12 Newborn Mistakes You Strictly Need To Avoid
Are you excited to meet your Baby but scared of doing something wrong?
Keep reading to find out about the 12 Newborn Mistakes Every Parent Must Avoid!
Being a mom and taking care of a newborn is a learning process. No one is perfect right from the beginning. We all started from scratch and had to adjust to our new situation and deal with the responsibility of taking care of a tiny human being.
And I can guarantee you, that every mom made at least one mistake during that time. Probably even more than that. Just know that it is normal and it doesn’t make you a bad mom. You are just a mom. That’s all. No shame. No Judgement. You are doing your best and are hopefully learning from the mistakes you made.
However, there are a few important rules that every parent must know about.
Today, I will share 12 Newborn Mistakes every new parent should know about!
1. Not Supporting Your Baby’s Head
Newborns are born with a very weak neck muscle and almost no head control. There are quite a few injuries that can occur when a baby’s head is not supported the right way.
I guess everyone has heard about supporting a baby’s head at least once in their life. So everyone is always very careful and sometimes even scared when holding a baby.
For most people, holding a baby and supporting their head works out intuitively. However, some people, including myself, may need some more practice. Check out these safe ways to hold a baby I found during my own research.
2. Shaking Your Baby
Known as „Abusive Head Trauma“ or „Shaken Baby Syndrome“.
Whenever someone shakes or even hits a baby against a hard surface, an abusive head trauma will most likely be the result.
Sounds awful, right? Well, most cases happen when one of the parents is angry, tired, or upset about a crying baby. These injuries can cause permanent brain damage and even lead to death.
So please, NEVER EVER SHAKE YOUR BABY. Not out of anger and not out of “fun” while playing!
If you are feeling overwhelmed, lay your baby down somewhere safe, leave the room, and try to calm down. You can also leave your baby with your partner or a responsible caregiver and go for a walk or run some errands. Ask someone for help if nothing else seems to work.
3. Not Enough Tummy Time
Tummy time means placing your newborn on the stomach while still awake. Make sure someone is always watching your baby.
Here’s why Tummy Time is so important:
- Helps prevent flat spots on your baby’s head
- Makes neck and shoulder muscles stronger
- Improves your baby’s motor skills
4. Overfeeding Or Underfeeding
First of all, it is very uncommon for a breastfed newborn to overfeed. Always watch out for their hunger cues and try to feed on demand. Most doctors recommend breastfeeding your newborn every two hours to meet their nutritional needs, prevent underfeeding, and improve your milk supply.
However, a bottle-fed baby can overfeed which can cause discomfort in their tiny stomach. They will consume more milk and nutrients than their intestinal tract can digest. Same as before, try to watch out for their hunger signs and don’t force them to drink the entire bottle if they seem to fight against it.
5. The Burping
Your newborn needs to be burped after every feeding session. Babies tend to swallow air during feedings, burping can help to get rid of that air. In case you don’t burp your newborn on a regular basis, your baby will spit up more often and become cranky or gassy.
My midwife recommended keeping my daughter upright after feeding for at least 10 Minutes. You should stretch that time to 15 minutes or longer in case your baby spits up a lot and often. Putting them in a swing or a baby carrier can help to keep them up, in case you can’t sit down and hold them for that long. We don’t always have time for that, right?
But don’t worry, spitting up is often more uncomfortable for the parents than for the baby. However, if you feel like your newborn spits up too much and is not gaining weight or even losing some, you should talk to your pediatrician to get your baby checked.
6. Not Establishing A Sleeping Routine
A set bedtime routine is very important not only for your newborn but for children of all ages. Specific rituals like reading a book, singing a song, or snuggling will help your child understand it’s bedtime. It will actually help them fall asleep and most importantly stay asleep during the night.
Most babies are sleeping between 14-17 hours over the day and night. With time, your baby will sleep more at night and less during the day.
Just try to keep the daytime naps between 1-2 hours and prevent a nap shortly before bedtime. When my daughter was a month old, we tried to keep her awake for at least 90 minutes before her bedtime to avoid a delayed night sleep.
We always stuck to the same rituals. Bringing her into our bedroom, dimming the light, turning on her sound machine, putting her jammies on, reading some books, and laying her down. We actually did co-sleep in our bed for the first five months.
