10 things you shouldn’t worry about as a brand new parent

As a brand new parent, you are likely filled with uncertainty about every little thing your baby does. Why did she make that noise? Why does he look like that? There are plenty of things you should worry about with a new baby, but wouldn’t it be nice to know what you DON’T need to worry about? 

  1. Hiccups. Every new baby gets them. They do not make your baby uncomfortable and you do not need to do anything to make them stop. If you recall, your baby was even hiccupping while in utero (remember those faint rhythmic jerks you would feel from time to time?)
  2. Sneezing and congestion. Don’t worry, your baby did not catch a cold in the newborn nursery. If you feel that he is uncomfortable, a drop or two of nasal saline followed by gently bulb suctioning may relieve some of the discomfort.
  3. Dry skin. Many babies have dry, flaky skin for the first few weeks after birth. In fact, if your baby was past the due date, he or she may have skin that almost looks like leather. Don’t worry, this does not mean you need to buy stock in lotion, it will go away on its own within a few weeks.
  4. Crossed eyes. Believe it or not, it is normal for your baby to appear cross-eyed in those first several weeks after birth. Remember, newborns have immature nervous systems and are still learning how to use their muscles, including the muscles in the eyes. So your baby is not destined for a life of glasses just because he cannot really focus on you in those first few weeks.
  5. Gas. That’s right. Many babies have gas, and a lot of it. But this does not necessarily mean there is anything wrong. Your baby’s little GI tract is immature and still figuring out how to digest all this milk.
  6. Straining when going #2. Your baby may put on quite a production before leaving you a present in his diaper, but as long as it comes out nice and soft, it’s all a big show. Again, he’s learning how to poop.
  7. A spot of blood in your little girl’s diaper. While this is one that freaks many parents out, believe it or not this is normal! Your little one is withdrawing from all of mom’s estrogen, and this is a normal physiologic response.
  8. A funny shaped head. Even if your baby looks like a cone head or a little alien in those first few days after birth, it is likely due to positioning in mom’s birth canal prior to delivery. Don’t worry, an infant’s skull bones are not fused, so they will return to a normal shape within a few weeks.
  9. Sleeping too much. All your baby does in those first several weeks is sleep and eat. So don’t worry if you have a hard time catching him awake for those newborn pics. Soon enough, you will long for a few minutes of peace and quiet!
  10. The brand of formula your baby eats. Truth be told, all brands of formula have the same basic composition of protein, fat, and calories. Despite the marketing ploys of major companies to make you think their brand has a leg up on the competition, all brands of formulas are basically the same. Even store brands have been shown in scientific studies to be just as good for your baby. (Note: this refers to brands of formula, not types of formula, such as soy, lactose free, or partially hydrolyzed. If your pediatrician recommends a formula change due to medical reasons, talk to him or her about the best one for your baby).

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About Dr. Kristie Rivers, Bundoo Pediatrician

Dr. Kristie Rivers is an Attending Physician, Assistant Medical Director of the Pediatric Hospitalist Program, and Director of Pediatric Medical Education at a children’s hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She cares for hospitalized children and also teaches pediatric residents and medical students.

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