As with many big life events, it’s often something that you’ve not be trained for or possibly learned much prior to it happening. The same can be said for when you become a parent for the first time. You’re the person that this little bundle of joy is going to rely on for everything because they’re not yet at the point where they can do it themselves. Having a baby can be pretty overwhelming, so here are ten tips for helping you out as new parents.
Bulk Buy Certain Things
Babies get through a lot of diapers on a daily basis. Imagine you couldn’t control your bladder or bowels and still had to do all the things that you need to do on the toilet. A newborn can’t do any of these things without assistance, and so it’s important that you buy things in bulk when it comes to baby stuff. Diapers, baby wipes, vests, bibs and everything else. Ask friends and family members to get you more of that at a baby shower than actual clothes. They’ll also grow pretty quickly so anything newborn size will only get worn a few times before it becomes too small.
Take advantage of things when they’re on sale and stock up on the essentials well in advance. You’ll soon realize just how expensive having a baby can be!
Read Up On Everything
The fantastic thing about the internet is that everything you could ever want to know is online. Through online forms and articles on popular parenting sites, there’s tips and information to know about when expecting your first child. As parents, it’s good to take the time to read up on as much as possible. It’s unlikely that you’ll know much, to begin with, unless you’ve had direct experience with looking after a newborn, i.e. if you were old enough to look after a younger sibling. Buy baby books if you can and figure out everything you will need for the arrival of your baby. From a breathable waterproof baby mattress to all of the soft toys. The more knowledge and information you can find, the easier it’ll feel when the baby arrives. You won’t likely be too much out of your depth.
Work As A Team
Having a baby is a very challenging experience, but it’s one that’s going to be full of excitement and joy. You’re likely to be having a baby with the person you love the most, but when the baby arrives, it’ll be all hands on deck. It’s important that there’s an equal balance when it comes to taking care of your child. Work schedules may change or very slightly, and you will need to adapt to the new routine. That means communication is essential for you and your partner. You want to understand each other on a deeper level and to be able to acknowledge when your partner needs a rest. The more you work as a team, the better you’ll feel as a couple and as a family unit. Eventually, you’ll have it down to an art!
Ask For Help From Family Or Friends
With a baby en route, it’s an exciting time for everyone in your family and friendship group. There will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate including baby showers and a christening if that’s something you might do when the baby is born. It’s even more exciting if you’re the first person out of your friends to be having a baby. That can be a very exciting experience and so when you need help, ask for it. There will be plenty of moments where you will be feeling overwhelmed and find that you have plenty of family and friends who are willing to give a helping hand to you and to your baby. It could be something as simple as popping to the shops for you. They’re likely to help out in any way they can, they will probably just want to see that you and your new baby are ok and doing well.
Take A Break When You Can
Being a parent is a full-time, twenty-four-hour job. There will be times where your baby doesn’t sleep well and wakes up at points in the night, and there will be moments where you feel so sleep deprived that it feels like it will never end. At this point, you’re no good to anyone, particularly to yourself and your baby. So with that in mind, try to take regular breaks in order to help with the demands that come with being a parent. Again it’s working as a team with your partner or asking for help from a friend or family member. Use these opportunities to spend a little time on yourself, whether it’s having your nails done, having an afternoon of playing games, reading a book. Whatever brings you joy and happiness is great, but anything other than cleaning up after a baby is going to feel good.
Get Plenty Of Rest
Which leads onto the next tip and that’s sleep. It seems quite ludicrous to ask new parents to get more rest when they’re likely not getting much at all. However, sleep is essential for your body to recover and repair itself and to remain functional to look after a baby. There will certainly be times where you have sleepless nights but take advantage of any maternity or paternity leave you get. Use it to your full advantage to get power naps in as and when you can. Work together to take naps in turn and make full use of the weekends. Your social life isn’t going to be the same, and you may find that you’d prefer to stay in at the weekends, rather than go out. However, at the same time, you want to ensure you’re treating yourself every now and then. Looking after your health should be a priority and rest is a good way of keeping your health in top shape.
Choose The Advice You Want To Accept
When you become a parent for the first time, you’ll be getting advice coming from everyone whether they’re parents or not. It’ll be ‘I’ve heard this’ and ‘I’ve heard that’. And all this is very well and good but there will come a point that you stop taking all that information and rather choosing the advice you think is relevant. Everyone’s experience of parenting is going to be slightly different from the next because every child is going to be unique in their own way. So take this advice with caution and also with a pinch of salt in some cases. There are going to be a fair few old wives tales that are told to you too, so those are the ones you’ll probably definitely scoff and giggle at. You don’t need to take on board everything you’re given, just nod your head and say thanks!
Relish The Bonding Experience
The newborn stage and the years beyond will go very quickly. Before long that baby will be walking and talking to being a teenager and not wanting to give you cuddles anymore. With that in mind, it’s important relish in the bond experience as much as you can. You won’t realize just how fast time flies when you have a baby, so take advantage of every cuddle and quiet time you have with them. After they start school, they tend to build their independence from that age. But never fear, you will always be relied on for support.
Create A Routine
Routines are important to implement as soon as possible. A routine for you and your partner so that you can structure your day to suit you both but also a routine for your baby in regards to their eating and sleeping patterns. This will all help towards getting the child into a routine of knowing when it’s time to go to bed and when meal times usually are. The more of a structured routine you create for the baby, the easier it will be for you.
Be Wary Of Hygiene
And finally, hygiene. We’re quite careless as adults in that we sometimes don’t take caution with germs and bacteria. For a baby, it’s immune system isn’t going to be as strong as what ours are right now. So it’s a good idea to vet any friends or family members who come within breathing distance of your baby. The last thing you want is to be dealing with a baby who is ill, and your family and friends should be wary of being around if they don’t feel well. Everyone should know that you shouldn’t be near a newborn when you’re ill, so don’t be afraid to remind people of that!
There are plenty more things that will crop up along the way but parenthood is all about learning new things and learning as you go. Embrace that fear of the unknown and enjoy every moment of being a new parent.