As a new parent, it’s easy to worry. It seems like every time your little one takes a tiny gasp, horrible images run through your mind of your baby suffocating and suffering long term problems because of it. At night, when you’re listening for your baby to breathe, it can seem like a few seconds are the same as several hours. You stare intently over at the crib or at the baby monitor for any sign that your baby is OK. By the time you get halfway out of bed, however, she takes another breath and you’re relieved.

Really, checking your baby’s breathing is something you can and should do as often as you feel the need. If you feel the need to check your baby’s breath every few minutes, go for it. That compulsive need to make sure he’s all right is completely normal, and a natural part of being a parent to a small baby.

You do need to realize that babies go through different sleep stages. Some stages are deep, still and quiet. Others are more active, noisy and snuffly. As the night passes, your baby will breathe louder and then softer, depending on what stage she’s in.

It’s really all right if you want to make an extra trip into your baby’s bedroom to make sure he’s all right. Some parents still do this, long after their babies have become toddlers. It’s normal and natural to want to check on your kids to make sure they’re asleep.

You don’t need to constantly check your child’s breathing, to be sure. But there’s no harm in getting up and checking. After all, it’s likely that you’re going to stay awake once you’re up, at least until you know she’s all right. Checking on her will give you a little bit of peace of mind, which should help you settle back down and get some rest yourself.