Ok so in one of my previous blogs, I talked about how moms worry a lot — like we’re programmed to worry. Thanks to our hyperactive amygdala! So of course, once I gave birth, I constantly worried about everything my baby was doing — whether or not he was doing them on purpose.
I heard the comment “your baby is fine, don’t worry about it” way too many times in the newborn phase. Still, my motherly instincts were at high gear and so I was constantly worrying.
Looking back, there are certain things that I’m now convinced I shouldn’t have worried too much about:
1) My baby’s sleep noises
My baby was such a noisy sleeper. He groaned, grunted, squeaked, cried, squirmed in his sleep. I constantly checked if he was having trouble breathing in spite of my doctor saying it’s normal for babies to make noises in their sleep. It has to do with their underdeveloped respiratory and digestive systems. Their nostrils and air passages are so small that they create these peculiar noises when they sleep.
2) My baby’s sneezes
My baby sneezed a lot as a newborn. He still does to this day but it substantially lessened compared to the first few weeks/months of his life. It always bothered me and I found myself continuously checking if he’s sick.
Turns out sneezing is just a natural reflex that babies have to do to clear their nostrils/air passages. Newborns sneeze more frequently than adults do because obviously they have smaller air ways. They also can’t clean their nostrils on their own (and parents are advised to avoid doing so with newborns) so they just have to sneeze a lot to get rid of mucus, dust, smoke or even milk in their nostrils.
3) My baby’s bleeding belly button
A few days after my baby’s belly button dried and fell off, I noticed dried blood on his belly button. Upon seeing it, I freaked out and called my husband “his belly button’s bleeding!” The way I yelled that, my husband thought it was bleeding profusely. Then he saw it was just a bit of dried blood on his belly button and a bit on his onesie.
My hubby simply said, “relax, it’s normal.” Of course, he didn’t convince me right off the bat. He showed me several articles online but I still wanted to call my baby’s doctor though it was super late at night. My husband suggested to hold off calling until the next morning if we still see traces of blood. The next day? All clear, no blood, no stains.
4) My baby’s flat head
For so long I was googling what I can do to re-shape my baby’s head. I first noticed a flat spot on his head when he was around 3 months. The right side of his head was particularly flatter than the left.
After a couple weeks of monitoring, using a baby head shaping pillow, increasing tummy time, holding my baby, changing his sleep positions and still not seeing improvement; I went on an insane search on how I could get a medical helmet to correct my baby’s flat head.
It would cost over $2500! It won’t be covered by private insurance because it’s considered a cosmetic procedure if the baby isn’t diagnosed with torticollis. This is a condition where the baby couldn’t do full range of motions using their neck because the muscles are causing the head to tilt.
Anyway, long story short, we didn’t start the process of getting a helmet. I’m glad we didn’t because as soon as my baby figured out how to roll over, he became a side sleeper and I noticed his head started to shape round again.
5) My baby’s naps
In the beginning my baby would only nap during the day if he was being held. He’d wake up and cry as soon as I try to put him down in his bassinet or crib.
There was constant pressure from my family that I should always try to put him down because otherwise he would never learn to sleep elsewhere other than on my arms. Of course being a first-time mama, I let the pressure get to me. I kept feeling defeated when I “unsuccessfully” put my baby down. For some reason, however, he was fine sleeping in his crib at night time.
When my baby figured out rolling over, I think he thought it was fun. Since then, he started liking to nap in his crib because he’s free to move and roll around. Now my little bub naps/sleeps anywhere — held/not held, rocked/not rocked, in his stroller, carseat, play pen, crib, on our bed, on the guest bed, on his play mat, on his activity mat, on the counter, on the dining table, in the bath tub, in the sink… lol scratch the last four 😅
6) My baby’s first poop
Apologies if you’re eating while reading this. 🙈 I feel like this should be #1 on the list but I didn’t want readers with sensitive stomachs to be turned off right away. So I saved it for last, ha!
Remember my “When Baby Is In Pain” blog? My baby’s first #2 sent me to a whole new world of frenzy! I saw him in so much pain. He was squirming, screaming, crying… writhing in pain. If you ask my husband, he’d describe it a little less dramatic than that — because that’s how he truthfully remembers it. I remember it differently because I was overwhelmed and super worried at that time.
But newborns having trouble with their first #2 is completely normal! It’s an uncomfortable and unfamiliar sensation for them. The noise they are making is due to the use of their diaphragm because they are yet to learn how to use their pelvic floor and abdominal muscles to move stools.
Also, know that baby’s first stool could be watery (which makes sense right? because they are on a liquid diet). I didn’t know this so when I saw it, what did I think it was? Diarrhea! I remember I bugged my husband to call the hospital at 4am because “my 3-day old baby has diarrhea!” 🤦🏻♀️
In some of these instances, there could actually be an underlying issue. I’m in no way generalizing that these things are no biggie. It just turned out that in my case, I was worrying excessively and unnecessarily.
I’m sharing this experience so that new or expecting mamas may see that not everything baby does warrants worrying. Although if you’re a first time mama, chances are you’re still going to worry after reading this. Because like I said, our brains are programmed to do so.
But perhaps if there is anything you can take away from this, just know that babies need some time to adjust in their new environment. They will be doing certain things differently from how adults do because we’re already accustomed to the world outside the womb. Try not to worry excessively because in most cases, you’re baby will be fine…
What other things have your baby done which made you worry and realize after that it was unnecessary worrying? Let me know in the comments below. I think it’s helpful to exchange learning experiences when it comes to motherhood. 😊