(CBS News) New moms have more oxytocin in their system, which serves to heighten their response to hearing their baby cry or seeing her in distress. It also causes the “fight or flight” response to kick in more easily, triggering the release of stress hormones, which can make you feel even more anxious. Jessica Hartshorn, Senior Lifestyle Editor for American Baby, has advice on how to perform angst-provoking tasks like a pro.

Many mothers fear they will drop their baby. To avoid this feeling move slowly and think carefully about every step you’re taking. Pay attention to your surroundings and don’t walk around in socks on wood floors. Make sure there is nothing on the floor you could trip on. If going up and down stairs with the baby is too scary, set up a changing and napping area on the first floor. After a week or two you’ll feel confident enough to take the stairs. And if you do drop your baby try not to panic. If the fall was on a soft surface and the baby is acting normally, watch carefully for signs of injury. If your baby falls onto a hard surface and is not acting normal, call 911 or head to the hospital right away.

If you’re scared your baby will slip out of your hands in the tub it’s fine to give your baby sponge baths for the first month. When you’re ready to bathe him in the tub, set everything you’ll need within arm’s reach. Soap up and rinse one area of his body at a time to prevent him from getting too slippery. When you take him out of the tub lift him from underneath his armpits and immediately lay him on a towel and wrap him up. Don’t walk around with a wet, naked baby. Once he’s wrapped up, he’ll be easier to carry.

Hold off on clipping your baby’s nails until he’s a few weeks old. After the nail is no longer attached to the skin you can then clip them so the baby does not scratch himself. Resist the temptation to nibble them off because the bacteria in your mouth can lead to infection. The best tip is to wait until the baby’s asleep to trim. If you’re really terrified of using clippers, you can simply file his nails to the right length….Continue Reading

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