All parents make mistakes.
Don't believe it? Just think about your own parents. You will no doubt come up with a laundry list of things they did wrong, often tragically.
The truth is no one is infallible -- especially new parents. But if you know the 10 most common parenting mistakes, maybe you can keep from making them yourself. So here they are, along with tips to help you avoid making them.
New-parent mistake No. 1: Not sweating a fever in a newborn.
Some parents may just say ‘baby feels warm' and administer some Baby Tylenol, but that's a parenting mistake in this age group. An infant's immune system is not set up to handle an infection on its own.
Any fever over 100.4 rectally in the first 3 months of a baby's life is an emergency. The one exception is a fever that develops within 24 hours after an infant's first set of immunizations.
If your child feels warm, take the temperature rectally. If the temperature is above 100.4, call your pediatrician immediately.
New-parent mistake No. 2: Not letting your infant cry it out.
Parents think their job is to make sure the baby is not crying because they associate crying with doing something wrong as a parent and need to fix it.
Babies are designed to cry. They can be perfectly diapered and fed and still cry in discontent because that's the way babies communicate with their newly discovered voices. It doesn't mean you can't console or cuddle them.
For the most part, crying is just part of being a baby. But if your infant is inconsolable for an hour and has a fever, rash, vomiting, a swollen belly, or anything else unusual, call your pediatrician as soon as possible. You know your baby best, so follow your instincts here and if you think something isn't right, always check with your doctor.
New-parent mistake No. 3: Fighting too much (or too little) in front of your baby.
Even a 3-month old will pick up vibes in terms of fighting. So ask yourself, “Is it frequent and scary?”
Look at the intensity of your fights because freaking out every now and then is a normal part of living with another person. And when people start to suppress too much, it's just as bad as going to the other extremes of passive aggressiveness. Babies will react to the energy and mood of the home.
New-parent mistake No. 4: Not properly installing the car seat.
Any new parent who’s tried knows that installing a car seat can seem like rocket science.
Choose the right seat, go to your local fire station or Babies-R-Us or another chain store to make sure you have installed it correctly. Get help installing it perfectly, your baby’s life depends on it.
New-parent mistake No. 5: Panicking over everything and anything.
Freaked out. Overly cautious and on the defense can be the overblown physical reactions to spitting up, vomiting, and other things a baby does. The baby picks up on that anxiety and it gets worse. In one word, just relax!
Parents can waste the entire first year of their baby's life by worrying about the small stuff. Is he having too many bowel movements or too few? Does he cry too much or not enough?Is she spitting up too much? Is she getting enough to eat or too little? Any of that sound familiar to you?
This worry gets in the way of being spontaneous and enjoying your infant's first year of life like taking pictures and enjoying the hundreds of first moments. If you don’t think babies are resilient, watch a documentary on the Aborigines or how children are raised in 3rd world countries. Shocking what they endure!
New-parent mistake No. 6: Neglecting oral care.
Many new parents don’t think about their newborn's teeth or oral health until it is too late and your baby is never too young for you to start encouraging good oral health habits.
Pressner offers tips to help new parents:
Don't give your infant milk in bed once teeth have erupted. “This will increase the risk of developing cavities, also known as baby bottle decay.
Use a wet gauze to wipe down your baby’s gums, he says. And start using a toothbrush when the baby turns one year of age.
New-parent mistake No. 7: Waking your baby up to breastfeed.
"Breastfed babies can -- and should -- sleep through the night but there’s a common misconception that breast milk is not thick enough to get an infant through the night. It is possible and beneficial for breastfed babies -- and their moms -- to sleep through the night. Rest, is a huge prevention of sickness, and it’s peaceful and restorative.
New-parent mistake No. 8: Ignoring your marriage.
Staying connected within the marriage when you first have a child is really important and can be overlooked. Any weakness in that relationship will get magnified by having a child. And while you have to focus a lot on the new baby, you must somehow maintain a sense of being a couple. Trust me, marriage first, children second.
Make certain you are not zoning out when you are not with the baby and give your partner the attention and presence they need and deserve.
New-parent mistake No. 9: Confusing spit-up and vomit.
The difference between spit-up and vomit is frequency, not forcefulness. Spit-up can absolutely fly across the room, but vomiting is all about frequency. If your baby is vomiting with a virus, it will come every 30 or 45 minutes regardless of feeding. Spit-up, on the other hand, is usually related to feeding.
New-parent mistake No. 10: Trusting unreliable sources for parenting advice.
"Many new parents go to the wrong places for parenting advice and is a classic parenting mistake. Be careful about where you get your information.
Having a child is a life-changing and amazing experience. Go easy. Enjoy the moments and gather the support you need to make certain you and your family are well protected and cared for.
As always, if you or a friend or family member needs assistance, please reach out to me for a chat.
To your good mental (and pediatric) health
Copywriting for content Blog
CLIENT: Noel McDermott
TITLE: 10 Common Mistakes of New Parents
DATE: April 7, 2017