Children fill our hearts to the brim with a lot of happiness. A newborn baby is tiny and delicate, so the utmost care must be taken when raising one. New parents are more likely to naturally want to avoid some common mistakes that may be harmful to their children’s health.
What Causes these Common Mistakes of New Parents?
Inexperience is a major reason for the mistakes of new parents. Ignorance is also another reason for it. Moreover, the most annoying of these reasons is carelessness. And this usually taunts the parents for years. In this article, I have highlighted some of the lapses that new parents should address when raising the youngest additional member of their families. Being aware of them will help you as new parents to avoid them.
30 mistakes parents make with newborns
1. Panicking over anything and everything: caring for a little one can be overwhelming. The next line of action of most confused parents is panicking. A baby can easily get anxious from seeing parents being anxious over time. Get help from the pediatrician if you feel stranded.
2. Trusting unreliable sources for parenting advice: “I got tons of advice on how to make the umbilical cord stump on my newborn baby to fall off,” says a first-time mom. Your family, friends, and neighbors will be quick to offer you unsolicited advice for your baby. It is absolutely one of the many common mistakes of new parents that you should avoid. Always go to your doctor for the best advice.
3. Letting anyone kiss your baby: excuse me! Please, do not allow just about anyone to kiss your tiny baby that is not yet up to 3 months old. Remember that the immunity of your baby is not strong enough yet. Your baby might contact herpes through kissing.
4. Ignoring a warm forehead: neglecting the temperature of their baby is another key mistake of new parents. Using a rectal thermometer can save your baby from SID– Sudden Infant Death. A baby has a fever if the temperature is 101⁰. Do not hesitate to get medical help immediately. On the contrary, a sudden rise in temperature after taking vaccines can be overlooked.
5. Putting your marriage on the backburner: It is sometimes easy to forget that your husband exists after welcoming the arrival of your newborn. Do not focus all your 100% attention on your baby and forget your partner. Take time to have some special time with your better half. Remember, your baby will grow and leave you in your marriage. Therefore, your marriage should be well nurtured. Moreover, your baby will be happier in a peaceful home.
6. Avoiding baby talk: this would only deny your baby of learning how to speak from you. All those “ga-ga,” “ba-ba,” are your baby’s way of trying to communicate to you. Therefore, respond to your baby at every chance you have. You can facilitate your baby to develop language skills. Try having clear and concise communication with your tiny baby. Use facial expressions that can be easily understood by your bub. Sure, you are awaiting that majestic moment when your child would utter his first word (mama!).
7. Neglecting oral care: clean up the gum of your baby with moist gauze. Doing this will eliminate any residue that could lead to a breeding ground for microorganisms. Furthermore, give water to your little child after breastfeeding. Since fluoride is naturally present in water. Consequently, cavities are prevented in this manner.
8. Not allowing the baby to burp: this is another blunder of many new parents. Probably, they feel too exhausted to do so, or they get distracted along the line. It is very advisable to allow your baby to let out air before and after feeding. Over the shoulder burping technique can be done on your baby for about 10 minutes. This technique would make your baby sleep soundly without waking you up in the middle of the night.
9. Staying up late while the baby is asleep: Sleep can become a luxury in the early weeks of childbirth. As a new parent, you need adequate rest for yourself. Try snoozing too when your infant is asleep. Forget about all those soap operas that keep your eyes glued to the TV screen till almost daybreak.
10. Giving your baby foods they are not yet ready for: It is essential for you to know when your child is ready for this transition. Ignoring this would lead to food wastage or getting your baby choked. Some signs your baby is ready for solid foods to include the ability to sit properly without support, good control of the head, and reaching out for the food of other family members. Your infant is not yet ready to eat that whole banana in your dish. Mash it into bits to make it easier for your baby to consume.
11. Waking up the baby for breastfeeding: new parents make this mistake due to ignorance. No point interrupting your little snoozer on the crib. A baby is usually fed within every 2-3 hours when awake. Thus, the baby can sleep comfortably all through the night that is well fed.
12. Not allowing your baby to cry it out: one thing that makes us know if there is a newborn baby in a home is the crying sound. Also, crying is a way a baby used to communicate since it can not speak to you yet. Babies use it to getting attention from parents. Stop worrying incessantly at every cry your child lets out. However, if the crying becomes inconsolable, it could mean something more serious. Check for rashes, fever, diarrhea, or anything unfamiliar. Then go to the hospital.
13. Exerting too much pressure on yourself: you might break down when you are always working around the clock without a break. You will never have all the time in the world to be the best parent for your infant. So do your best and leave the rest. Additionally, outlets such as yoga, pilates, and workouts can help you deflect pressure.
14. Being territorial: new parents are usually too attached to their babies. They are always ready to protect their infants from any harm. Thus, they will not easily let others that want to assist in carrying their babies for them do so. Avoiding this mistake will help relieve you of stress. Plus, a parent would have time to do domestic chores.
15. Confusing spit up with vomiting: take care to know if your little one is just spitting up. it’s normal. Whereas vomiting is done with force. In this case, there must be some gastrointestinal infection that requires immediate medical attention.
16. Excluding lullaby: if you as a new parent have discarded lullaby, you are missing out. Parents can testify on lullaby for time immemorial- they work. Incorporating cradle songs into your little one’s bedtime routine is worthwhile. You will be surprised to know that this simple act of singing can stop your baby’s frequent cry. According to research, it helps your baby to sleep easily too. Moreover, it helps to improve maternal mood.
17. Using any baby products: your infant gets gifts the most during baby showers and other ceremonies. Well-wishers will continue to troop in with a variety of baby products. Be careful about using them as they may be harmful to your newborn baby. Avoid products not approved by the FDA. Even though some of the products might be natural. They may expose your child to health risks.
