As a new mum, you might have a lot of questions. It’s important to be aware that this is completely normal and it’s common for mums (and dads) to feel a little overwhelmed about the number of questions that they have and the lack of answers that they are immediately provided with. In this guide, we’re going to explore some of the common questions new parents tend to have and the answers that might soothe your concerns.
When Do I Need To Call The Doctor?
First, you might be worried about when you need to call a doctor or take your baby to the hospital As a parent, you might be tempted to call the doctor every time you notice a slight change in your child’s health. Why it’s certainly better to be safe than sorry, you don’t want to be spending your entire life on the phone with the doctor. Most issues with your child’s health are going to be minor. However, if they develop a high fever or rash, or they stop eating or they lose a lot of weight, it’s worth getting them checked out. As a parent you learn to trust your gut over time. If your gut says something isn’t right, it’s more than likely not.
Will My Child Hit Milestones At A Specific Point?
Next, you might be worried that your child isn’t hitting the milestones on time. A lot of parents get stressed out about this because they think that their child should be on a set schedule. However, this is not something that you need to be concerned with. Milestones are guidelines, they are not set points. Some children develop faster or slower than others. This is nothing to worry about and your child is always going to get to their milestones eventually.
What Should I Do If My Child Isn’t Breastfeeding?
If you have chosen to breastfeed your child then this can be the best decision for you and your baby. However, you may find that your baby has trouble latching in the beginning stages. This is perfectly normal, what you have to remember is they have never done it and neither have you. It is all about finding a position and latch that works for you. You can speak to your health visitor or midwife who will be able to give you some helpful advice regarding this. It might help in the beginning to use a pillow to help keep the baby propped up while feeding. It can be tricky getting breastfeeding right but know you are not alone. Ultimately though, you just need to feed your baby, whatever form that takes. Although I breastfed all four of my children, it wasn’t easy and my first baby was initially tube fed with me painfully expressing milk to suck up a syringe and fed to her through a tiny pipe.
Why Am I Not Feeling A Strong Connection To My Child?
You could be concerned that you don’t have a strong connection with your baby. While it can be difficult to feel as though you and your child aren’t connected, it’s important to be aware that this is totally normal. A lot of parents struggle in the first few months, largely because their hormones are still going crazy. Don’t panic, you will start to feel the bond eventually. Sometimes it just takes a little more time than others. This is similar to your child’s milestones and there’s no set schedule that you need to be concerned about here. However, if you are worried about your emotions, then it is worth speaking to your doctor or health visitor.
When Should My Child Be Sleeping Alone?
Next, you might be wondering when your child should start sleeping alone. It’s perhaps worth mentioning that your child can sleep alone from birth. However, some parents feel more comfortable having their little one in the same room when they are very little as they’ll be close by if anything goes wrong. If you are transitioning them to their own room, then you should make sure that you are aiming to do this before they reach six months. At this point, your little one will start to form significant attachments. This will mean it’s going to be more difficult for them to change their behaviour pattern and they’re more likely to notice when they are not in the same rooms as you.
If your child does struggle to sleep alone at first, then it’s important to make sure that you remain consistent here. You can’t run in there every two minutes because they are crying. The majority of the time they will be fine.
Having said all of this, you have to feel your own way through. Just because Susan from baby group has her baby in their own room sleeping through the night by 4 months, does not mean you should (it doesn’t even mean Susan is telling you the truth). All babies are different. Some are good sleepers and some are not. Some are happy on their own and some are not. Don’t let anyone tell you what is ‘normal’ and what is not.
When Should I Transition My Child To A Crib?
When your baby is born you will want to keep them close to you and unless you have a huge house then you won’t have a cot or crib in your living room. Newborns will happily sleep in your arms or in a Moses basket, this usually goes up until they are around four months old. If you don’t want to waste money on a Moses basket then you can use the carrycot part of their travel system for them to take naps in.
You may be wondering when to transition baby to crib, this is completely up to you but usually, it happens when they have outgrown their Moses basket or carrycot. Depending on your baby it normally happens around the age of four or five months.
Why Am I Always Exhausted?
There are lots of reasons why you’re probably going to be exhausted as a new parent. Let’s start with your sleep patterns. The problem when you have a baby is that your sleep pattern can be thrown completely off course. This will mean that you feel more tired than usual throughout the day. That’s why you need to make sure that you are getting sleep whenever you can, including when your baby has a snooze. It’s also important that you don’t try and do everything yourself. If you have a partner, then you need to make sure that you are sharing the load equally where possible. If you don’t, then you might want to rely on friends and family where you can.
The feelings of exhaustion are likely to be unlike anything you’ve felt before. It doesn’t last forever, it just feels like it does at the time.
Why Is My Baby Constantly Crying?
As a new mum, it is exhausting hearing your baby cry and it can break your heart if you don’t know why they are crying. What you have to remember is that as frustrating as it can be, crying is your baby’s only form of communication. They are letting you know that there is a potential problem or they are hungry. Try and remain calm when your baby is inconsolable as they can sense your feelings and react accordingly. This means the crying and screaming can get worse.
They may be experiencing something called colic if they are not consoled with food, cuddles, or sleep. This is when there is trapped wind inside your baby causing them immense pain. You can get special drops that you give your baby before their feed. This helps break the wind up and makes them burp easier.
What Do I Need To Buy For My Baby?
It can be very tempting to buy everything you see in the early days for your baby, but I can assure you that they don’t need everything. There are certain things that articles and people will tell you that you need. You can probably live without them, a great example of this is a nappy bin. They have always been a luxury rather than a necessity but it is much easier to just place the nappy in a nappy sack and put it in your inside or outside bin. A Moses basket isn’t always necessary either, especially if your child has a travel cot or carrycot.
How Can I Ensure That My Home Is Safe For My Baby?
You might also want to think about whether your home is safe for your little one. There’s certainly a lot to think about here as there can be quite a few dangers around your home. For instance, you might be worried about them putting their fingers in the plug sockets. You can get socket protectors to ensure that this isn’t an issue. You might also want to think about setting up baby gates at points such as the stairs. This will ensure that you don’t have to worry about your little one falling down the stairs or crawling up them. You might think that you can monitor them to ensure that this never happens, but all it takes is a split second for a fast baby to get in trouble.
How Do I Know What Food I Should Buy?
Another thing that parents tend to worry about and mums in particular is what food they should buy their child. It’s natural to want to ensure that they get a healthy diet and you may be concerned about the level of junk in processed food for little ones. Making your own is the safest way to go as you know what you’ve put into it.
Should I Ever Wake Up My Sleeping Baby?
Finally, you might be worried about whether or not it’s okay to wake a sleeping baby. Some parents struggle with this because they think that you should never wake a baby who is fast asleep. But what if they are going through their scheduled nap time? It’s worth noting that there’s no real issue with letting your baby sleep for a little longer until they are ready to wake up. At the very least, it will provide you with some much-needed downtime.
You will learn however that if you ever want to go anywhere and get anything done that you cannot live your life around your child’s nap times.
I hope this helps you understand some of the common questions that you might have as a new parent. Remember, there’s not always a right answer to questions like this. Often, you’ll just need to go with your gut as a parent and do what you think is best.