Becoming a parent is a very exciting yet also daunting and scary endeavor. Worrying is part of what comes with being a parent. Below are 12 of the most common fears of new parents.
1. Not feeling an instant bond and love – Some parents feel a bond while pregnant, while some need a little more time to feel that bond. Hold your newborn as often as possible, and know that he or she will already recognize your scent and voice instantly.
2. Being a bad parent – There is so much parenting advice out there, which can really increase the pressure to become a certain type of parent. Remember that loving your child is the most important thing you can do, and you know best how to parent your child.
3. You’ll turn into your mother or father – Think about what you have learned from your parents , and decide what you want to avoid and what not to avoid.
4. Losing yourself – Becoming a parent will definitely change you. You will need to find a balance between the things that were important to you before children and the things that are now important to you as a parent.
5. Having everything ready – While it might seem like you need to have absolutely everything ready before your baby is born, as long as you have the essentials of a car seat, crib or bassinet, some clothes, and some diapers and wipes, you will be fine. If you are like most parents, you might be planning to have your baby sleep in your room for the first 3-6 months, therefor not needing the nursery until then.
6. Not having enough money – Kids are expensive, and considering the economy, this is a very natural worry. Take the time to do some budgeting, and make smart choices when it comes to the needs of your baby.
7. Baby getting sick – Your baby will get sick, likely many times. Don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician as often as you need, and follow all of the recommendations to help your baby get well quickly.
8. Accidents and injuries – This fear is one to take seriously, and take all of the appropriate precautions. Use the proper car seats, seat belts, and bike helmets, and take precautions while playing at the playground. Keep emergency numbers handy, and do not hesitate to call 911 when necessary.
9. SIDS – The best you can do is to take all of the proper precautions to reduce the risk (back sleeping only, use a Halo SleepSack instead of loose blankets, no bumper, no soft toys, use a fan to circulate the air, and no smoking). For additional tips and resources, please go to Safe Sleep for Babies.
10. Trouble breastfeeding – Breastfeeding can be a very daunting thing. Although you may encounter challenges, know that there are lactation consultants available to assist you. Also consider taking a prenatal breastfeeding class.
11. How much to feed baby – If can be difficult to know if your baby is getting enough or too much to eat. Most likely, your baby will stop eating if he or she is full, or will keep coming back for more if still hungry. Monitor weight gain to help determine whether your baby is getting enough to eat.
12. Developmental milestones – Each milestone has a wide range of when to expect your baby to accomplish it. Try to avoid comparing your child to others of the same age, but do consult with your pediatrician if your baby is dramatically behind.
Try to remember that all new parents have these fears. And while they should be taken seriously, the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby is to take the proper precautions and use common sense. There are so many helpful resources out there, as well as the support of your family and friends.
What are or were your new parent fears? How did you overcome them?