Finally, after being done with the tough phase of pregnancy, eating healthy for nine moments, avoiding all the no-no's, there comes a time that a woman can relish in not being pregnant anymore. Of course, this comes after the labor pains, which are enough to make anyone wonder, why can't babies just conveniently drop out from heaven?
Now a bundle of joy rests in your hands and you have a warm feeling in your heart. However, this is just the beginning. Reality hits new moms eventually since they are now responsible for that little living thing for at least the next 18 years or so. They come to terms with the fact that they will have to face the long and countless sleepless nights.
Being a parent is the hardest job ever, especially during the first weeks. The mom has to figure out the baby’s schedule and needs. This is tough since communication with the baby has not been established. Yet, every cry from a baby has a different meaning and being a first-time mom is especially hard to figure out what each means. It is without a doubt, exhausting and overwhelming.
As a mom, you are bound to make mistakes during the first week unintentionally. It is, therefore, best to be aware of any problems that can happen. Here are 15 mistakes that can be avoided.
15 Forgetting To Burp The Baby
Unlike adults, the digestive system of babies is not fully developed. However, they also have to eat. It is necessary to burp them from time to time. It is a fact that some newborn babies need to be burped a lot while others do not need to at all. It is good to let out that air in either scenario.
Air getting stuck in the baby’s belly is very painful. It also prevents the baby from feeding as much as he should, meaning he will not get satisfied. Worst case scenario, the baby might not obtain enough nutrients necessary for health and growth.
To avoid this, just take breaks between feeding sessions to burp the baby. Either burp after every two ounces if bottle fed, or after switching sides if breastfeeding. If at any point, discomfort is noted while feeding baby, give a few gentle pats on the back to bring up the burp.
14 Not Sticking To A Feeding Schedule
As a new mom, you do not know how often your baby eats. This is a tough question mom come to face with. There are tons of suggestions out there, especially now that there is the Internet. Some recommend that you should develop eating schedules for the newborn. This is not a good idea because in the first weeks the baby needs to be fed on demand.
The baby gets hungry very fast. Therefore he has to be fed every two to three hours.
This is weird considering the fact that they are just tiny beings. During the first weeks, you need to wake the baby up if he has slept for too long without feeding. KellyMom.com states that this is to make sure he retains his birth weight. If you do everything as it should be, then it is possible for the baby to sleep through the entire night by 2 to 3 months.
13 Ignoring Signs Of Infection
The physical connection between the mom and the baby is the umbilical cord. After giving birth, it is then cut and a little piece remains attached to the belly of the baby. The umbilical stump that remains eventually falls off after a while. To be honest, the little thing is usually very ugly. However, it needs proper care and has to be monitored very carefully. This includes keeping it hygienic and dry, making sure the diaper does not cover it, use clothes that are loose fitting around the waist and check it every time you get the chance to make sure it’s okay.
Despite doing all these, moms still forget to notice the signs of infection. Missing signs of infection could lead to worse health complications. It is therefore important to be aware of signs that an umbilical stump might be infected. They include swelling, weeping ooze, foul odor, redness, and bleeding. Make sure to watch out for these things and your baby will be alright.
12 Giving The Baby Kisses
As crazy as it may sound, kissing is downright dangerous for a newborn. It is a simple way of showing affection towards loved ones and you definitely want to smother your newborn with lots of kisses. It is safe to kiss older kids but can be deadly for one-week-old babies. It is hard to not kiss the cute little champ, but it is safer not to since it’s for his own good.
Kissing can be a form of spreading germs that cause diseases.
Newborns do not have a strong immunity to fight off germs like adults do, hence a minor disease can prove fatal for them. For instance, a cold sore or even herpes can be transferred to a newborn through kissing. ChildrenNetwork.org says that herpes on a newborn can cause severe infections, eye and skin lesions, liver and lung disease, and meningitis. This could easily lead to death for your new baby. To avoid this heartbreaking situation keep your mouth (and everyone else’s) away from the baby.
11 Not Changing The Baby's Diaper Fast Enough
Changing the diaper is one of the common things that every Tom, Jim, and Harry knows that comes with taking care of a baby. Despite this being the case, moms can easily forget to change the diaper as regularly as it needs to be done. Some babies need to be changed five times in an hour. If they were pooping gold you would be wealthier than King Solomon himself. This task can be annoying and disgusting.
Who likes handling someone else’s poop, even our own poop disgusts us. Plus, keeping in mind how pricey the disposable diapers are. Despite these facts, it is a good idea to change the baby often, especially if he has pooped. This is because it could lead to some problems like increasing the chances of the baby having a diaper rash. The baby should be changed frequently and if he has pooped he should be changed immediately.
10 Swaddling Too Tightly
Wrapping the baby in blankets is a no-brainer since the baby has to be protected from cold. Babies absolutely love to be wrapped in blankets for warmth and to be cozy. This is because the confined space resembles the womb and makes a baby feel safe and secure. However, swaddling could be dangerous for the baby if not done right. Most new moms think that the tighter the better, but this is not always the case.
Wrapping the baby too tightly can prevent him from kicking as much as he wants to. This can lead to abnormal growth in the hips.
Tight wrapping could also lead to overheating and the baby’s legs should have enough room for kicking and moving. But with this being said, do not swaddle the baby too loose. You want your baby to be warm and snug.
To prevent your baby from overheating, just check the temperature outside. If it is too hot, do not clothe your baby with heavy pajamas and on top of that swaddle them. Thick blankets for a one-week-old baby are also not a good idea.
9 Constantly Wetting The Tummy
The umbilical cord is a pretty sensitive area as we have discussed before. It is susceptible to infections and needs a lot of care. Infections could lead to other fatal complications, hence the need to prevent the occurrence of one.
