Top Ten New Parent Worries - Part 1

Parents everywhere can testify to the fact that becoming a parent can be equally thrilling and terrifying—a combination of excitement and joy on the one hand and fear and frustration on the other. In a matter of days, everything you thought you knew about parenting is tossed aside and you find yourself without answers. 


Why can’t I soothe my crying baby? Why won’t he latch on? When will he learn to roll over? Is his poop supposed to be green? (Need I say more?) The fact is, even second-time parents sometimes find themselves overly concerned about the growth and development of their baby. But don’t worry! You too can become a parenting pro. Read on for tips on how to manage 10 of the top parenting concerns.

Breastfeeding challenges

Positioning. Latch. Pain. Mastitis. Low milk supply. You name it, we’ve heard about it. The key to survival is knowing that each and every issue is manageable! While making milk is “natural,” breastfeeding is a skill that most moms and babies must learn—a skill that develops with practice. Find 10 tips to get you started here and a list of common breastfeeding problems and solutions here

Lack of sleep

Sleepless nights are part of the job, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you adjust. It’s true that babies sleep a lot, but they also eat a lot! Many health experts and professional organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that mothers and babies sleep near one another but in separate beds (learn the difference between co-sleeping and bedsharing here). Room-sharing allows parents to safely tend to their baby’s needs and at the same time get the rest they need to properly care for their newborn. Click here for a chart on how much sleep your baby needs.

When to call the doctor

During the first years of your child’s life, you will likely encounter bouts of sickness including colds and fevers as well as bumps and bruises. It’s hard to know when to call the doctor. If you experience a true emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room (ER). If your child takes a spill, be alert for signs of concussion (learn more here). For other illnesses, you’ll want to be aware of the risks associated with over-the-counter medications as well as overuse of antibiotics. If your child is under the age of 2, contact his pediatrician for specific dosing guidelines.

Weight gain

Is my baby gaining enough weight? This is every parent’s number one concern—for obvious reasons. Unlike bottle-feeding moms, breastfeeding moms can’t measure the amount of milk their babies drink. Frequent feedings (at least 8 feedings in each 24 hours) will usually ensure that your baby is getting enough to eat, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee adequate intake (weight gain is the only reliable measure). Get tips on how to know your baby is getting enough to eat here.

Vaccine safety

Despite ample evidence showing that childhood vaccines prevent disease and save lives, vaccines continue to be a source of controversy. Parents, tasked with making informed decisions, must learn to separate facts from myths. Every year, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) releases updated childhood vaccination schedules; in 2013 there were numerous changes. You can learn more about vaccinations here.

Stay with us for the last five worries next week.

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