When a woman becomes a mother for the first time, they are filled with unanswered questions about parenting and so much uncertainty that it can be overwhelming. This new role in her life is probably one of the most difficult to adjust to and she has to do it quickly because she has a little life counting on her to keep them happy and healthy.
As time passes, you get used to being a mother to a little person, you gain confidence and look back on the first-time-mom worries that you used to have and laugh about it. The stresses that kept you up at night now seem like a joke and you have no idea why you ever worried about them.
In this article, we will be discussing the very honest worries that many first time moms have that feel very real in the moment, but when they look back on them, they can laugh about it.
Whether you are a new mom who worries a lot and would like to know that you are not the only one or if you are an experienced mom who used to relate to these but can now laugh at them, this article is sure to be a good read!
15 Putting The Nappy On Wrong
Sounds like a simple task doesn't it? Wipe the baby clean and put on a new nappy, that is it! However, when you are actually faced with the task for the first time it can be quite daunting, with many new mothers fearing that they will do it wrong and the baby will end up with a backward nappy that is leaking everywhere.
One mother I spoke to very honestly told me, "the first time my daughter needed her nappy changed, I buzzed the midwife. I had no idea where to start and was so scared I would put the nappy on the wrong way! I had never even held a baby before so I was pretty clueless, the midwife had to talk me through everything. Now I look back and laugh".
14 Burping Too Hard
"I was terrified of burping my little boy at the start and always thought I was patting his back too hard. I always felt so guilty as if I was going to bruise him, even though I would barely tap his back. Now I am used to it and know that I am obviously not hurting him with such a gentle touch", said one mother as she shared her honest fears that she used to have when burping her son.
Burping is a necessary and recommended action to undertake when it comes to looking after a new baby because often they cannot get wind out themselves after they feed, which could cause major discomfort, unless we help them by gently tapping them on the back, causing them to let out a burp.
13 The Dreaded First Cut
You have heard the horror stories of when a mother accidentally cuts her baby's skin instead of their nails and this may be why this fear is one of the biggest when it comes to new mothers. Facing the task of cutting those tiny fingernails and toenails can cause a new mom to go into a bit of a panic. All you want to do is protect and comfort your child, not cause them pain, so the thought of doing just that can be terrifying until you figure out how to do it and pick up little tips and tricks along the way.
One mom shared her experience with me, "I was so scared of cutting my baby's nails! I ended up using a soft nail file instead of cutting them. Nurses told me just to bite them off but I couldn't do it".
12 Tiny Mouths And Big Bottles
This may sound silly as feeding is such a natural and vital part of living, growing and thriving, but many new moms are very fearful of their baby's mouth being too small to latch to their nips or a bottle tip meaning that they would be unable to feed. This is once again another form of stress us mothers irrationally put ourselves through that will later pass with experience, support and building confidence in our parenting skills.
"I was petrified of everything when my daughter was born. I thought I was messing everything up which lead to me doing some things wrong. For example, I wasn't feeding her right because I was so scared of her choking on the bottle tip because I thought it was too big for her mouth so I wouldn't put it in right. It all ended up fine though", another mom shared with me.
11 Facing Scary Solids
Just as you get the hang of breast/bottle feeding and you have managed to get into a routine is when another feeding obstacle hits; it is time to start solid foods. Whether you are a mum that wants to go for BLW (baby led weaning) or you are more comfortable with purees, the thought of giving your baby 'proper food' can be rather daunting for us first-time mothers.
"I hated the weaning stage! When you start them on solids and they are constantly gagging it is so frightening. I used to freak out every time, jump up and rush to pat their back thinking they were choking. It is funny to look back on now as I know I should of just chilled out a bit more" shared an honest mother.
10 The Inevitable Bumps And Bruises
The mother of this baby has the right idea because this is the only way to stop your child from getting bumps and bruises (who are we kidding they would find a way to get one anyway). It is so scary when your baby gets hurt; it is every parent's worst fear and is one that I don't think ever goes away. The tears, the cuts, the scrapes, the bruises, and more, are all usually minor and as we grow as parents we learn when to worry and when to brush them off and let them carry on. Not every bump and fall is a reason to panic and call the emergency services.
This mother knows first hand what it is like to fear your baby getting hurt, "In my little girls first year I was so scared of her severely hurting herself so any bump would cause me to freak out. As she has grown, so have I and I now know that she is going to have many bumps and bruises, that's just what babies do".
9 Accidentally Bending The Baby
"I looked at my baby when he was born and he was just so little and fragile so when it came to changing his clothes and getting him dressed (which meant having to bend his little arms and legs), I was petrified that I would break a bone or something. Sounds crazy now that I look back on it but at the time I honestly thought he would break with the slightest touch to his tiny body", I was told by a mother about her experience when she became a new mom.
Babies usually hate getting dressed and can often cry or moan while you are changing them and this may be one of the reasons that new moms can get it into their heads that bending their baby in order to get them dressed could potentially be hurting their little bodies. This is far from the truth. Yes, babies are more fragile than us but they won't break just because you have to put their arms and legs into some clothes and you learn this as you gain confidence as a mother.
