Have you meticulously prepared for the coming of your newborn baby? You’ve bought all the baby essentials, designed the baby’s nursery, and bought almost all the baby books and googled all the articles on baby care.
However, you are still worried that you might have missed out on some viable information (which is likely) and are bound to make the mistakes new parents make. Let’s tell you about these 11 common mistakes parents of newborn babies make so that you can avoid them:
1. Not installing the infant car seat before delivery
Often newborn baby parents wait to install the car seat until it's time to go to the hospital to deliver because they know that the hospital will not let them take the baby home without having a baby seat in the car.
Unfortunately, doing this at the last moment makes it hard for you to practice the proper way of installing the baby seat, and how to correctly put the baby in it. It’s better to install the car seat earlier so that you practice all the prior mentioned details in order to prevent your tiny one from getting injured.
2. Not sleeping the newborn on their back
Some new parents put their newborn babies to sleep on their stomachs or sides (and, moreover, in a crowded crib with toys, blankets, and a soft mattress). This is a sleep style that's one of the leading causes of SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
The Red Nose Australia advises that you put your newborn to sleep on their back in a crib with zero toys and only cover them with a sheet. This is because a baby sleeping on the back is unlikely to choke on his vomit. They also recommend that infants sleep on a firm mattress to avoid rolling over onto their stomach and suffocating.
3. Breastfeeding or mixing baby formula improperly.
When it comes to breastfeeding, new parents often don't check to see whether the baby is actually latched on to the nipple and is feeding properly, so they might think the baby is feeding well when in fact, they are not. So always check!
Meanwhile, the parents who formula feed their newborns often make the mixture too concentrated or so dilute that the baby doesn't get the much-needed nutrients. To avoid this, you need to make sure you read AND follow the directions on the formula to the letter.
4. Not providing enough tummy playtime
This is another one of those mistakes that new parents often make. Always keeping the newborn baby in the car seat even when the baby is awake or not traveling in the car. Babies need supervised tummy playtime to strengthen their motor muscles and develop their brains. How does tummy time help with that, you may wonder? Well, while the baby is on their tummy, they can lift up their head and, in the process, strengthen their arms, neck, and back.
Also, while in that position, your newborn can look around and take in the world from all angles - that's how they develop their brain. Moreover, by not leaving the baby on their back all the time, you'll keep the back of their head from getting too flattened during this time when their skull is still soft.
5. Not feeding frequently
One of the common mistakes new parents make is to let newborns sleep for longer hours without feeding them. As a new parent, you might wish not to disturb the baby when in a deep sleep. Or you might want to catch a break from the baby's fussing by letting them sleep longer, but instead, you'll be hindering their development.
Keep in mind that a newborn baby needs to feed every 2-3 hours in the early weeks to grow well. So, even if your baby isn’t demanding for a feed, or is asleep when the feeding time reaches, you should wake them up to nurse.
6. Not burping the baby right
After the baby has finished feeding, you need to burp them until they let out the gas, but often new parents rush through this process. They do it for a short while and then stop before the baby expels the gas or even skip this process. Either because they are scared of hurting the baby or they don’t know the importance of burping the baby after a feed.
Whatever the reason, you need to understand that by getting gas out after the meal, the baby will be able to properly digest the milk and stay satiated for a while. Otherwise, if you don't burp them, you will see the baby spitting out the milk immediately after feeding, or wailing because the gas is making their stomach ache.
7. Not reacting appropriately to a fever
Though some new parents usually err on the side of overreacting when their baby has a fever, others actually underreact. Both reactions are unsafe because when you panic over the baby’s fever, the little one can sense it and become anxious.
When you underreact thinking the baby is just warm, you risk failing to break the fever in time because your little one's immune system is not yet strong enough to fight a fever on its own. Always seek medical help immediately when your newborn baby of less than three months develops a fever over 100.4.
8. Rushing to take the newborn baby into crowds
Because a newborn baby has a weak immune system that is still developing, you need to protect them from potentially sick people in crowded places. And yes, these crowded places include family gatherings of any sort besides streets and shopping malls.
Not that you can't take your little darling out, you sure can (otherwise you would get cabin fever) but only to your backyard, front porch, or around your neighborhood if it's a less populated one.
9. Bed-sharing with the newborn
As one of the newborn parenting tips, the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) recommends that parents put their babies to sleep in their own bed, or a crib, as long as it's in the same bedroom, to avoid SIDS.
However, some new parents go ahead and sleep with their newborn in the same bed, forgetting that they could roll over and smother their kid or the baby can get entangled in the beddings and suffocate. Whether you do it because it’s easier to put the baby to sleep in your bed or because you think it’s cool, just know that it’s dangerous to do so.
10. Leaving the baby unsupervised
Whether you're just stepping away to the next room or away for a short while, as long as the baby is awake, they shouldn't be left unattended. Anything might happen - they might roll and fall, or drown in the water if you stepped away while bathing the baby.
So, whenever you're going to change the baby, feed or clean them, ensure you have all the necessary items for that task to avoid leaving the newborn unsupervised even if it’s for a few seconds -anything can happen in that short period of time.
11. Believing whatever you hear or read
Much as many friends and family members will often give you advice (solicited or unsolicited), you need to take it with a grain of salt. Some may be urban beliefs, others untrue, and at times what worked for their babies may not work for yours. The same applies to the information found online.
Unless it's written by reputable organizations, such as the Red Nose, CDC, or AAP, then you shouldn’t take it as the gospel truth. Now, you can enjoy parenting your newborn baby without fearing that you’ll commit the common mistakes new parents make.