Don’t do these: A newborn’s 5 greatest fears
Article by Rachel Ang & Cherlynn Ng
Do you understand your newborn? While they are unable to speak (yet), there are many ways you can communicate and bond with them. There are also many ways to decipher their fears and desires as well as their needs and wants. All you have to do is pay close attention to the words that they are not saying. With enough time and patience, you’ll soon find yourself speaking your baby’s language!
To get you started, here is a list of a newborn’s top five fears that you should watch out for and not subject your baby to.
1. Fear of being held upright too soon
Having your baby in your arms for the first time is a beautiful and magical moment that you will never forget. But it can also be a clumsy experience that you will stumble with, especially if you are a first-time mum. Moreover, do you know that holding your newborn upright before they are physically ready can be detrimental? Due to their vulnerability, carrying them in this position can leave their spine and back vulnerable to damage, which affects physical development.
Opt for safe positions such as the shoulder hold, cradle hold, belly hold, football hold and the face-to-face hold. Always keep your baby’s head free so that they can turn around to breathe and provide adequate support. You should also maintain skin-to-skin contact when holding your little one. Not only is it an excellent way to keep them warm, it also strengthens bonding between the both of you.
2. Fear of being shaken
Shaking your baby causes their brain to repeatedly hit the inside of the skull. Besides being painful and traumatic, it can also have lasting damage on your child. The impact triggers bruising, bleeding and swelling in the brain as well as a concussion. Other injuries may include broken bones as well as damage to the baby’s eyes, spine, and neck.
You should never shake a baby under any circumstances.
3. Fear of being kissed
Ever come across parents who vehemently refuse to let anyone else kiss or touch their baby? Well, there’s a perfectly good reason for that and no, they are not overreacting. Letting strangers and their possibly grubby hands near an infant increases their risk of exposure to germs, bacteria and viruses. As a newborn’s immune system does not mature until around two to three months, an infection can often turn deadly. They are also all the more susceptible to illnesses like Hand, foot, and mouth disease.
In 2019, a one-year-old girl in England nearly died of herpes after someone with a cold sore on his or her mouth had kissed the infant on the lips. To date, her mother does not know when the kiss happened or who it was from. It was a nightmarish experience for both mother and daughter that nobody wants to have to go through.
4. Fear of wearing too much
This can easily lead to your newborn suffering high temperatures. A good way to gauge is to touch your their ears or chin. If they feel cold, your baby is wearing too little. If they feel wet, your baby is wearing too much. If they feel cool and dry, it’s just nice. Don’t overdress your newborn, but make sure they are kept warm and not under-dressed either.
Baby clothes should be comfortable, soft and easy to manage. Stretchy jumpsuits that fasten at the front are preferred, as well as tops with envelope necks as they are easier to get over your baby’s head. Cotton clothing make a good choice as they are lightweight, breathable and comfy.
5. Fear of being fed the wrong balance of milk
Not knowing whether your baby has fed enough is a common frustration among new parents. This matters because a thin volume can cause malnourishment, while too much milk can cause indigestion and burden the kidneys. Here are some signs that your baby has gotten the right amount of milk:
- They seem calm and relaxed during feeds.
- They come off the breast on their own at the end of feeds.
- Their mouth looks moist after feeds.
- They appear content and satisfied after most feeds.
If you are unsure of how to tackle this daunting task for fear of harming your baby, consider hiring a confinement nanny. She will be able to provide breastfeeding support and guidance in various areas as needed, such as getting your newborn to latch or boosting breast milk supply. More importantly, she can also help you feed your baby through the night while you get some well-deserved sleep!
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