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First-Year Fears: How to Confront Them

It's natural to worry about whether your infant is eating enough, sleeping properly, or crying too much. But don't let your protective instincts stop you from getting him out of the house, giving him tummy time, or teaching him to self-soothe. We'll help you face your first-year fears head-on.
mother holding newborn Leaving the House With Your Newborn

Fear Factor: You don't want to expose him to all sorts of germs.

Why Giving In Can Backfire: Sneezing kids and groping strangers are legitimate concerns, but cabin fever is an even bigger one. You need fresh air and a change of scenery to boost your spirits. Plus, even very young babies benefit from the stimulation of a different environment.

Get Over It: Run errands together, go for strolls, and boldly live your life. But be smart about bugs: Avoid crowds until your child is 3 months old (especially during the winter, when colds and flu are rampant). "For an infant, catching a virus can be a serious matter," explains Tanya Remer Altmann, M.D., author of Mommy Calls: Dr. Tanya Answers Parents' Top 101 Questions About Babies and Toddlers. If you're visiting family or friends, make sure everyone washes their hands thoroughly before touching the baby. Let little kids know that they can admire him with their eyes, not their hands.