It’s natural to wonder whether your baby is eating enough, sleeping well or crying too much. However, don’t let your fears stop you from getting out of the house completely, giving him tummy time or prevent you from getting back to work. We’ll help you handle some of your first year fears.
1. You’re afraid to leave the house with your newborn. You don’t want to expose her to germs.
Sneezing kids and strangers with dirty hands are valid concerns. But being stuck in the house is an even bigger one. You need fresh air and a change of scenery. The change of environment and stimulation is good for babies too. You can run errands together or go for a walk in the park. Do protect your child from insects though. Avoid crowds until your child is 3 months old. Be especially careful during the winter when cold and flu season is at its height. Catching a virus can be serious for an infant. Skip highly polluted areas too. When visiting family or friends make sure everyone washes hands and uses a hand sanitizer before touching your baby.
2. You’re afraid to put your baby on her tummy because she cries.
Your child spends most of his day on his back. Daily tummy time helps him develop the head, neck and back muscles that he needs to lift his head, roll over and sit up.
If your infant doesn’t like being on his stomach for a long stretch, try shorter, more frequent sessions. Make tummy time fun by arranging colorful toys on the floor or simply playing along with your child.
3. You’re afraid that the slightest noise will disturb your baby’s nap.
Babies are used to sounds from the womb and household noise won’t wake most babies. If your child is noise-sensitive or wakes up prematurely try turning on the bathroom exhaust. The constant white noise muffles other sounds such as traffic outside.
4. You’re afraid to let your spouse or another caregiver take over baby care.
Doing so may land you with a baby who can’t be soothed by anyone but you. Don’t underestimate other people’s abilities. Even if your spouse puts on the diaper wrong once, a little mess will make sure that he figures it out very soon. You might even discover that there are some things that Dad is better at, such as rocking to calm baby or feeding solids. Soon you will be able to divide tasks and make routines more manageable.
5. You’re afraid that once your baby tries using a bottle he may not go back to breastfeeding.
If you’re thinking about returning to work or even plan to go out to dinner before her first birthday, you have little option but to try the bottle.
As long as you’ve nursed successfully for the first four weeks your baby will easily return to breastfeeding. Using the bottle does not mean that you have to resort to formula milk. Use the breast pump to express milk that can be given to your baby in a bottle. If you’re planning to get back to work then allow your child a transition phase: gradually increase the number of daily bottles until she’s used to the bottle-breast-and-back routine. Continue to breastfeed in the morning and at night.