6 Times it’s Okay to Experience New Parent Panic

When you were little, playing house with your baby dolls, the idea of one day becoming a parent probably seemed exciting and grownup—which, of course, it is. But as anyone who has ever awaited the birth of their first child knows, it is also terrifying and overwhelming. The new parent panic is real.

Becoming Mom or Dad is one of the greatest responsibilities any of us will ever take on, and the fear of not getting it right is enough to cause heart palpitations for even the most stoic amongst us.

Don’t worry, that panicked state of mind is normal. In fact, here are 6 occasions when you might as well just expect the anxiety to hit:

  1. The First Night: You’re in the hospital after hours (or days) of labor, looking at your newborn with a love so intense you can’t even put it into words. And then it hits you: this little person is all yours. And they are so tiny, and fragile, and dependent. It’s okay to freak out a little as you succumb to the new parent panic… most people do.
  2. Bringing Baby Home: Then it’s time to bring your baby home, and as you try to put him or her in the car seat, you realize—you have no idea what you’re doing. The nurses offer to help, which is great, but what are you going to do when they aren’t there? Who are you going to turn to then? (Deep breaths, it’s going to be okay.)
  3. Breastfeeding: For some women, breastfeeding just happens naturally. For others, it’s more of a struggle. And when it doesn’t happen easily, new moms are prone to beating themselves up and feeling like they are letting their babies down. Instead of doing that, have your partner search for a lactation consultant who will come to your home to help.
  4. The First Illness: There is nothing worse than a sick baby. They are already so helpless, and when their temperature goes above 99.5°F (37.5°C), or a little cough rattles through their chest, it’s natural to feel helpless yourself. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to call the pediatrician.
  5. The First Time You Leave: No matter how much you love your baby, you can’t be with him or her 24/7. Eventually, you will have to leave your little one with someone else—either to return to work, or to have a night out with your partner. That first time is hard for all new parents, but you’ll be fine. You may even find you enjoy it!
  6. Every Other Day: Oh, wait… you thought the panics would stop after those first few months? Silly you! This parenting thing is a full time gig, from now until the end of your life. And the panics? They never stop. The new parent panic just becomes the experienced parent panic. From the first day of kindergarten to your babies becoming parents themselves; get ready for the most overwhelming, all-consuming job you’ve ever taken on. The good news? It’s all worth it!

Written by Leah Campbell, infertility advocate, adoptive mama, writer and editor. Find me @sifinalaska on Twitter.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general informational basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.