Tips and Advice Every New Parent Should Consider

Are you about to become a parent? Congratulations! You’re about to enter one of the most exciting and overwhelming times of your life. It pays to get some guidance from people who have been there, so we’ve compiled some tips and advice from experienced parents to help you through those early days.

  • Expect it to be challenging. Many people think that having a baby will just mean incorporating that new little person into their existing lifestyle, but this is rarely the case. The first year of parenting is a major adjustment, because having a baby means your life and schedule have to go revolve around the baby’s needs instead of yours. Even an easy baby requires a lot of maintenance, and you’ll spend most of your life feeding, changing, comforting, holding, rocking, and doing whatever else is required.
  • Take naps. You’ll often be advised to sleep when the baby sleeps, and this is excellent advice. Babies don’t sleep very much, and you’ll find it difficult to care for a baby when you’re sleep deprived. It may be tempting to spend your baby’s nap time cleaning house or catching up on your favorite TV shows, but this is unwise. Let everything else go for a little while, and go ahead and nap when you can.
  • Take a shower. When you’re a new parent, self-care tends to fall by the wayside. You may feel like you’re in a fog and suddenly realize that you haven’t had a shower in days. Don’t let this happen! Showering daily, even if it’s for a quick five minutes, can make you feel refreshed, which helps you stay on top of all the things you need to do.
  • Take a walk.
  • Don’t keep things too quiet. If you want your baby to be a good sleeper, don’t shut down the house while he or she is sleeping. Doing this will train your baby to be a light sleeper who wakes at every noise, and this is definitely not what you want.
  • Do what works for you. Advice is wonderful, but too much advice can be overwhelming. Take a breath and trust your gut, doing what works for you and your baby. Breast-feed or bottle-feed, swaddle or don’t, use cloth diapers or disposable. As long as your baby is happy and healthy, keep doing what feels best for your family.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It goes without saying that you and your partner should share in the responsibilities of parenting. Beyond that, there are probably many people in your life who will help if you just ask. While you’re in the survival mode of early parenting, accept offers of food, childcare, house cleaning, and anything else anyone in your life is willing to give.
  • Enjoy it! While parenting is a lot of work, it’s also a lot of joy. Reveling in your amazing newborn will give way to delighting in your quickly growing child, and it will all pass much more quickly than you think. Take time to bond with your baby, celebrate each age and stage, and make mini-traditions that will create wonderful memories together. Be mindful of the moments, and spend time just enjoying your baby.

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