10 Mistakes New Parents Make
The top gaffes of new parents during baby's first year and how to avoid them.
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
The truth is no one is infallible -- especially new parents. But if you know
the top 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: Panicking over anything and everything
"Many new parents have overblown physical reactions to spitting up,
vomiting, and other things a baby does,” explains New York City psychoanalyst
Leon Hoffman, MD. ”And the baby picks up on that anxiety." Hoffman is the
director of the Pacella Parent Child Center. He tells WebMD that parents can
literally waste the entire first year of their baby's life by sweating the
small stuff. Is he having too many bowel movements or too few? Is she spitting
up too much? Is she getting enough to eat or too little? Does he cry too much
or not enough? Any of that sound familiar to you? Hoffman says, "This worry
gets in the way of being spontaneous and enjoying your infant's first year of
life. Babies are far more resilient than we give them credit for."
New-parent mistake No. 2: Not letting your infant cry it out
"We, as parents, think our job is to make sure the baby is not crying,”
says Atlanta-based pediatric nurse Jennifer Walker, RN. “That’s because we
associate crying with the fact that we are doing something wrong and we need to
fix it." Walker is co-author of The Moms on Call Guide to Basic Baby
Care. "Babies are designed to cry,” she tells WebMD. They can be
perfectly diapered and fed and still cry like you are pulling an arm
For the most part, crying is just part of being a baby. But if your infant
is inconsolable for an hour and crying is associated with fever, rash, or
persistent vomiting, call your pediatrician as soon as possible.
New-parent mistake No. 3: Waking baby up to breastfeed
Mistake or misconception? "Breastfed babies can -- and should -- sleep
through the night,” says Walker. ”But there’s a common misconception that
breast milk is not thick enough to get an infant through the night. But it is
possible and beneficial for breastfed babies -- and their moms -- to sleep
through the night."
New-parent mistake No. 4: Confusing spit up and vomit
Walker says, "The difference [between spit up and vomit] is frequency,
not forcefulness. Spit up can absolutely fly across the room." Vomiting,
however, is all about frequency. "If your baby is vomiting with a
gastrointestinal virus,” she says, “it will come every 30 or 45 minutes
regardless of feeding."