Pregnancy is just the beginning of parenthood and once the pregnancy is over, it’s time to really get down to business. During pregnancy mom is the one taking care of the baby but when the baby arrives both parents are typically involved in taking care of the children.
There are lots of things to figure out as a new mom and that means getting feeding schedules down, bath time, and diaper changes. But the good thing about new parenthood is that there is a learning curve. Parents can worry themselves too much if they think about all the things that they have to do to keep baby safe. There is a lot to think about during the first week of a baby’s life so it’s no wonder that parents happen to make mistakes. All parents make mistakes, so it’s not something that anyone should take personally.
The first week can be tough but have no fear, we all get through it. It can be a stressful time but it can also be one of the most rewarding moments as a parent. We have some tips that can help any parent get through that first week. Check out these 20 things parents always get wrong the first week home with the baby.
20 Listening To What Everyone Else Says
When you are a first-time mother, it can be easy to feel as if you have no idea what you are doing. You may tend to listen to all the advice you are given or seek out lots of advice from others. The problem with taking everyone’s advice is that you might find a lot of contradicting opinions, and then what? You're stuck between your own thoughts and the voices of others. "The only opinion that matters is yours," says Alvin Rosenfeld, M.D., a child psychiatrist and author of Hyper-Parenting. "If you follow everyone else's advice, you give up the most creative role in your life."
19 Feeding The Baby On A Schedule
You may think that you have to put your baby on a strict feeding schedule and adhere to it but that’s not the case. The main thing you need to remember is a newborn’s job is just to eat and grow; at least at first. Some newborns do lose a few during that first week but the job for the parents is to turn that around. In order to do that, there must be lots of feedings. The baby should be able to eat whenever she is hungry. This is why you have to sometimes throw out that feeding schedule.
18 Letting Baby Cry It Out Right Away
Some people believe that allowing baby to cry it out is a good thing while others don’t but the crying out method shouldn’t be used right away. During that first week, it is more than okay to hold your baby and comfort her. It is impossible to spoil a baby within the first couple of months of their life. The most important thing that you can do for your baby is to make her feel safe and secure. It’s not the time to let your baby cry it out because at this age if your baby is crying a lot it usually means that something is wrong.
17 Trying Too Hard To Take Care Of The Cord
The best advice that we can give you about the cord is to just leave it alone. The cord is something that needs some care during the first week that you bring baby home. Believe it or not, for the most part, it means to do nothing but some parents feel like they should do more or to try to get the cord off early. You definitely should be looking out for signs of infection but aside from that, you need to leave it alone and let it fall off naturally. Make sure the area around is clean and you don’t want clothes rubbing against it, but that’s it.
16 Experiencing Uncomfortable Breastfeeding
You may think that part of your job as a mother is to endure breastfeeding regardless of discomfort but it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to suffer just to make your baby happy. The best thing you can do for yourself and baby is to make sure you are comfortable while you establish your breastfeeding routine. If you are uncomfortable, then it’s unlikely you will be able to get through breastfeeding for several months. There are lots of positions to choose from and there are options like having a breastfeeding pillow that you can try out.
15 Not Double Checking When Buckling Baby Up
One of the most common mistakes that new parents make is not checking to make sure that they buckled up baby properly. Studies have shown that 93% of parents have made that mistake at least once when it came to car seats. Sometimes this can be how the seat itself is installed, but it doesn’t hurt to go to your local police station or fire department and have them help you to install the seat properly. You can also get help in buckling up your baby as well because the safety of your child in the car is very important.
14 Not Watching The Things Moms Eat
It can be easy to just focus on the baby after you bring him home but it’s important to make sure mom is taking care of herself as well, especially if she is breastfeeding. If you are nursing, then what you're eating is very important in order to keep your baby healthy. You also want to make sure you are eating properly so that you have enough energy to keep up with the baby as well. You are going to need more calories during that first week then you needed in the last stages of your pregnancy. Just make healthy choices.
13 Making Sure There Is A Safe Sleeping Area
One mistake that parents tend to make is not establishing a safe sleeping spot for their baby. Of course, SIDS is a risk for any baby during the first week and you want to make sure your baby is in a safe and secure environment. The US Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t approve of sleeping with the baby but has stated that it’s okay to be in the same room as your sleeping baby. The crib that your child sleeps in should not have pillows or loose blankets and you certainly don’t have to worry about your newborn baby needing a stuffed animal.
12 Spending Way Too Much On The Baby
It can be easy to spend a ton of money during that week because you want to make sure you have everything that you need but there are lots of things that just aren’t necessary. "Everyone tells you the baby is going to change your life," says Alan Fields, coauthor of Baby Bargains. "Take an experienced parent with you when you shop, someone who knows what you really need and can cut through the hype." Make sure you don’t buy a bunch of clothes at the beginning because your baby grows so much and there may be clothes that she doesn’t even get to wear.
