11 Mistakes First-Time Mothers Make

11 Mistakes First-Time Mothers Make
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

It is normal to make some mistakes when raising children, especially for first-time mothers. No one is perfect, but knowledge is power. So if you learn about these common mistakes beforehand, you can avoid making them yourself.

If you are a first-time mother, you have likely made several of the mistakes in this list. Don’t worry, there is hope for everybody.

This list can help you better understand what happened to you and can also prevent you from making some blunders in the future.

The Most Common Mistakes for First-Time Mothers

Panicking about every little thing:

Many mothers overreact about their child vomiting or regurgitating food. The baby usually picks up on their mother’s feelings and moods, and your anxiety and nerves can make the child feel more nervous and anxious. Try to do everything calmly and smoothly.

Sterilizing all of their baby’s utensils for their entire first year:

Hygiene for babies is paramount during their first few weeks of life, but don’t obsess about it. Try to keep your objects clean so that the baby will come in contact with some amount of bacteria to help them develop their own immune system, but not enough to cause an infection.

Waking their child up to eat:

Babies wake up when they are hungry and parents usually do not need to interrupt their sleep. If they do not wake up on their own, let them keep sleeping. Experts recommend that babies eat every 3 hours during their first few weeks of life, which does not mean that they must be woken up from a peaceful sleep to be fed.

Bundling them up too much:

common mistakes among first-time mothers

Babies tend to cool down easily during their first few weeks of life and if you warm them up too much, they sweat a lot.

The key is to keep their body temperature regulated. You can tell if they are cold by checking the temperature of their hands and feet, or if their extremities are a little purple. If they are sweating around their head and neck, it’s because they may be very warm and feel hot.

Demanding the house be silent during the day when their baby sleeps:

Once they are a month-and-a-half old, a child’s sleep pattern begins to follow light-dark cycles and they are able to sleep longer at night. Therefore, the baby should get used to hearing noises around the house during naps in order to know when it is daytime.

On the other hand, if there is always absolute silence while the child sleeps, any noise will startle them and wake them up.

Compare their baby to others:

You shouldn’t compare one child to another. Each child develops at their own pace and as long as they are within a range that is considered normal, there is no need to worry.

During medical checkups, the pediatrician is responsible for checking if the baby is developing normally. So do not compare your experience with that of other mothers. Each one will experience the growth of their child in a different way.

Bathing their baby every day:

Pediatric doctors say that bathing babies two or three times a week is enough. If you clean them with wipes and wash your hands after each diaper change, it is not necessary to use the bathtub daily, and use soap on their skin that often, even if it is gentle.

mother sleeping peacefully with baby

Not taking advantage of the times their baby is asleep in order to take a little nap:

This is a very common mistake that first-time mothers tend to make. They usually prefer to catch up on housework or other tasks while their baby is asleep, but in a few weeks most will notice how tired they feel. It is estimated that first-time mothers lose between 400 and 750 hours of sleep during their baby’s first year of life.

Never letting anyone but them touch or hold their baby:

This is very common for both first-time and experienced mothers to be afraid that someone will get their child sick if they kiss them or hold them. However, it is common sense to know that if someone is sick, you should not have your baby near that person in order to avoid the possible spread of disease.

 Cutting their hair in order for it to grow in thicker:

It is recommended to cut your baby’s hair after their first year of life. The belief that hair will grow in thicker is a myth, as their new hair will be the same.

On the other hand, if the baby is very small they can lose heat through their head. Their actual hair texture, color and type will not become apparent until they are one year old and this is determined mainly by genetics.

Neglecting their partner:

It is normal for first-time mothers to feel they should spend every minute with their baby. But it is also necessary for them to devote time to their partner whenever possible. As often as you can afford to, hire a babysitter or ask for help from a family member either once a week or every 15 days so that you two can do fun things together and have moments of intimacy.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.