18. Stockpiling of baby clothes: Many new parents usually go overboard with this. Kids grow very fast with no time to put on that item of clothing you just added to their wardrobe. There is no need to buy excessive outfits that your infant will outgrow in no distant time. I know you want to make your baby gorgeous. So go easy when picking outfits for your baby.
19. Mistake of comparing your baby with others: Jonathan’s baby and yours were born on the same date. His baby is talking and walking already. I get the gist! Nevertheless, your baby seems to be lagging behind. This comparison is one mistake of new parents that is uncalled for. The growth and development of every baby are unique. Do not give yourself unnecessary headaches over that. As long as your baby is sound and healthy. Relax, your baby will definitely reach these milestones.
20. Staying cooped up inside: agreed, covid19 and other infectious diseases are out there. It is very advisable to protect the baby from these. The baby’s defense mechanism is not strong enough to ward off germs that may get into it. The mistake of new parents in this situation is to lock themselves up in their homes. This is not ideal at all. A little exposure of your baby to sunlight would boost vitamin D levels up. Staying within your compound with your baby and a little walk around an uncrowded environment is healthy for you too.
21. Thinking you will get anywhere early: permit me to inform you that the arrival of your baby will put you behind schedules. As you will need to put one or two things for your baby before dashing out of the house. Moreso, you need to cater to your needs too. Gosh! you are late again to meetings.
22. Leaving a non-walker unbuckled: this is one serious mistake of new parents that could lead to their baby getting injured. Try to buckle your baby gear before going anywhere. There is a risk that your child may fall off from it. Ask for help If you do not really understand how to get it buckled properly.
23. Waiting too long to change diapers: parenting a newborn is not quite easy. You are likely to get exhausted at times. This might delay you to change the baby’s diapers. Waiting too long before it is changed is one mistake of new parents. Consequently, this would give your baby rashes and urinary tract infections.
24. An improper mixture of formulas: As a new parent, you should avoid this mistake. A baby may reject any food that you fail to mix up properly. The mixture content of formulas to feed an infant should not be too diluted or concentrated. Feeding your baby well will reduce your trips to the clinic maximally.
25. Shaking the baby: new parents make this mistake unknowingly. It is very wrong for you to shake a baby. This can damage the brain of the child. It can also cause SID. Attempting to shake your body to stop it from crying should be stopped. Learn to control yourself in moments of frustration not to shake the baby angrily while caring for the baby.
26. Swaddling: most new parents do not know they could make mistakes while swaddling their babies. This could lead to suffocation hazards. Moreso, it restricts the limbs of the infant from moving freely. Consequently, making your child suffer from joint pains. Furthermore, it can cause overheating for your infant.
27. Car seat installation: this new parent’s gaffe happens when the car seats are not fixed properly. This is one of the mistakes new parents do that could put the life of your baby on the line. Additionally, parents should try not to leave their babies to sleep off on installed car seats as much as possible. Furthermore, do not abandon your baby in the car while you are busy doing other things.
28. Wiping from back to front: new parents make this error when trying to clean up their baby. Wiping from front to back is wrong. This will transfer germs from the anus to the genital of your infant. Rather wipe from front to back no matter the sex of your child.
29. Scheduling baby feeding: trying to get your baby accustomed to the regular time you eat as an adult is improper. Endeavor to feed your baby 2-3 hours consistently. After all, you are not a milk industry that is planning to sell after production. Hence, your baby should be fed the moment you notice cues like sucking tongue, fists moving to mouth, and head-turning towards breasts.
30. Giving babies cow milk: breast milk is essential for the growth and development of your baby. It is safer, cheaper, and readily available. Notwithstanding, most new parents still give cow milk to their babies. Subsequently, they may altogether stop breastfeeding their young ones. Consequently, this cow milk is difficult for the baby to digest. Furthermore, it can lead to underdeveloped kidneys for your child.
31. Leaving your baby to swim without supervision: swimming is a fun activity that you could engage your baby in. This excellent way of stimulating your baby to learn could become a disaster. An infant is helpless in water without your guidance as new parents. I bet you would not want your baby to get drowned.
32. Punishment: some new parents think this act is a way of teaching discipline. You see them spanking their toddler. An innocent child that does not even know what “no” means yet. At this tender age, restrain from the punishment of your baby. Wait till when they become of age. There is time for everything.
33. Not carrying spare clothes out: I will never forget the day I saw a woman messed up because she failed to do this. She was graciously dressed for a function alongside her baby. Conversely, she could perceive poop. No sooner had she started to change her baby boy’s diaper when he passed pee on her. The mother lost confidence in her outfit. She had no other choice than to return home. If she had carried extra clothes for herself and the baby, she would have easily changed their clothes.
34. Hoarding diapers: as a new mom or dad, avoid hoarding diapers. There is a tendency for your infant to get bigger than the diapers you have bought already. It would be cost-effective to take into consideration your baby frequently changing size when buying it. An undersized diaper is useless. It could give your baby redness around the thighs and tummy area. Even more, you will begin to notice messy side leakages.
35. Mistrusting your instinct: Not trusting your instincts could be detrimental as a new mother. At times we feel stranded in caring for our baby. The only thing that could help us at this point is our instinct. It is never misleading. Have you had a hunch before not to do something? But you did it. Regretting much later. Learn to listen to your inner voice.
Photo by Zaya odeesho and Derek Thomson on Unsplash
Rachael Ukpebor is an Editorial Assistant for Whatsdalatest. She graduated with honours from the University of Benin with a degree in Sociology and Anthropology. She covers beauty, relationship and lifestyle topics at WDS, everything from best skincare and makeup hacks, to relationships. Her favourite music is Lovin’ You by Minnie Riperton.