Our daughter is now 6 months old and pretty much sleeps through the night in her own crib. We usually lay her down between 5:45-06:15 pm. She wakes up once a night at around 1 am to drink some milk and then goes back to sleep until 6 am.
Just so you know, we so far never did any kind of sleep training with her.
7. Waking Them For Night Feedings
Babies need around 8-12 feedings in a 24-hour window. It is recommended that you feed your newborn every 2-3 hours. The more feedings you can get in during the day, the less your baby needs to eat at night. It’s that simple.
So whenever your baby sleeps at night, let them sleep! It is beneficial for their night sleep routine that you don’t wake them up. However, some babies that don’t eat enough during the day and sleep for a long stretch during the night can start losing weight. In that case, you should talk to your midwife or pediatrician for help and make sure your baby gets enough nutrients.
If you are breastfeeding and your boobs get very sore at night and are hurting you, try to pump some of the milk and freeze it for later. Just make sure to not pump a full session and only do it until you feel a relief. With time, your boobs will get used to your baby’s feeding schedule and produce less milk during the night. In case your baby does wake up more frequently during the night at a later age and wants to eat, you have those milk supplies in your freezer as a backup.
8. Regular Soap For Bath Time
You should always use soap that is particularly made for newborns. We always use the products by Weleda. But there are many other good brands out there.
Just know that regular soap and lotion contain a lot of chemicals that are too harsh for your baby’s skin and can actually damage it.
9. Not Drying Your Baby Properly After A Bath
You always need to make sure that your baby is all dried up after every bath. If you leave any wet spots, they will lead to red and itchy skin.
We like to place a big fluffy towel on our bed and let our daughter play on it naked for a while. It will assure that all spots on her skin get dry and she actually loves not getting dressed right away. This way she can move freely and experience the touch on her skin. And let’s be honest, it’s just stinking cute at the same time. 🙂
Experts advise not to use any lotion on your baby’s skin. However, we like to use some baby or coconut oil since we noticed that her skin gets very dry otherwise. We always use that opportunity for a good and relaxing baby massage. She enjoys it so much and for some reason always sleeps much better at night.
10. Wrong Treatment Of The Umbilical Cord
Our midwife highly recommended waiting with our baby’s first bath until the umbilical cord fully fell off. She explained that the cord will most likely dry faster and the healing process, in general, will be much quicker.
Instead, we just gave our daughter some sponge bathes whenever she had a blowout or threw up a lot. We always made sure that the cord doesn’t get wet and gently dried it with an ear stick and put some baby powder on it after every sponge bath. Please be careful with the powder and make sure it doesn’t get in your newborn’s mouth and lunges.
Make sure to check the umbilical cord daily for infections. A little bit of bleeding and a bad smell is totally normal, so don’t worry about it. However, if the cord just doesn’t seem to dry or is even swollen, call your pediatrician and let him double-check.
Never try to remove the umbilical cord yourself. It will fall off on its own after a few days or weeks.
11. Leaving Your Newborn Alone In A Vehicle
Never, ever, leave your child in an unattended vehicle. Not for quickly running into the store. Or for paying your gas bill. Or for picking up your food order in a restaurant. Not at all.
It doesn’t take long for a child’s temperature to become too high when left in a car. The actual temperature in a car can increase up to 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. Even if your baby is sleeping and the temperature feels perfect, you can actually face legal charges if someone notices your activities and reports it to the police.
So please keep that in mind. You can find more information here.
12. Not Taking Enough And Regular Photos
That’s a very personal one for me. When our daughter was born, I was taking some selfies whenever I was breastfeeding her, or she fell asleep on me. Of course, we took a bunch of pictures with her and our family members and friends. There are also many pictures taken by me of my husband and our daughter and their special moments together at the hospital and the first few days at home.
But guess what. No one and I mean literally no one, took pictures of me and my daughter. Everyone was so busy getting to know her, holding her, and getting pictures taken, that no one thought of me. I didn’t even think about me. Obviously I was busy keeping her alive, feeding her, feeding myself, and entertaining our visitors.
One day, when I was scrolling through the photos on my phone, I noticed that there were no exciting pictures with her and me. Only some selfies. And I started crying. I realized I will never have a second chance to take some photos of our first special days together.
So tell your husband or one of your family members to take lots of pictures of you and your baby. Even if you’re not feeling great or looking your best.
Need some more help with your Newborn? Check out my other posts:
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