Dealing With the Anxiety Caused By The Ever-Changing Nature of Babies

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teethingThe amount of gear a baby requires is mind-boggling. You can’t just use stuff you’ve already got laying around the house. Just for a start you need: stroller car seat diapers bottles crib burp cloths baby tub diaper pail changing table pacifiers baby sling diaper bag baby toys rattles books high chair onesies …

I remember being so overwhelmed with the amount of things I needed to keep up with and have with me whenever I went anywhere. It actually led me to just refuse to go out quite a bit, because it felt like too monumental a task to gather up everything and stuff all of it into a bag.

There were so many times when we were out and I realized that the one thing I needed I’d forgotten to put in the darn bag. Baby has a massive blowout … I forgot the extra set of clothes. Baby is fussy … I forgot his favorite toy, the one that always makes him happy. Baby needs changing … I forgot I used the last diaper in the diaper bag yesterday and now I’m out. Or the wipes box is empty. It was never ending.

What’s more, they start going through periods of change, and then you need even more stuff. It’s not okay that you already have six tons of baby things on every available surface of your house. Those were only tiny baby things. Now they’re growing and you need completely different things. They start trying solid food, and you need the little teensy spoons. They start crawling around and pulling themselves up, and now you need 400 different kinds of safety devices to make sure they can’t get hurt. No matter what, though, your baby is worth it. Your baby is worth more than diamonds and platinum wrapped in diamonds and platinum with some diamonds and platinum on top. So you find the best stuff you can and you keep on trucking.

It was always during the periods of change that I got the most nervous with both my children. It was frustrating to finally get comfortable with a certain routine, to feel like I had a handle on things, only to have to change to something completely different. That gave me such anxiety!! Solid foods. Potty training. Teething. Teething was awful. They slobbered everywhere and pulled at their faces and gnawed on everything and cried their little hearts out. I always had at least three teethers cooling in the fridge.

It all gave me heart palpitations. So if you’re a mom with postpartum depression or anxiety and you live in fear of change, don’t think it’s just you. It was hard enough for me to relax about the every day stuff, so when change hit I would pretty much freak out. Not an outward freak out, where everyone might notice, but an inward trembling and fretting like nothing else.

What I learned is that you get through it. All of it. Each and every new stage. I found I was most scared on the first day we had to deal with something new, and after that I learned to just settle in for the ride. They got through teething. They learned to eat and go to the bathroom and I’m proud to say they’re very good at both these days. ;-)

Just tell yourself over and over, you can do this. You can.

teethingDisclosure: I am an ambassador for MAM, the babycare experts and makers of BPA-free pacifiers, bottles and teethers. I am grateful for their donation to our nonprofit, Postpartum Progress Inc., to help support our work supporting moms with postpartum depression.  

MAM Baby offers a variety of oral care products for infants, all of which are baby safe and BPA-free, including the MAM Bite & Brush, a teether that includes soft bristles, the MAM Cooler, a teether filled with cooling water for the molars, and the MAM Training Brush, with an extra long handle so mom and baby can hold the toothbrush together.  

Photo credits: MAM Baby, © Clay – Fotolia.com

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About Katherine Stone

is the founder & editor of Postpartum Progress. She was named one of the ten most influential mom bloggers of 2011, a WebMD Health Hero and one of the top 25 parent bloggers using social media for social good. She also writes the Fierce Blog, and a parenting column for Disney's Babble.com.

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  1. Emily Lindsey says:

    I think a lot of the anxiety that a mother faces in each stage and a lot of the stress with that can be undone by telling parents to slim down. With each child we have had less and less funds and therefore fewer items to carry or push with. It amazes me how much calmer I am now that I carry my was baby-now toddler in a wrap or carrier, breastfed so carried no bottles or formula, and the largest item was the clothes and cloth diapers. Solids, well whatever I eat she eats and heck with the wee little spoons. Babyhood and motherhood should be synonymous with the new item and what they have to have. Keep it simple, keep it real, and unleash the feelings of freedom.