8 Bathing Baby For The First Time
Many mothers enjoy bathing their baby and find it a good source of relaxation and bonding time for both, themselves and their little ones, as babies often enjoy the bath due to the warm water feeling nice on their skin. However, there are some new mothers who find even the thought of giving their baby boy or girl a bath very daunting and try their best to avoid being the one doing it, asking partners, family members, friends or even medical staff to do this task for them.
"I am honestly terrified of bathing my daughter when the time comes, I'm scared that something is going to go wrong and she's going to drown. I am thinking about just getting my partner to do it", this expectant mother shared her fears with me for when her baby girl arrives. Hopefully, this fear will pass with time and experience, as most of these fears do.
7 If It's Too Cold For The Baby
"In the hospital, I was told to have the fan on to cool me down but I was so scared of my little boy being too cold that I refused to have it on. This fear continued when I got home and I was constantly layering my baby's clothes and putting on blankets," one mother shared with me.
Temperature is a tricky thing to control even more so when it comes to making sure your baby isn't too hot nor too cold as there can be very bad outcomes if your baby is not the right temperature. If a baby is too cold or in a cold environment, they could possibly become very ill or unsettled. This may be one of the reasons why mothers often fear their babies being too cold, causing them to blast the heating or cover them in several blankets and although this will keep them warm, it could also cause them to go in the opposite direction and get too hot which leads me onto the next entry on the list.
6 Or If It's Too Hot
On the flip side of the last entry, as well as getting too cold, it is equally as important to make sure that babies do not get too hot. If a baby gets too hot or the environment they are in is too hot they could potentially get ill or even worse.
"I, at first, had a fear of my baby being too cold but then I was warned by the midwife not to put too many blankets on her because she could overheat. This scared me and since then I was always reluctant to give her a blanket. I look back now and realized I should have just calmed down and that it's not worth it to over-think the temperature thing", an honest experience from another mother I spoke to.
5 Not Hearing The Baby Cry
All mothers out there can relate to this scenario; the baby is fast asleep, you finally decide to jump into the shower for the first time in over a week, you start washing your hair and suddenly you think you hear the baby cry so you get out the shower and surprise, surprise, the baby is fast asleep and you have once again been tricked by phantom baby cries. Hearing these cries that aren't actually real often happens because moms are so scared that they won't hear their baby cry when they need them. As you get more experienced as a mother, however, you learn that you most likely will always hear your little one cry when they need you and those phantom cries do fade away.
This mother knows exactly what it is like to have a fear of not hearing her baby cry, "I would refuse to shower unless my partner was home because otherwise, I would be jumping in and out every 5 minutes to check if she was okay/still asleep. I got less nervous over time".
4 If She's Not Producing Enough Breastmilk
Being scared that you won't have enough breast-milk for your little one or that they are not getting enough breast-milk for another reason (latch, length of feed etc) is a very common fear in breastfeeding mothers and is probably the worry that causes the most stress because feeding is obviously key to your baby growing and thriving. With support and time, you will grow to be more confident and learn that your baby is feeding well and then hopefully that phobia will just slip away.
I personally felt a lot of stress over this subject when I was breastfeeding my daughter as my breast-milk did not come in straight away so my daughter had to be cup fed and when I did go onto breastfeeding, I was so scared that she was not getting enough. Now I look back and I know I shouldn't have worried so much. I was doing all I could - documenting how long she fed for and how many times, feeding on demand - and she was settled, so clearly everything was fine; it was just me overthinking.
3 Babysitter Fiasco
"People always talk about the baby having separation anxiety but no one ever told me that I, as the mother could experience it myself" one mother shared with me. "My own mother lived close by and she would offer to take them just to the other room so I could rest and I would freak out like my mother wanted to hurt my baby, even though she obviously didn't. Thankfully, I have gotten over that now that my babies are older and I know that there are people I can trust to leave my child with - like my mother".
Babble.com states "The report states that while feeling anxious about separation from your child may be normal—and even healthy—for parents of young children, excessive separation anxiety may be detrimental to parents' mental health" which clearly shows that separation anxiety is a very real worry for many mothers but like with the other fears on this list with time and support (medical if needed), this too shall pass.
2 Her Baby's Sensitive Skin
According to Healthline.com there are many reasons a baby could have dry skin - natural peeling after birth, eczema, dehydration, too many baths, being in cold air - which can all be tackled with moisturizer and other creams, which sounds simple and easy enough but in the early weeks as a new mother, seeing your baby develop some dry skin can be very worrying.
Babies have very sensitive skin which means that there are only certain moisturizers and creams you can use on them and this is sometimes more of a stress to the mother than the actual dry skin because they don't want to use a product that may hurt their child and there are so many to choose from. With a bit of medical advice, however, you are sure to be sent down the right path and as your baby grows, you will find what works for you and your baby best, which will take away this worry.
1 The First Time The Baby Screams At The Supermarket
No matter how much you pray that this won't happen or prepare for it when you have a child, at some point in their lives they will most likely have a breakdown in a public place and one of those places - which many parents think is the worst - is the supermarket.
"I was too scared to leave my house to go anywhere public, especially to do my supermarket shop, because I was just so scared that my baby would start to scream and cry and I wouldn't be able to deal with it. I see now that this was silly because I could deal with it at home and I could deal with it out, I just needed to push past this fear", a now-experienced mother of three shared with me. She has most definitely conquered her fear of supermarkets now.