What Do New Parents Need to Know?
New parents are overwhelmed by all of the choices they have when it comes to raising their children. There are so many things to figure it out before the arrival of your newborn, from baby gear and clothing to feeding your child healthy foods and letting them play outside in nature.
I have met parents that when they found out they are pregnant, they were clueless about everything related to babies, and sometimes they did not have anyone a family member or a friend who could help them figure things out, and the internet wasn't much of a help either...
The list of thing you need to own and learn before the arrival of your baby can be really long, that's why we created a list of 6 important things to remind yourself when feeling overwhelm and trying to balance your personal, professional and family life with a newborn baby.
The first few months are the hardest
Every parent with a newborn, knows that the first few months are by far some of the hardest. The lack of sleep can be unbearable; it's hard to keep up with feeding every two hours for days, while also trying to clean the house and get work done! And then there is all that difficult decision-making that we have in front of us -- do I breastfeed or bottle-feed? When should my baby start sleeping at night instead? We've got so many questions about what our little ones need from day one on forward.
We are not only learning how to juggle all this new things but also our brain is already coming up with 100’s of questions about the future. Do not worry, this is normal during the first few months, just remember when you get overwhelm, that as time goes by, things will start getting easier and easier, you just need to have a little bit of patience.
It is OK to ask for help as you will need it
As new parents, we think we should do it all by ourselves, that asking for help will look like a weakness and even worst we are the first ones judging us as we think we already fail as a parent, when in reality this is normal. You'll need a lot of help from your friends and family members to keep up with the enormous demands that come with caring for an infant.
You will want all hands on deck as you adjust to this new role, including those close by in person or even over social media.
It's okay to take a couple of weeks or years off from work, you are the only one who knows whats right for your family.
While researching on todays topic I wanted to check how many weeks a parent can take off their work in different countries when having a new baby and to my surprise the difference is big from country to country. There are some countries where paternity leave is only a couple of weeks and others where it can be up to 3 years.
Noone can denied that spending the first few months with your child will help you bond. However, as a parent, you always do what is best for them and if only have couple of weeks or years for your maternity leave, just make the best of it; try to ignore those guilty feelings because they're not true! The important part is to spend quality time raising this little person!
Make your home safe for your baby and childproof it so they don't get into anything dangerous
This point can be a whole blog post, there are thousands of things that will help you protect your baby from dangerous things at home, I am leaving a small list of things that I feel are a good start when talking about this point. Just make sure your baby will be safe in the space where you are planning him/her to spend the time.
- Use a baby gate to prevent your child from going up the stairs
- Put locks on cabinets with dangerous items (ex. medications, knives)
- Get rid of any dangling cords that could be harmful to babies and children
- Remove all sharp objects in the house like scissors or knives
- Make sure you have an outlet cover for each electrical outlet
- Keep all cleaning supplies in one place so it's easy to find what you need when needed
Be patient with yourself and others - no one knows what you're going through!
As you embark on your new journey as a parent, it is important to remember that no one knows what this adjustment entails. Give yourself some slack and try not to be too hard on others who are also adjusting in their own way.
Take care of yourself and don't forget to sleep
This is so easy to forget. If something rhymes with the word parenting is forgetting, we tend to forget about ourselves as soon as that new person arrives in our lives. Try to continue taking care of yourself and your family. It is like when the flight attendant ask you that in case of emergency to put your mask first and then your kid, this is the same situation if you are well your baby will be fine as well.
Becoming a parent is a unique process for each person, so eventhough you can learn from experienced moms who've walked in your shoes on important parenting decisions, it is important to remember that only you know how to be parent of your kids. Do not compare yourself, your new baby or your family to anyone else. The way that you are doing it is great and you should be proud of it, only you know how to raise your children.
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