11 Always Assuming Something Bad Is Happening With The Baby
You may be having difficulties with your new baby and you may assume that it’s because there is something wrong with your child. There can be cases where your child has real health challenges and you can’t take that personal. "In today's society, we're trained to think we can control everything," says Martha MacCallum-Gregory, a Ridgewood, New Jersey, mother of two told Parents magazine. "Accept the fact that you can't, and let go a little bit. Things are going to happen, and it's not because you didn't think to prevent them."
10 Overestimating The Free Time That You Have
You may think that now that you are off work for a certain period of time that you will have lots of time throughout your day. You might as well think of it as starting a new job with a very demanding boss. Some parents think that it will be a great time to do spring cleaning on finally get those photos in the albums. "It's not your old life plus a baby," says Anna Speke to Parents magazine, an Atlanta mother of two. "It's a completely new life." You may not have time to do anything during that first week and that sort of thing can last all month.
9 Having An Open Door Policy
You might think that it would be a great idea to have a house full of people to help out when the baby gets home but you will find that it would find it irritating rather quickly. It’s natural for friends and family to want to bring you food and to come and meet the baby. But it’s a good idea to limit visitors during that time. New babies are susceptible to germs and vaccinations aren’t available until he is six months old. Plus, as parents, you need to start getting into a routine with the baby and visitors can make that process pretty stressful.
8 Neglecting The Spouse During This Time
It can be easy to forget one another when the baby comes homes because you can easily become obsessed with the needs of the baby. But it’s so important to stay connected to your partner during this time. "There's nothing abnormal about having marital troubles and personal stress and feeling blue when your kids are little," says psychologist John Friel, Ph.D., a marriage counselor in St. Paul and coauthor of The 7 Worst Things (Good) Parents Do (Health Communications). "Making the transition from a carefree twosome to parenting an infant is the biggest challenge to many marriages."
7 Not Being Realistic About How Much Baby Will Change Your Life
You might be surprised how many parents actually believe that they can just bring baby home and fit her into their old life. It’s not a very realistic viewpoint to have. Never mind the first week, the next two years are going to make you realize just how different your life is going to be. But it does eventually get better. It’s just important to go into it realistically so that you aren’t disappointed that there is so much change in your life. If you keep an open mind you will find your life less stressful.
6 Parents Putting Themselves Last
You might think that the baby comes first and that as a parent you have to throw yourself into the tasks wholeheartedly, completely forgetting yourself. That’s one of the poorest things you could do during this week. It’s really important to take care of yourself during this time so that you are in a healthy mindset to take care of your baby. A New York mother told Parents magazine that she used to give herself a half hour to herself to read the paper and drink a cup of coffee. "That half hour made my day special and helped me feel normal," she said.
5 Doing Everything All On Their Own
Parents shouldn’t feel like they are only successful unless they do everything on their own. It is okay to ask for help when you need it. That goes for breastfeeding as well. It’s not a perfect science and there are a lot of women that probably have some great tips for you to use. Whatever it is you find yourself struggling with during that first week, make sure that you ask for help if you need it. Your doctor can also give you guidance or recommendations if needed. You don’t want to get over-worked just because you are too afraid to ask for some help.
4 Comparing Your Baby To Other Babies
Every baby is different and that’s why you shouldn’t compare your child to anyone else’s. Not every child meets their milestones at the same time and that’s okay. Is your bay trying to sit up, sleeping through the night, eating properly? Then you are on the right track. Don’t focus on the developmental charts or allow other parents to make you feel as if your baby isn’t making progress. Babies develop at their own pace and as long as they are within the normal range then you have nothing to worry about.
3 Forgetting To Take A Nap
You may think that the perfect time to get that laundry done is when your baby is sleeping but that could be a mistake. When your baby is sleeping, it’s a great time for you to nap as well. If you don’t take time to take a nap you might end up getting run down and then you will be no good to your baby. You may feel like there is just too much to do to nap but it’s all part of taking care of yourself so that you have the energy to take care of your baby.
2 Not Partnering Up During That First Week
It’s really important during this time to start partnering up with your spouse. During the pregnancy, it was really all up to mom to take care of the baby but it’s different when the baby comes home. If you are nursing, then you are going to be in charge of feeding but dad can still help out a lot. There is still bath time and diaper changing that he can help out with. He can snuggle, burp and swaddle baby and those little tasks help out a lot. Couples really need to partner up during this time to help relieve stress plus it helps dad to feel wanted and needed as well.
1 Not Preserving The Memories That You Have
You may think that you will remember every little moment but you won’t. After a while, things just end up blurring together and before you know it you have lost some memories. "When my daughter was a newborn, I visited a friend with an 18-month- old," remembers Marion Paterson who told her story to Parents magazine. "She looked at my baby and said she couldn't remember when her son was that small. I couldn't believe it. Now my daughter is 18 months, too, and I can't remember her infancy. I'm so caught up in what she's doing right now."