9 worries that keep every new parent awake at night

Posted in Wellbeing.

When I first brought home our itty-bitty newborn from hospital I was kept awake at night by more than just his hunger cries. I worried about so many small things that before I’d had a chance to nod off to sleep at night, a little someone would need another feed.

Here are nine thoughts I had then, that I think all new parents must have. They robbed me of the sleep I desperately needed (because it wasn’t enough that my baby was taking it!).

1. Is he breathing?

He’s finally asleep but why can’t I hear him breathing? Maybe I should check him again? Oh, look at him lying there so serene! Just beautiful. But I definitely can’t hear him breathing. Okay, I’ll just put my ear down to his nostrils and feel his chest. Oh, he’s fine, nothing to worry about! Back to bed (minutes later) … what was that snuffle? Is he choking on his saliva?!

baby's hand holding mother's hand

2. What if something happens to me or my partner?

Oh gosh. We need to be responsible here. We are real grown-ups now. We have a baby for crying out loud. It’s no longer just the two of us. We have to have things in place in case bad stuff happens, like what if we have a car crash on date night and our precious bubba is left an orphan? Sob! Who will look after him? We need to do a will. We need insurance, STAT. Quick, let’s get a life insurance policy in place. I wonder if that’s enough? What if my partner gets seriously sick and we can’t pay the mortgage? He’s the main breadwinner while I’m on maternity leave. Wait, what if he also has an accident? We don’t have the savings for that. OK, time to get insured

3. Should I be worried about SIDS?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome happens. I’ve read about it. But it’s rare, I think? OK, I need to google how to minimise the risks before I can go to sleep. Safe sleeping space? Tick. Baby asleep on his back? Tick. Rooming-in with bub for the first six months? Tick – he’s right next to me now purring in his bassinet. No bumpers, pillows, or soft toys in his sleeping space? Tick. All clear. Room not too hot? Tick – his little ducky room thermometer says it’s 20 degrees. Okay, now I can go to sleep. Oh but wait, is he stirring for ANOTHER feed?

4. Can he choke on the dummy?

He has a strong sucking reflex and the dummy has been a godsend for getting to sleep and stay asleep. But can he choke on it? What if the nipple bit detaches from the plastic bit and gets stuck in his windpipe? Hmm, I’ll just check him, and maybe take it out of his mouth. Nope, he’s waking up! Dummy back in. Googling ‘dummy choking risks’.

5. Why isn’t my baby rolling/crawling/walking/talking?

I love my mothers’ group but right now I can’t stop thinking about Julie’s baby rolling. When should my baby be able to? He’s getting lots of tummy time, even if he hates it, but he’s not at all close to rolling over. OK, go to sleep. He’ll do it when he’s ready.

(A year later):

Julie said her baby started walking today and can even say, “dadda!” Mine is still crawling. I don’t think he’ll be taking his first steps for a while. Is that normal? Should I be worried? WHEN WILL HE SAY “DADDA”?! All he can say is “Da” when he points to something. It’s cute but is he too young for speech therapy? Oh relax! He’ll do everything in his own time, but maybe I need to stop talking about our babies’ every development with Julie.

little baby in nappy lying on tummy

5. Am I a good enough mum?

I love my baby with all of my heart but I feel like I drop so many balls all the time. I don’t think I’m nailing this mum-thing at all. I forget wipes when we’re out, I let him watch TV today (screen guidelines tell me he’s too young), I don’t bake nutritious snacks to take to the park like other mums. Sigh. I’m so tired, how can I be giving him everything he needs? Oh, he needs me to soothe him back to sleep. One reassuring hand on his chest and a “shhh” and we’re done. Yep, nailing this! No one else is a better mum to MY baby than me.  

7. What was that rash today? Should I rush him to emergency?

I put cream on it, but what was that? It’s gone down now and he probably doesn’t need it checked out by a doctor but I can’t sleep. Maybe I should just run him down to hospital quickly? No, don’t be silly. You are being paranoid. Just call Bec (mum-friend who is also a nurse). She’ll know what to do and if you are being a worry wort.

8. Do we need to go to sleep school?

I’m so tired. He only cat naps. Sleep school seems so last resort, but maybe he and I both need it? He’s not getting this sleep thing at all and needs me to settle him between every sleep cycle. Will sleep school even help though? Surely this is just age-appropriate. I mean, he’s just a baby transitioning into this world. Oh, no. Don’t wake up, it’s too soon! You’ve only been asleep for 40 minutes. Okay. I’m calling Tresillian in the morning.

sleeping asian baby on white sheepskin

9. Was that blood in his nappy today?

He’s been on solids for a little while and his poos have changed, but what was that streak of red in his stool today? Was it blood? Surely not. Oh my gosh, I think it WAS blood. What does that even mean? I’m googling, ‘infant rectal bleeding’. Oh, hold that! I just remembered. I think I gave him some sips of my veggie juice today and it had beetroot in it. Ha! Yes, that must have been it.

Note to self, remember what red food he consumes from now on to avoid future panic attacks.

(This is a sponsored post for Real InsurancePlease consider the PDS available at realinsurance.com.au, Products issued by Hannover Life Re of Australasia Ltd ABN 37 062 395 484.)


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