Generally speaking, I’m a fairly calm person. I never considered myself prone to any sort of anxiety, and prided myself on being cool under pressure or in unfamiliar situations. Boy, did that all fly out the window after my baby was born! If you’ve been an FTM (First Time Mom), you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Is he breathing???
Is that poo normal???
Did he eat enough???
Why is he still crying???
Is he gassy???
Is he too cold???
Oh my gosh, is he feverish???
Ugh, it’s endless, especially in the first few weeks. It didn’t help that he got a cold in his second month of life. Thankfully it was only a cold, but I fretted over that little boy like mad.
Now that my little dude is 6 months old, I’ve started feeling more like my usual calm self. So, let me share with you some tips that I’ve cultivated over the last little while, to help get through those multitudinous small anxieties.
Be a very, very prudent and careful “Googler”
This is good advice for anyone who seeks any kind of medical answers on the internet. It’s too easy to get lost in the mire and potentially freak yourself out every more. If you’re looking for an answer online, take every thing you read with a very large grain of salt, trust only reputable sources, average out all the advice on forums, and apply your own knowledge and instincts.
Practice the “walk-away”
Sometimes the baby cries… a lot… loudly. Even though you’ve run through the list of reasons and tried to address them all – hunger, wetness, too hot/cold, pain, over-tired, etc – they’re still wailing away. I found that sometimes it was my own anxiety about the crying feeding his distress. If I put him down in his crib, and walk away to a quiet corner for 2 minutes to breathe and gather myself, I can get him to relax when I return.
Invest in a good instant-read ear baby thermometer
Any time you think your little one might be coming down with something, it’s a good idea to quickly check for fever (especially in the very early days, when a fever can be dangerous). Knowing that he’s not feverish would chill me out right away. I have the Philips Avent Smart Ear Thermometer. This baby thermometer is practically fool-proof – one button, a mere 2-second accurate reading, and if the reading is above 38°C, it’ll indicate it in red. Peace of mind in 2 seconds!
Wool sleep sacks
I was obsessed with whether my son was too hot or too cold at night, until I found myself a merino wool sleep sac. Merino wool is insulating but also breathable, so I know his temperature will regulate right! Not too hot and not too cool.
Don’t worry about their weight so much
I was agonizing at every doctor’s appointment about my son’s weight gain. It’s not worth it. If you’re data-minded, using an app to track their numbers, like the uGrow app from Philips Avent (which, incidentally, will pair with their Smart Ear baby thermometer to log the readings for you) can put you at ease between appointments, so long as you understand that where they land on the growth chart is largely unimportant. So long as baby is gaining weight, eating, and wetting, chances are that all is just fine!
Don’t worry about the milestones, either
Here’s a phrase that got me through a lot of worrying: there’s no such thing as “normal”, there’s just your baby. The exact moment they achieve some developmental milestone can be wildly different from baby to baby, without anything being necessarily wrong. So stop watching the calendar. It’s only a worry if they are many months off.
Trust your gut!
As a first time mom it may take a little practice to hear them, but your gut instincts are there talking to you, and very often they are right on the money. Your baby is 100% unique, and only you know them best – so follow their cues and your gut and you’ll always be simpatico.
Philips Avent is giving away a Natural Essential gift set to one lucky family. Entering is easy below. The Natural Essential gift set which includes (2) 4 oz Natural bottles, (2) 9 oz Natural bottles, (1) microwave sterilizer, (2) soothing pacifiers, and (1) bottle brush. The giveaway ends December 24th, 2017. Entering is easy, below.
Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Philips Avent and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
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