Motherhood is a hard job, but sometimes women make it even more difficult. That's because it can be difficult to figure out the priorities of what needs to happen in a day and how much of an emphasis to put on things.
Some new moms tend to do too much of some things, like baths, and they put off other activities that they don't realize the importance of, such as tummy time. And this doesn't just apply to time — women might have difficulty figuring out the right amount of things like food. New moms have to adjust their strategies constantly to find the perfect amount of just about anything having to do with the baby, from the diaper rash cream to the clothes budgeting. Too little doesn't get the job done, but too much can end up making the situation even worse.
With so little time and energy in the day, giving too much attention to one moment means that other things get delayed, and sometimes that can be dangerous, as well. Figuring out the best balance can be difficult, especially for women who are first-timers. Here are eight things new moms do too much of and 10 things to never put off.
Let's start with the 8 things new moms do too much of:
18 Too Many Baths
Bath time can be a really fun part of a bedtime routine. But busy moms need to know that it doesn't need to happen every night. In fact, it is more healthy for the baby to skip a day or two. Most moms give the baby too many baths, and that can cause their skin to dry out.
A lot of babies get a condition called cradle cap, which can be very annoying and unsightly, but fewer baths can actually help. Moms need to be sure to clean the folds of the baby's skin with a wipe, but they only need to give a bath every two to three days.
17 So Much Screen Time
For the past few generations, screens have become a bigger and bigger part of our lives. That's even true for babies, and doctors are concerned about the amount of time the littlest among us spend on electronics.
According to a Baby Center survey, two in three babies spend time watching movies or online videos, with 50 percent of kids starting by the time they are seven months old. Pediatricians recommend that babies under 18 months don't spend time in front of screens, and that the time be limited for older toddlers as well. It's hard when moms spend so much time on electronics, but it's better to not spend so much time on screens.
16 Overfeeding The Baby
In the first few weeks of a newborn's life, moms can obsess over whether the baby is getting enough food, especially if mom is trying to breastfeed and can't see the number of ounces consumed. But there is a possibility of overfeeding the baby — it's rare, but it needs to be talked about.
Newborns have a natural mechanism that allows them to stop eating when they are full. But if a mom forces the baby to eat — which happens more often with bottle-fed babies — it can cause a lifetime of unhealthy habits. Talk to the pediatrician about any concerns before force-feeding.
15 Too Many Expectations
Moms have lots of dreams for their babies, but sometimes the best thing that they can do is just live in the moment and accept their children as they are. Parents who have too many expectations might end up disappointed, and that could drive a wedge in their relationship.
This can start early with moms expecting their babies to hit milestones early and show an aptitude for a sport or something when they are still young. While it's important to alert the doctor if the baby isn't meeting milestones, moms need to relax and just enjoy the baby years. And accept their little one for who he is.
14 Too Much In The Diaper Area
One of the most frequent jobs of a new mom can be changing diapers. But it can be harder than a woman imagines to actually keep the baby's bum in good shape. Sometimes, moms use too much stuff, which can just make the situation worse.
One of the culprits is baby powder, which can be an irritant. It might be better to just give the bottom some air. The best way to avoid diaper rash is to change the baby's diaper often and be sure to clean thoroughly with a wipe before drying out the area. The creams can get expensive, so do your best to avoid rash in the first place.
13 Adding In Activities
We live in a busy society, and that is true for babies as well as adults. Many times moms feel the pressure to get their kid signed up for activities so that they can be ahead of others in terms of abilities. But it's just too much.
In fact, a research study discussed in Education Weekly found that the busiest kids are at a disadvantage. The study found that kids who had less structured time had more developed functions when it came to school readiness. So moms should just chill out and let their kids play instead of feeling the pressure to put them in a music class.
12 Spending More Than They Should
Shopping for things for the baby can be really fun. And a lot of moms feel the pressure to get expensive clothes and gear since they only want to give their child the best. But one of the least wise things that moms can do too much of is spending since that can hurt the budget and the family's financial future.
It can be hard to keep up with the neighbors when it comes to buying things for the baby, but we think it's smarter to be thrifty. Instead, moms can find a lot of great consignment shops for second-hand items, especially since the baby will outgrow their clothes in a few months anyway.
11 Too Much Worry
As exciting and happy a time as new motherhood can be, it can be just as stressful. Moms feel the pressure of making sure their baby is happy and healthy. On top of that, the lack of sleep and hormonal changes can be overwhelming at times.
We know that it's hard to tell a mom not to stress, but if things get too hard, we encourage women to talk to their family and friends and get help from a doctor. Sometimes a night out with friends or asking your partner to take the night shift can be enough to make a mom feel more refreshed and fulfilled.
And here are the 10 things new moms should not be putting off...
