I know you will still worry about these things anyway, but nevertheless, here goes…
- That your child doesn’t fit an item of clothing at the age stated on the label. Shops vary hugely in what they would define as the measurements for a given size. Asda tends to come up small for example (as do secondhand items due to copious amounts of tumble drying!), and Marks and Spencer tends to be more generous. I find that as a baby on the 99th centile, my son was always working a little ahead of what the clothing suggested he should be. My daughter on the other hand was just about in line with it. Doesn’t seem to have affected either of them yet!
- How your baby is fed. My son and daughter differ in how they were fed as they had different needs, and neither seem to have been disadvantaged by the approach adopted: they both thrived.
- Baby’s hair falling out. My daughter is now sporting a ‘Cadfael’… bald mostly except a fringe of hair around the nape of the neck. The hair that she did have is now attached to the lining of the moses basket, pram/bassinet, cot…. This is normal and due to baby spending lots of time lying on her back and rubbing her head against the surface.
- That in the first few weeks, your baby seems to be constantly feeding. Again this is common. In the case of breastfed babies, it is both necessary and inevitable that baby spends a large time nursing in order to establish your supply. It does not mean that you do not have enough milk, unless there is evidence in terms of failure to gain weight (and this I am told is rare). So as long as baby is gaining weight, put everything else on hold, accept as much help as you can with other children and anything that absolutely needs to get done (such as food preparation) and put your feet up in front of a box set. You are in for the long haul!
- Very runny poo. Babies can have stomach upsets, but almost invariably, tan-coloured, runny poo is completely normal. It is what both of my babies’ poo looked like for the first 6 months of their lives (until weaning began) despite the fact that they were fed differently.
- Clothes stained by poo. Breastfed baby’s poo stains like a beast and generally will not come out in the wash unless washed immediately. However, I have found a method that works. Apply a stain remover directly to the stain, then put the item in the wash with your ordinary detergent. This will remove the worst. If a mark is left, but the item on your windowsill in the sunlight (it doesn’t matter if it’s a cloudy day). In time, the stain will be gone.
- Baby acne and cradle cap: Your baby may develop spots that look like acne a week or two after being born. It looks like acne because it is. Leave it alone and it will be gone soon. Yellowy-creamy scales on the surface of the head bother you much more than they bother the baby. Try Dentinox shampoo or Epaderm cream
- Bleeding that lasts for ages (you, not baby). The hugest period of your life has started and won’t finish for about 6 weeks. It is completely normal and made more comfortable with decent maternity pads
- Marks from the birth (baby). Baby may have forceps marks on his face where a tight grip was needed (my son did). These may look alarming at first, but fade quickly
- The house and what visitors might think of it. Anyone who has had a baby before completely understands that this consumes your life in those first few weeks where feeding is almost constant and sleep is hard to come by, let alone time for housework. Anyone who hasn’t had a baby before but does so in the future will come to understand. People are there to see the baby, not the house, and will be so overcome by this that they won’t care about the state of the house. I know it’s easy for me to say, but it’s true. Have they seen your house tidy before, pre-baby? Then they know that this is not how have lived up until now and there will be no judgment.
I am not a medical professional, the advice above is anecdotal based on my own experience and reading. It goes without saying that of course if you are worried about the health of yourself or your child, seek advice from your doctor, midwife or health visitor.