Having a baby is one of the most magical and life-changing decisions that can transform your life in the best ways…but it’s also really challenging.
When people say, “it’s the hardest job you’ll ever love,” they couldn’t be more right.
And when it comes to the perfect way to raise your child, you’re instantly bombarded by swirling opinions which can leave you overwhelmed, confused, and back at square one.
You need clarity, efficiency, and sanity in the days and weeks after your baby is born. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done.
The first year of your newborn’s little life is supposed to be challenging, but there are a few things you can practice to make it easier on you and your partner!
Keep reading to learn the five most important things every new parent should know!
Related: Baby’s First Year: 10 Best Books
Preparing For Parenthood
While there is some truth to the infamous proverb, “nothing can prepare you to be a parent,” there are still a few strategies you can use as a parent to make life a little easier.
The first and most vital thing you must consider for your kinship's good is your emotional well-being.
First things first, emotionally preparing means strengthening your resilience against the uncontrollable. If you returned home from the hospital after delivery feeling like you have no idea what you’re doing, congratulations! You’re supposed to feel that way.
The next thing to consider when taking care of your emotional well-being is to remember that you and your partner are a team. In chaos, it’s not you vs. your partner; it’s you and your partner vs. the problem.
Remembering to preserve your emotional well-being as parents will set the foundation for healthy, strong, and productive parenting.
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5 Most Important Things A New Parent Needs To Know
If you’re overwhelmed and uncertain from hearing and reading the plethora of advice for new parents, we’re here to help you! Here are the five most important things you need to know if you’re a newbie.
One essential thing you can do as a new parent is to release your expectations.
You can plan out your day all you want, but if you’ve got a new baby in tow, chances are those plans go straight out the window.
And don’t even think about comparing yourself or your parenting to others because it’s a waste of time.
Likewise, there’s plenty of conflicting advice in life and online on every subject in the baby world, whether it’s to let your baby cry it out, or when to switch to bottle feeding, etc. It’s easy to get paranoid and try to do it all, but this is unrealistic in the long run.
No one knows your child better than you, so trust yourself!
Have Compassion For Yourself
Another token of advice from more experienced parents is to remember to have compassion for yourself!
With anything new, you’re going to make mistakes. It’s physically impossible to be an instant expert in parenting, so don’t even try it.
Practicing the first piece of advice of lowering expectations can help you have more compassion for yourself.
Another way you can practice this compassion is by caring for yourself along with the baby. When the baby sleeps, you sleep. Don't forget about yourself when you’re putting in the effort to make healthy baby meals and take your child outside! Luckily, taking your baby on stroller walks can help you and your baby get fresh air.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you're cornered by chaos, disorganization, and the unknown. You’re allowed to be frustrated because it’s a very turbulent time! Just remember to hold compassion for yourself and your partner amidst the chaos.
Accept Outside Help
When you become a new parent, you feel like your baby is you and your partner’s responsibility alone. However, never in history were new parents expected to fend for themselves in raising their baby!
As such, the next piece of advice you’ll want to remember as a new parent is to take all the help you can get.
There is no “easy” baby. Babies are and always have been a lot of work. Thankfully, babies are also cute, so it won’t be impossible persuading someone to watch them while you take a breather.
To reference another proverb, “it takes a village.” Luckily, some of the best people in your village to watch over your baby are those closest to you. Friends and family can help with grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, and taking care of the newborn.
Don’t forget that even though you may not think you need it, as parents you deserve help and support.
So don’t be afraid to ask or pay for it!
Don’t Forget About Your Life
No doubt becoming a parent means giving your blood, sweat, and tears to raising your child. For many, it can be easy to get caught up in creating a beautiful life for your baby that you forget about your own.
So, our next piece of advice for new parents is to remember you have a life!
You can still have a life filled with socializing, fun, excitement, and adult activities. Yes, a baby transforms your life. However, you can still maintain your life by adapting to the changes and finding new opportunities for socialization, entertainment, date nights, activities, and more.
With a baby, more social opportunities might arise with other parents looking for the same thing. This socialization also allows you to build your village so you and other parents can switch off watching the kids and going out.
Don’t forget that taking care of your baby means taking care of yourself. You and your partner deserve to continue building your lives alongside your little +1!
Sleep As Much As You Can
Last on the list of advice for new parents is to sleep, and to sleep as much as physically possible.
In the early weeks, you may try to “get things done” while your little one is sleeping. However, you would be wrong because this is the perfect time for you to take a snooze.
Caring for a newborn baby can take everything out of you, leaving you feeling frustrated, incompetent, and sad.
And what do these symptoms have in common? A lack of sleep.
As a new parent, happiness primarily consists of getting enough sleep. Without sleep, you’re less of a parent, if not less of a person.
Getting enough sleep also ensures you’re fully present for your child’s first few years— a time when you won’t want to miss anything!
So, when you feel like the world is against you, ask yourself, “When was the last time I slept?”
When in doubt, a cat nap can cure even the most destructive of moods.
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Ready. Get Set. Go!
There you have it, the five best things to know as a new parent!
With these pieces of advice, you’re now fully equipped to tackle even the lowest of lows and survive the first few months of your baby’s life.
Just don’t forget to enjoy the journey!Related: Tucked In: How to Dress Baby for Sleep