10 Mistakes to avoid in your child's first year
We know - when you're a new mum, things can get a bit overwhelming and confusing when it comes to the care of your baby.
You'll probably get a lot of advice on what to do, especially in your little one's first year. This gallery gives you some great tips on what not to do when it comes to your baby's care, from birth to his first birthday.
1. Expecting a sleep routine immediately
It would be a new mum's dream come true if her little baby slept through the night. But unfortunately this is not the case most of the time.
Baby sleep experts say up to 50% of two-year-olds still wake up at night - so you can hardly expect your newborn to sleep all night.
2. Using baby walkers
You may think you're helping your tot to walk by popping him in one of these devices. But you could actually cause more damage than good.
The biggest hazard among others posed by baby walkers is the risk of tipping over, thereby hurting your baby.
Don't worry too much mummy - your little one will take those legendary first steps when he is absolutely ready to do so.
3. Ignoring fever in a newborn
With older babies mums tend to manage fever using home remedies, or just ignore it if it is not too high.
This should never be done with a newborn. If your newborn has even a slightly elevated temperature, seek medical guidance without delay.
4. Not installing the car seat correctly
If you are not sure how to install your little one's car seat properly, please seek the advice of the manufacturer or even a mummy friend who already uses one.
Having it fitted properly could save your baby from serious harm should you be in a car accident.
5. Using too much cot bedding
Yes, tiny babies look so cute and cuddly in a cot full of pillows, blankets and soft toys.
But experts say by doing this, you could seriously put your baby at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Avoid using pillows and blankets until your child is at least one year old, when the risk decreases. Instead, control his body temperature through safe and appropriate sleepwear and moderating the room temperature via air-conditioning or fans.
6. Ignoring your mum instinct
Being a new mum can be pretty confusing and overwhelming. But even though you may not realise it, you have a unique gift the moment your baby is born - and that is a mum's instinct.
If you feel something is not right with your baby, then it probably is regardless of what others say. Trust your gut instinct in such cases and consult with your baby's doctor as soon as possible.
7. Worrying excessively about your baby's speech
With my first child, I worried so much about his speech. I expected him to be able to talk by the end of his first year (all the books said he would) and it didn't help that I had an aunty ask me every week "is he talking yet?"
Like walking, your baby will talk when he is ready for it. If you are truly worried though, read this article for tips and advice on what to do.
8. Confusing spit-up and vomit
Paediatric nurse Jeniffer Walker says "The difference between spit-up and vomit is frequency, not forcefulness. If your baby is vomiting with a gastrointestinal virus, it will come every 30 or 45 minutes regardless of feeding. Spit-up, on the other hand, is usually related to feeding."
9. Neglecting dental care
Just because you baby doesn't have teeth yet doesn't mean you shouldn't worry about his oral health.
Clean your little one's gums and tongue with a piece of wet gauze and start using an appropriate toothbrush when his first tooth pops through.
Read this article for expert tips on looking after your baby's first teeth.
10. Taking in too much information
It's so easy for a new mum to get overwhelmed with too much information about raising a baby - from well-meaning relatives to "Dr. Google".
Try to sift through the details, taking what you think will help you and discarding the rest. You'll be a pro in no time at all, we promise!