The 10 Questions Every First-Time Parent Asks

We hear the same questions from parents time and again. Here’s a quick guide to the questions every new parent asks.

1. Do I have to breastfeed for a year or any set period of time? What if I’m just over it?  

This is a personal decision. Some women will prefer to keep it under six months, others will value the closeness and breastfeed for a number of years.

If you’re feeling pressure to make a decision based on how others around you judge what is “right”, make sure to get the right support that encourages the decision YOU want to make.

2. Do you have to sterilize bottles and pacifiers after every single use?

No, you don’t have to sterilize after every use. Keeping everything washed with warm water and soap after every use is necessary.

If you see mold, throw plastic away and get new products. Only glass can be sterilized if something becomes moldy.

3. What is sleeping through the night and when does it happen?

Sleeping through the night is a myth. It’s normal for humans of all ages to go through sleep cycles.

Also, babies’ stomachs can’t handle not being fed for a period of longer than 3-4 hours without having too much stomach acid and pain. Trying to make a baby sleep or go without a feed for a period of time over 3-4 hours can cause physical harm to an infant.

Learn more about healthy sleep for newborns from Dr Anglique Millette on Episodes 8 and 10 of Fourth Trimester Podcast.

4. Is it possible to spoil a baby by holding them too much?

No. Humans need contact. They crave being close, being warm and being held. Conversely, a lack of contact can have negative effects.

Remember this quote: “You can’t spoil good stuff”.

5. Is something wrong if my baby is flailing around while sleeping? What if my child isn’t “sleeping like a baby”?

It is perfectly normal for babies to move their limbs around quite a bit while sleeping.

6. Is green poop normal?

Yes! Saying that, if you are breastfeeding, you may need to feed for longer periods because it can be a sign the baby is not receiving enough hind milk.

The only colors to be a cause of concern are red, black or chalky white. If in doubt, contact your pediatrician.

7. If I drink a glass of wine, do I have to pump and dump?

It depends on the age and size of your baby somewhat. Make sure any wine you’re drinking is truly a glass (one cup) and not a larger amount. This is quite circumstantial depending on baby size and volume of alcohol consumed. Any stress or regret over the decision may be enough to make it not worth it. Side note, if you haven’t stopped postpartum bleeding, avoid blood thinners including alcohol.

8. How many layers do infants need to wear to go outside?

Babies don’t need a set number of layers. Use common sense to not overheat your baby. If it is weather where you yourself need an extra layer, consider two layers for the baby (one extra layer on top of the number layers you are wearing).

9. Why are babies meant to wear a hat all the time?

Babies do not have to wear hats all the time. It’s important to help keep babies warm and to not overheat them.

10. Do babies mix up day and night? Why do they have it backwards?

No, babies do not confuse night and day. They appear to sleep better during the day, in contrast to everyone who is awake around them.

Newborns are already attuned to darkness and they are used to receiving nutrition around the clock.

Listen to Esther Gallagher & Sarah Trott on the Fourth Trimester Podcast Episode 74. Click here for iTunes and click here for Google Podcasts. Enjoy! xo