Doctors advise that babies should not be submerged in water before the umbilical stump has fallen off. However, new moms allow the umbilical cord to get wet and stay wet. The National Institute of Health.gov reminds us that this is dangerous since it increases the risk of infection and slows down the healing process. If the stump gets wet, just pat it dry with a clean cloth that is soft and leave it uncovered. Also, make sure that when handling the stump always wash your hands. They could be carrying a lot of germs from other activities that you were doing and they can be easily transferred to the umbilical stump.
8 Inviting Too Many People Over
With all the excitement of the new arrival in the family, everyone wants to come see and hold the tot. Even the neighbor next door who you barely see wants a sneak peek at your baby. People who you have not seen in years also come bearing small gifts to erase a bit of the embarrassment. No one really knows why people do this. I guess it’s just human.
All these visitors will expose your young one to germs that could lead to a sickness. Even though you do not want to be seen rude, for the wellbeing of your little one it is good to keep off visitors. During the first week do not invite visitors over. During this time, bond with the child and also rest. It is hard to say no, but it is better to express what you want for your child.
You do not want your baby falling ill because you were afraid of what people will say or think.
7 Shaking The Baby
A new mom deals with a lot. From changing the diaper, sleepless nights, expenses, drastic changes with your body and all the other responsibilities that come with a child. This is all very tiring and overwhelming. The most depressing part of being a mom is the crying. After feeding him, changing the diaper, trying effortless ways to make him happy and he still won’t stop crying.
At this point, you wish that a sleeping pill would have been one of the ingredients in breast milk. A new mom will want to shake the baby to make it stop. This is not a good idea. Shaking can lead to severe damage to the baby. It can lead to lasting disabilities, brain damage and even death. Never shake your baby, no matter how frustrating it is, just let someone else help you. If there is no one else to help you, place the baby in a crib or another safe place and simply let him cry while you go to a nearby room and take a deep breath and calm down.
6 Going Outside
New moms do not want to isolate themselves in the house all day long. You want to go to the store, meet your friends and run other errands. With just a week out of the delivery room, there is no need to tire yourself and expose your newborn baby to a world full of germ and bacteria that could be dangerous for him.
During the first week just relax, take time to understand your child, and bond with him.
If you need to take care of errands that might require you to go out of the house, send your partner or somebody else. If you want groceries, make a list of what you need and send someone else to go out and pick them up. If you need a few minutes away from the baby call up your mom and let her spend time with the champ while you get some fresh air.
5 Allowing Bath Time
Some moms are clean freaks and it is understandable for them to want their babies to be squeaky clean. This might seem insane but it is best not to give your one-week-old child a bath. A full bath should not be given at least until the second week. Normally, this will seem very dirty and gross because we take a shower daily unless you are the type that likes to shower once a week.
Our bodies function differently with that of infants. They do not sweat like we do because they are not active. The only time they are active is when they are constantly crying. They also do not get dirty so there is no need to bath them with a lot of water. It is also recommended that you should wait until the umbilical cord falls off. The proper way of cleaning a week-old baby is by giving them a sponge bath.
4 Being A Little Too Possessive
There’s nothing stronger than a mother's instinct, without a doubt. As soon as the mother holds her baby for the first time, a connection between them is formed. After this there is an urge that develops in the mother. She will want to do anything that is humanly possible for her baby. She will also want to spend every second of every minute with the newborn.
The new mom will most probably not feel comfortable with someone else trying to step in. However, it might not be the best idea to get too possessive of a child. It is important to let other people into the child’s life so that they do not feel left out.
It is especially important to let the husband interact with the child so that they can bond.
Developing relationships with other people is crucial for the little one as he grows up.
3 Trying To Stay Awake
Everyone knows that a newborn comes with sleepless nights. You think the hardest part is carrying a child for nine months and going through hours of labor pains, until you have to spend sleepless nights trying to get the baby to keep quiet. New moms will get advice from the Internet and learn from other mothers about sleeping when the champ sleeps.
Babies tend to sleep during the day when the mom is busy. Also, when the baby is asleep the mother tends to be awake worrying or taking care of chores. This makes it hard for the mom to catch some sleep at the same time the baby sleeps. The best advice from Parents.com is to do activities that help you relax and stop worrying. You can read or do simple yoga routines. All those chores that you do during the day can wait. Give yourself a break, you just delivered an 8-pound human being.
2 Not Asking For Help
Some people are very proud and do not want to be seen as vulnerable. They do not want to seek any help from other people. Everyone needs help sometimes and when the baby comes you have to accept this. Some people will not readily offer to help you, so be humble and ask for help. If anyone offers to help you out in taking care of the child, go ahead and accept it (depending on the person anyways!).
Being a mom is no easy task, especially during the first week.
At this point, you are overwhelmed, tired and recovering from delivering a child. Doing everything by yourself will make you feel worse and slow the process of healing. This will make you miss out on bonding with your little one. Just get help; there is no shame in that. It is actually a good idea since your child bonds with other people and is able to form relationships, which is very healthy.
1 Leaving Your Baby To Cry It Out
A lot of pediatricians and sleep experts believe in this method stating that you should leave your baby to cry for a period of time before you offer him comfort. It is a method that has been discussed by many for a long time now. Some have disputed it while others have actually agreed to it.
This theory assumes that the baby can master the skill of falling asleep on his own. It says that when you rock the baby to sleep when he wakes up, he will need to be rocked to fall asleep all the time. If he is left alone to soothe himself he will do the same at night after he wakes up. Some are against this method. They say it can cause psychological trauma to the child.
Whether right or wrong it should not be practiced on a one-week-old baby. Give your child as much attention as he needs since something could be wrong.