10 Fever Concerns
The scariest moments for new moms come when their little one is sick. They don't want to be the mom who overreacts, but fevers can be worrisome, and there are times when moms should never delay getting treatment.
First, any sign of fever in a newborn less than three months old should be addressed right away. Don't worry about calling the doctor's after hour line. But between three months and three years, it's OK if the fever goes up to 103. Get immediate attention if it goes any higher, and talk to the doctor if the fever persists for several days.
This one is especially true in the newborn stage. Moms need to pay close attention to the feeding schedule from birth, and it's not a good idea to delay feedings. Some newborns will want to sleep through a feeding, but it's important to establish feedings early and make sure the baby is gaining weight.
Even when the baby is a little older, moms need to be careful about delaying their feeding because if the baby gets really hungry, it's harder to calm them down. Moms need to keep an eye out for cues like rooting so that the baby is happier.
It can be fun to introduce baby to new foods, but once the baby starts solids, moms also have allergies to worry about. One of the biggest allergens on the rise in recent years is peanuts, and some kids have such severe reactions that it can be very serious.
Doctors have changed recommendations on introducing peanuts in hopes to combat that. Now, they recommend that peanuts be one of the first foods that moms try when the baby is four to six months old — or rather, peanut butter since peanuts can be a serious hazard. Watch the baby carefully, but introducing the food early might help in avoiding an allergy.
7 Tummy Time
Many moms-to-be know that once the baby arrives their days will be filled with feedings, diaper changes, and naps. But before she leaves the hospital, she will learn that each day should also include some tummy time.
Most newborns aren't fans of tummy time, so moms do too. The point is to give the baby an opportunity to work her core and back muscles, which can help prepare her to meet many of her milestones, including rolling over, sitting up and eventually pulling up and walking. Even though the baby might protest, moms should stick to the schedule and don't delay tummy time.
6 Responding To Cries
There are some grandmothers who will warn new moms not to spoil their babies. But the times have changed, and research has proven that it's not possible to spoil a baby before they are six months old.
Many moms can figure out after a few months what the baby wants from the sound of their cry. They know when the baby is hungry or sick, and it's important to respond to the baby's needs in those moments. But there are some times when it's OK to respond slower or even take a break from a colicky baby. Don't let grandma tell you differently — moms don't need to delay responding to the baby's cry.
There are a lot of things that moms need to do to their homes to prepare for the baby. While some things can come in stages, moms don't need to put off baby-proofing too much or there could be some major consequences.
Sometimes moms will learn that they put off baby-proofing too long because the baby caused a mess, but there are times when they learn too late because of an unfortunate situation. Babies can get into trouble by getting into a drawer with cleaning supplies or climbing up an unsecured dresser and toppling it over or getting wrapped up in a cord. No one wants problems to result, so don't wait to get the house safe.
4 Brushing Teeth
Brushing teeth should become a part of the baby's routine even before she has any. Doctors recommend that good oral hygiene be introduced from the beginning, so it can start with wiping the baby's gums and tongue with a washcloth after each feeding. That can actually feel good on the gums during teething.
Once the baby does have teeth, moms should brush them regularly. Most babies need a checkup with the dentist by the time they are 2. Starting out these habits early can mean that babies have strong and healthy teeth for life, so parents shouldn't put it off.
3 Introducing Eggs
When moms are choosing what to introduce to their little ones in terms of solid food, doctors have lots of recommendations. Most moms start out with vegetables, with some deciding to go with pureed foods while others try to let the baby eat the food in chunks.
Meat can be tough, but one of the best protein sources that babies can eat fairly easily is scrambled eggs. On top of that, introducing eggs early can avoid allergies. Since eggs can be used in injections, it's a great idea to get to the eggs early so that the baby doesn't have a reaction later on.
2 Setting A Sleep Schedule
Newborns need care night and day, and that can be exhausting for moms and dads. It can take up to six years for a mom to catch up on sleep, so it can be wise for the entire family's health for the baby to get the baby on a sleep schedule as soon as possible.
This can be really hard when the baby is young, but according to the Baby Sleep Site, it's a good idea to start around six months of age to make bedtime predictable. The baby should be able to sleep for six or so hours at a stretch, and hopefully, that will lengthen more after that.
1 Listening To Mom's Intuition
Mothers have a really tough job. There are a lot of things to know and understand, but a lot of times the answers come naturally when a mom slows down and listens to her own intuition.
Mother's intuition has helped some women to figure it out when their children were in great need, such as pushing the doctor and finding out that their child has a serious health condition. Other times, it can help them be there for a child who is sad or needs extra help in school. It's true that sometimes moms stress too much, but their intuition is usually spot on, so never delay when you know what is best for your baby.