Becoming a parent for the first time brings many new wonderful experiences, emotions, and changes to your life. However, suddenly having to care and be responsible for a new human being that you have created also brings many common concerns and worries.
I remember bringing home my newborn son and becoming overwhelmed with a sense of responsibility for keeping him safe, warm, and happy, and constantly worrying if we were doing the right thing. In this blog post we'll be addressing some of the most common concerns that new parents experience - no doubt most of you will be able to relate!
Is my child breathing or not?
I remember constantly checking if my son was breathing when he was asleep. I had read so much about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) at the time and it was a worry. I would go up close to him to and check if his chest was moving with every breath and would be constantly listening out for it too. In the first few days we would even check periodically through the night. These days so much more is known a lot more about SIDS and safe sleep. The Lullaby Trust has a lot of information and advice on their website.
Is my child feeding enough?
Breastfeeding is a skill that develops with practice and most mothers and babies will eventually master it. However, most mums do worry about whether their baby is getting enough milk. Breast milk is more easily digestible than formula milk, which is why your child may get hungry more often. It can also be difficult to know how much the baby has had to drink through breastfeeding. Some parents decide to feed their babies both breast and formula milk and your midwife or GP or health visitor will be able to provide the best advice for you.
How often should I weigh my baby and why is my baby not gaining weight?
Health workers will advise that weighing your baby monthly is adequate, but there are other ways to know that your child is growing and thriving. A good indication is is seeing if your child is growing out of their clothes, if feeding is increasing, or even if they just feel heavier! If you feel that your baby is not gaining weight and you are not seeing the signs of weight gain then seek the advice of a health professional/GP.
Is my baby normal?
Another thing that most new parents worry about is whether their baby is developing normally. Are they meeting their growth and development milestones? How do I know if there is a problem? These are all normal concerns and your health visitor or GP will be able to provide the best advice and guidance. There is a wide variability in how babies develop, and comparing your baby to others may well create unnecessary worries.
Why does my baby sleep so much?
Newborn babies sleep for much of the day and night, and most only wake up when they need a feed. Some babies develop a routine themselves, or you could start to establish one by waking your baby up for a feed before your bedtime in the hope that you can get a longer more restful sleep before they wake up for a feed gain. Although every baby is different newborns will generally sleep anywhere between 8 hours and up to 18 hours in a day.
What does my babies cry mean?
The only way that babies can communicate is through their cry and it can take a little while before new parents get used to their crying cues. They will cry when they are over tired, have a nappy that needs changing, if they are hungry or lonely or in pain - or for a myriad of other reason! Parents do eventually work out what their baby's cry means.
The above are just a handful of common concerns and worries that all new parents will have in the first few months of their babies life. These worries and concerns will dissipate over time as you learn more about your baby.
Love and sleepy snuggles,