12 Oct 2015 — 10 things for new parents to consider
10 points for new parents to consider.
So your baby is born, you’ve been discharged from the hospital and you get sent home with this tiny little bundle of joy. It’s now your job to take care of this helpless little baby that you’ve fallen in love with. And it’s not just love, it’s a feeling that is stronger and more powerful than anything you’ve ever felt before. It can be terrifying at first, taking care of the most fragile of humans is a daunting task. You know everyone manages ok, but somehow you’re still unsure. First of all, breathe, then follow some of the below tips for first time parents. You’ll be just fine.
- Babies don’t do much in the first 6 weeks
For the first 6 weeks, babies don‘t do much more than eat, poop and cry. They are gorgeous and tiny, and as much as you’re sure they smiled at you, it’s probably just gas. This is the most inactive phase of their entire lives. If they are eating, pooping, and generally happy, enjoy, this is just the start.
- Babies are better communicators than you think
Babies cry to communicate. It’s generally because they are hungry, need a nappy change or are just uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s for other reasons, babies have an immature nervous system, and that can also affect them. It’s ok that they cry – this is their way of communicating.
- Babies can go out at a very young age
Babies, even brand new ones, are tougher than you think. Whether it’s a walk in the park, a visit to a friend’s house or a visit to the beach, don’t be afraid to take them with you. Of course you need to make sure they are warm enough, or protected from the sun, and that you have enough nappies and food. Don’t be afraid to expose your kid to the outside world – just do it responsibly.
- This stage goes very quickly – enjoy it
As overwhelming as this stage seems, it will be over before you know it. So enjoy it. Take many pics, enjoy the little one as much as you can, because before you realise it, this stage will have passed and a new one will have started, which is pretty much the way it goes for your kid’s entire life.
- Sleep is overrated – You will survive
Everyone knows that new parents don’t get much sleep. You will want to tell everyone about your lack of sleep all the time, but before you know it, it’s over. You will survive – read point 4 above.
- Ask for advice but trust your judgement
There are many baby experts out there, especially the ones without any kids. Everyone wants to help, or interfere, so ask advice if you trust the source, do some research on the web, but trust yourself to make the right decision. Your parenting instincts are more powerful than any Google search.
- Don’t take development milestones too seriously
So what if your best friend’s kid walked at 9 months, and yours only at 14 months? Your kid still has as much chance of becoming an Olympic sprinter as theirs. Know what the milestones are but be flexible and don’t fret if they aren’t reached at the predicted age. All kids are different and will reach their milestones in their own good time.
- Life will never be the same – don’t expect it to be
Your life has changed. Accept this and move on. From now on your life will be fuller, busier, more expensive, more fun, richer, more joyful and more fearful. Don’t expect life to be like it was because it won’t. This does not mean that you have to stop living, you just live differently from now on.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself – mistakes are ok
Even the most ‘perfect’ parent (there is no such thing) makes mistakes. You will make mistakes too and it’s ok. Your little one is as tough and resilient as he/she is cute and helpless. Don’t stress about your mistakes, learn from them and move on.
- We’re all just winging it
There is no accurate manual for every kid, there’s only general advice, which might not suit your kid at all. Trust yourself and trust your instincts, because we’re all just winging it.
There you have it, follow these 10 points and your first baby will be more fun than fear. Last word – if you are going to buy any baby products make sure you buy quality.