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Don't Be a Helicopter Mom: What You DON'T Need to Worry About!

Katlyn Joy |26, December 2012


All new moms are natural worriers but some women get stuck in that mode and become the dreaded helicopter mom, the mother who constantly hovers over her kids. You don't want to be that mom. First off you'll be miserable and secondly you'll teach your children that they are incapable of taking care of anything. Unless you love the sound of having a 30 year old in your basement, that's not the goal.

To help you relax a bit, here are some common worries to remove from your list.

1. You're lacking maternal instincts. Join the club. While it may seem standard equipment when looking at everyone else, it's actually like everything else in life; you learn on the job. And you will learn. Trust that the confidence you see when a women is tying a toddler's shoes, while breastfeeding a newborn and ordering a prescription refill online is learned. She was once a bundle of tears and fears while her baby cried nonstop too. Babies still come with some basic reflexes to help us out, so nature knows we need a bit of help.

2. You will drop your baby and do permanent damage. Babies are remarkably resilient and parents are more adept than they expect. You will quickly learn your baby's movements and skill level. You may at some time see baby slip off a pillow or land face-first on the floor, but you will be unlikely to need an ER afterwards. Just to be sure, have a baby first aid book to consult whenever your worries get to you.

3. You won't bond with your baby. Every parenting duo comes to attachment at their own pace with their own unique style. Some fall in love on sight while others need some quiet time together to become more acquainted. Don't worry your baby will love you. Promise!

4. Baby will starve to death and you won't realize it. This is especially a worry for first time nursing mothers. However, you will learn that baby will let you know. Baby will have several wet diapers a day and a variable amount of poopy ones. She'll look healthy and be as active as her age allows. And you will be going in for regular pediatrician visits so weigh ins will be a good sign as well.

5. Your baby will freeze or overheat. Here is a simple rule of thumb: dress baby just a bit warmer than you, especially in the first newborn weeks when baby cannot regulate his own body temp. Don't wrap baby up in heavy multiple layers. Also, do not put a portable heater in the nursery due to fire hazards.

6. You won't wake when baby needs you. Virtually every mom develops a new intensity to her hearing and that special skill is on 24/7. I personally have not slept through a nightmare, stomach flu or nosebleed in 23 years on the job. You will wake up. And if you don't believe me, buy a good baby monitor.

7. Baby isn't developing normally. Odds are baby is developing at her own rate and that will be just fine. If you are ever concerned about milestones that are still out of reach request a developmental screening at the pediatrician. To be extra safe, just schedule those regularly to get a developmental overview. Just because your coworker's 6-month old is almost crawling doesn't mean your baby is in trouble because she's not trying to be mobile quite yet.

8. Germs will get your baby. Babies have been sucking on the grossest things found on the ground, under the sofa and behind the diaper pail for generations and very few have needed their stomachs pumped. Don't freak out about having baby in public once the doctor has cleared baby to be out and about. Just use common sense like don't let anyone with cold flu or other contagious conditions or symptoms around baby. Wash your hands often and make anyone who plays with or holds baby do the same. While the two second rule is silly, the attitude isn't all wrong. Studies show a little dirt seems to give kids a stronger immune system after all. So relax!

9. You shouldn't have _____ while pregnant. Most moms have little panic attacks once they find out they're pregnant. "Oh, my god! I have a glass of wine, maybe two before the stick turned blue." Or why did I drink all the chocolate milk, now he'll be ADHD or whatever the latest study shows. Your baby is here and thriving so don't worry about worst case scenarios based on nothing.

10. You'll spoil the baby. Babies need you. You can't spoil a baby, particularly a newborn. So let Grandma warn you otherwise. You know in your gut if baby needs you or you are just using that as an excuse to get in some extra cuddling time. You don't have to be a sucker or a cold fish either one. You will learn to read baby's cries and know which ones mean business and which ones are plain fussiness. You'll find the balance that fits your baby and yourself.

Related Articles

Four Styles of Parenting

Tips to Soothe Your Crying Baby

A Pain So Great: A Story of Stillbirth

The Well Visit Routine

Weaning Baby From His Pacifier


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