Every new parent worries about their baby’s health. Is there something wrong? Am I not doing enough? Are they just too tired for this life thing? It’s normal to have these thoughts, but there are some simple things that can help reduce your worries.
Every baby is different and will experience the transition into the world in a different way. Some babies come out calm and content and others may need some time and understanding before becoming adjusted.
Here, is how to feel less worried when you find yourself wondering if your baby is “normal” or not.
Watch for distress signals
Your baby may have some distress signals to help guide you in how to provide the best help for her.
An easy place to start is to notice when you notice these: Screaming Not getting enough food or sleep Shaking, not at rest Newborn eye rubbing Immediate crying Hyperventilation Not crying at all, especially if this is accompanied by muscle jerking Slight high-pitched squealing Sudden and strong heart rate Early apnea or bradycardia Cry, cry, cry, cry… Sobbing Needing to be picked up and held Trying to nurse but unable to Not opening their eyes Severe nystagmus or involuntary eye movements How to calm a baby Calming may not come easily at first but help will come.
The best way to calm your baby is to take a step back and be responsive to her.
Keep an eye on the clock
When you wake up in the middle of the night, check the clock! Babies may not take an immediate liking to the world of life, as we often take for granted.
As they grow, watch their routines and what they do as it’s the only way you will know what’s normal for them.
Hear all their cries
The first sign your baby is upset is a change in your baby’s cry. If they sound more awake or more distressed than normal, then they are doing more than they usually do.
They are still tired and need more sleep This may be the number one worry when you first take your baby home.
This is true for the majority of babies, but some need more sleep after birth than others. Do not worry if your baby does not sleep for long stretches at first.
Each baby is different and will have different things going on that will influence sleep. Give your baby what they need right away.
If you are worried about something, it’s okay to ask your pediatrician to have your baby tested. There are ways to make sure your baby is getting enough rest.
Understand that they’re not in distress
It’s natural to be worried about your child when they’re in distress.
But most newborns are fully alert and happy and it’s okay if your baby doesn’t find things quite as exciting as you do right away.
For the first three to four days of life, every newborn will most likely be hungry all the time, making it harder for them to settle down and fall asleep.
They’re also much less active in the early weeks than they will be when they get older, making them easy to misjudge if you’re watching your baby closely for movement.
Make sure you talk to your doctor if your baby is crying a lot While it’s normal to want to make sure your baby is safe and well, you may be making things harder by trying to make sure you’re doing something wrong.
It’s also normal for a newborn to cry a bit.
Take care of your mental health
You might be feeling anxious and worried that your baby is “broken,” but there are a lot of resources for new parents to help you on this journey.
Just make sure you take time out for yourself to do something you enjoy. Maybe that’s going for a walk or getting some exercise.
Spend time with family and friends. Do what you can do So, the baby has just entered the world and you are in over your head.
Did you give up being a night owl? Have you given up all of your sleep? Did you give up even going to work on occasion? You are going to have to give up a lot of things and learn a lot of new skills, but one thing that you can do is give yourself grace.
You’re a new mom, and your baby is going to make it up to you!
Get help if you need it
It’s impossible to be a parent without help. It takes a village to raise a child and parents will benefit from learning from others as well as being supported by others.
You don’t need to do everything alone and every parent should get help with whatever they need.
There are specialists in the area that can help with the concerns that creep in and if that’s what is most important to you, it’s best to learn about them so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not you want to get the help that you need.
Here are some good resources to start your research: Get the checklist ready As new parents, we will go through this checklist often.
Talk to a friend
Talking to someone who has recently welcomed a baby can give you great insight into how your baby might be feeling.
A baby won’t necessarily cry constantly, although it’s common for them to cry. Instead, crying that occurs when there is something bothering them is referred to as colic. It’s normal for colicky babies to cry from certain spots on their faces.
Instead of crying uncontrollably, a baby who cries when their face is in pain is suffering from colic. “In many cases, a colicky baby will stop crying and just cry, only to start up later. Also, the crying and crying will come more frequently.
This is completely normal. Colic can make parents anxious, but a baby crying every five to ten minutes in the evening and early evening is not a medical concern,” suggests Goldenberg.
Seek professional help
For some parents, a healthy dose of infant-specific behavior is all the reassurance they need that their baby is fine. For others, it may be a sign of a more serious problem.
If your baby cries a lot or seems lethargic and has problems feeding, there is a chance they could have a condition called colic.
Parents can keep an eye on their baby’s behavior and contact their health care provider as soon as they suspect something is wrong.
However, if you don’t feel you are communicating with your doctor or the baby is healthy, it may be time to see a doctor.
No matter the situation, the emergency department of a hospital can play a crucial role in the lives of babies. They are there to help you get your baby to the point where she can safely come home.