby the larger their vocabulary and the more likely they will enjoy reading. What to say? Try narrating what you are doing, step by step, “I am picking you up to take you to your crib. Mommy is cooking herself lunch.” Also, sing! Sing anything!
7. Confusing vomit with spit-up
It does not matter how forceful it comes flying out of your child’s mouth, and it can shoot across the room (hope you are not standing in the way). What makes it vomit is a about frequency, maybe every 30-35 minutes, regardless if your baby has eaten.
8. Neglecting your significant other
This happens with the birth of each child! You are both tired and busy, but it is important to make time for each other (even if you would rather be sleeping!), even if it is time snuggling on the couch before bed, a funny or sexy text message, or a date night inside your house. You have created this beautiful life together. Do not forget about each other.
Remember, no one is perfect, but our babies are not looking for perfection. They are looking for love. I think we all got that covered.
- Washing Baby Bottles – The Right Way to Get Your Baby Bottles Clean (dailylivingexperiences.wordpress.com)
- Colic In Newborns May Be An Early Symptom Of Migraines (natureworldnews.com)
- Baby Talk: New Ways to Sleep When You’re a New Parent (plushbeds.com)