After I had my first baby, I took an eight-year break because apparently I didn’t really think things through. Now I’m the new mom again of a 10-month-old baby boy, and I have to say, whew, have things changed.
I remember my daughter once sat alone for nearly an hour entertaining herself with a shadow.
My son? Playing with a shadow? I give it two minutes. Tops.
Parenting this time around, I felt lost. Everything was so different — I would go online and end up with 20 opinions about the same topic.
You should only feed babies on demand.
You should only feed babies on a schedule.
Babies need lots of stimulation.
Don’t stimulate baby too much or they’ll cry.
I mean, WHICH ONE IS IT PEOPLE?!
But after a couple of months, my mother’s intuition set in and the stress started to go away. I became confident in my abilities to parent my kid again. That’s not to say there haven’t been some mistakes (sidenote: don’t give babies cookies), but he’s happy and alive, so there’s that.
Seriously, all new moms feel that pressure to do the right thing all the time. Here are some anxieties all new moms face and how to deal with them.
5 Anxieties All New Moms Face
1. Is My Baby Eating Enough?
This is probably the most common anxiety new moms deal with. Whether you’re nursing or bottle feeding, it’s also the issue our loved ones have <sarcasm>incredible insight</sarcasm> about. I discovered that the answer to this question is usually going to be yes. Babies are super smart when it comes to eating. They know how much milk they need and don’t like being full, so they stop when they’re done. Trust your body or your brain to know that your little one is getting exactly what they need.
2. Why Does My Baby Cry All the Time?
Babies cry. Some cry more than others. My son cried so much his first three months that I thought for sure I brought the wrong baby home because my babies don’t cry! He’s just different than my daughter, and I had to learn that. His needs were different, and I had to adjust the way I was being a mom to make him more comfortable.
It’s true what the OG moms say: If your baby is fed and dry, then they’re probably just asserting their babyness with tears. Pick them up, snuggle them, or go on a walk. Don’t blame yourself for your baby doing what a baby is going to do.
3. Is My Baby Developmentally On Track?
Scrolling through Facebook, you can begin to feel like there’s your baby and then all the baby geniuses who, at 9 months, speak fluently and cartwheel through the house. They maybe even have X-ray vision. Obviously I’m kidding, but seriously the pressure to have birthed a developmentally-on-track genius is REAL. Cute and breathing is so last century.
The comparison struggle is real as a new mom, but I needed to turn it off. I wanted to focus on my son without all the noise, and by doing that I’d be able to quiet my own anxieties. And then I bought The Play Gym by Lovevery.
Designed by real-life scientists, The Play Gym boasts an entire year of developmental play in one box and comes with a nonjudgmental, no-competition-here baby stages guide. The guide is broken down into 2-month intervals and includes high-contrast image cards and prompts like, “crinkle the organic cotton teething ring and talk about the noise it is making.” Seems obvious, right? But newborns don’t really move and you’re filled with immobilizing anxiety as a new mom — we need all the help we can get. At least I did. And I needed it in a way that didn’t put pressure on my son to meet unrealistic standards because it looks good on social media. The Play Gym in so many ways feels like it was created by angels who totally get it — new moms need unbiased, developmentally appropriate guidance and they want it to come in a package their kids will love and play with for more than two seconds.
4. Is It Safe to Take My Baby Out of the House?
Yes. I get why we get paranoid about taking our babies places when they’re little. People are gross! Babies are a lot more resilient than we think though. Make sure folks wash their hands or use sanitizer before they touch your little one, but don’t stay stranded in the house because you’re afraid they’re going to get sick.
5. Am I Really a Good Mom?
Girlfriend, you are the BEST mom. The baby you have is the one you were meant to mother. They love you and need you. There are going to be issues because parenting is basically one big puzzle that you’re trying to solve — how do I turn this baby into a healthy adult who isn’t a huge jerk? There are so many sweet moments, though, and if you let yourself sit in the stress of trying to be perfect, you’re going to miss them.
Our goal at Lovevery is to help every parent feel confident. Our play products are designed by child development experts and distilled to their simplest, purest purpose: to be exactly what children need at each stage. Learn more at www.loveverybaby.com.