As a prospective new parent, you are likely to go through a variety of emotions. It might feel like a rollercoaster but hopefully, the positive feelings outweigh the potential stresses. There is a lot to keep in mind when a baby is on the way and it is easy to be overwhelmed with adjusting to caring for a newborn with maintaining a healthy relationship and positive self-care.
Here, we have assembled some first time parenting tips for those who need some reassurance and time-tested guidance. These tips can help you to balance the demands of being a parent with the rest of your life as well as giving your baby the best possible care and opportunity for development.
Let’s look at some specific first-time parenting tips in greater detail.
One of the biggest sources of anxiety for new mothers revolves around breastfeeding. There is a lot of pressure, both social and personal, placed on the importance of breastfeeding. Mothers who have difficulty or who are unable to breastfeed altogether may feel inadequate or that they have somehow failed at being a mother.
This could not be further from the truth. Many mothers are unable to breastfeed or find it intolerably uncomfortable. However, if you are struggling with this task and do want to continue to try, there are resources to help you. Seek support from your family physician or even consider a lactation consultant. These specialists can give you essential advice on how to make the process much easier.
Coping With Sleep Woes
Certainly, one of the most common complaints and struggles of new parents involves the disruption to familiar sleep schedules inherent in having a newborn. Your baby does not care about your eight hours of sleep and will cry at any time of day or night.
Accepting this disruption is one way of coping with the stress that can arise from being sleep deprived. Prepare yourself for this time and simply accept the fact that this is normal. Avoid getting angry about it, if you can, as that will not improve the situation.
Ideally, you and your partner can share in the duties of soothing an upset baby during the night. This can make the burden easier on each of you. Stay positive and try to sneak in small naps when you can to catch up on needed sleep.
Calming The Baby
While it can take some practice and patience to learn how to calm a crying baby down, there are some things that work quite well for many parents. Gently swaying your baby is a good way to relax a newborn. Playing music or ensuring that your baby is warm enough are also good soothing techniques.
Remember that soothing a baby is a good opportunity to begin to build the bond you will share throughout your child’s life. Although it might be difficult to do in the moment, be sure to enjoy these times as they pass by quickly.
Keep Learning And Improving
Above all, having a solid partner to help you care for your child is critical. Make sure to turn to each other for support and try to limit the amount of attention you pay to the constant unsolicited advice you will receive from family and friends. While well-intended, you may find that the onslaught is often contradictory and unhelpful. It is important to remember that most babies are pretty resilient. Everyone makes parenting mistakes, you do not have to be perfect. As long as you are trying your best and continually learning and improving, your baby will grow up to be happy and healthy.