I didn't think I'd be a paranoid new parent. I'd seen many of my friends turn into moms in the years before I became one myself, so I thought I'd be pretty chill as a new mom. In reality, however, I was just as nutty as most new parents. As a result, I have more than a few hilarious stories of things I did as a paranoid new parent. You know, just in case you need some proof that I was completely out of my ever-loving mind.
There's something about how tiny newborns are — like how fresh their skin is and how they are just so brand new to the world — that instantly turns any new parent into a protective lunatic. I was no different, and maybe only veteran parents can learn how to quell that voice inside them that says, "Yes, there is danger all around you." Maybe (read: hopefully) when that tiny newborn phase isn't completely foreign to you, you loosen your grip just a little bit. For me, however and as the mom of an 18-month-old daughter, I'm pretty sure that if you handed me a baby younger than a month, I'd freak out all over again and turn into a nutty new mom for a second time.
But hey, we've all been there, right? Between the powerful emotions that bombard you the moment your newborn is in your arms, and the responsibility of parenthood in general, being a new mom can make you do some pretty crazy things.
I Made My Daughter Wear A Hat At Night For Six Months
My daughter was in the NICU for the first week of her life. As a result, and for whatever reason, I thought that because she was constantly wearing a hat in the NICU, she had to wear a hat at home. Yes, even if she was older and even if it wasn't cold.
The fun part? Months after we brought our baby home, and after I figured out she really didn't have to wear a hat every night, the entire ritual turned into some kind of sleep association thing for her. So, yeah, we were ordering even bigger hats for a while.
I Googled Crazy Things at 3 A.M.
When my daughter had her first cold, I was Googling cystic fibrosis. It's incredible how quickly your new-mom brain can go from reasonable to totally irrational, usually within a span of minutes.
That's far from the only thing I've googled at 3 a.m, too and in case you were wondering. Honestly, it's been at least a once-a-month occurrence since my partner and I brought our baby home.
I Drove Ridiculously Slowly And Avoided The Freeway
Maybe there are places where driving doesn't seem like you're taking your life (and the life of your new precious bundle) in your own hands, but Houston is not one of those places. Drivers be cray down here. So, yeah, you can bet I wasn't going to be bringing my newborn baby on an eight-lane highway in our tiny (and very old) Prius with all those enormous pick-up trucks towering down over us from their (totally very necessary) jacked up tires. Didn't matter how long it was going to take me to avoid the highway, I was going to be doing 25 mph all the way to my destination!
I Didn't Allow My Baby To Stay In Her Car Seat For Longer Than 25 Minutes
We love our pediatrician, but he made me so nervous during my daughter's one week appointment when he said she shouldn't be in the car seat except to go to the doctor's office (and maybe a very short errand here and there). I was so paranoid about having her crunched up in the car seat for more than a few minutes at a time, so she barely spent any time in the car for weeks.
Now I realize that a trip here and there to visit friends or bring her to the grocery store would not have been the end of the world at all.
I Swaddled My Baby Every Chance I Had
I can't really remember when my partner and I stopped swaddling our daughter, but I do remember thinking to myself, "Well, that might have been overkill." Whoops, Better safe than sorry though, right?
I Micromanaged My Husband When He Held Our Baby
I was unreasonably scared that my husband would drop my daughter if he was walking around while holding her. He's really tall, so it would have been a really long drop to the floor. Just sayin'.
I Refused To Take My Daughter To The Grocery Store
That same pediatrician that scared the you-know-what out of me about the whole car seat thing, had me totally convinced we shouldn't bring our daughter to any public places until she was 4 months old. Um, 4months, you guys.
Now, I understand he meant we shouldn't let strangers touch her, and people with potential germs hold her, but at the time I took him literally. When he said she should only be home or at the doctor's office until she was 4 months old, I made sure my home or a doctor's office were the only two places my baby was.
I Baby Proofed Our Home When My Baby Was Only 1 Week Old
I mean, what if she wiggled out of that swaddle and wandered her way over to an electrical outlet? I wanted to make sure my partner and I were prepared, dear reader. Even though she wasn't drinking even 2 ounces of formula yet, I was pretty concerned she might take a swig of dish detergent, too. #paranoidnewmom