Becoming a new parent is blissful, invigorating, and life-changing. It’s also challenging and stressful. Whether you’re shopping for a baby stroller or a Kidsco double buggy, picking out names, or stocking up on diapers, these ten pieces of advice will help you grow and thrive in your new “job.”
It’s unrealistic to think that you can and should raise a newborn all alone. That’s why it’s okay to ask or pay for the help you need; you’re entitled!
If your parents, family, friends, or neighbors offer a helping hand, take it! Have a response ready if someone asks, “Is there anything you need?” How about doing a load of laundry or washing the dirty dishes in the sink? If you don’t accept help, there might not be another offer.
Be Patient with Yourself
As a first-time parent, don’t put pressure on yourself to know it all now. Don’t expect perfection, and avoid self-judgment when you make a mistake. Give yourself some support; you’d do so if it were your best friend with the new baby.
Be Kind to Each Other
In addition to caring for a newborn, many couples neglect taking care of each other. Take time to connect and talk about what you both need—as parents and romantic partners. Allow for a weekly date night, even if you don’t leave the house. Don’t let a single day pass without saying, “I love you.”
It Doesn’t Take Much
The truth is that your baby needs very little to be healthy and happy. There are many books, apps, fancy baby strollers, and other products to help you. Still, you probably have most of what you need. Food, shelter, clothes, diapers, and a reliable stroller and car seat are pretty much all you need.
When was the last time you treated yourself to a good workout at the gym, a relaxing day at the spa, or a romantic romp with your partner? If you can’t remember, then set aside time for it. If your parents are bugging you for time with their grandchild, take yourself (and maybe your partner) out for a nice dinner, or just for a long walk–without the stroller.
Get as Much Sleep as You Can
Your nerves might be shot, but lack of sleep can make you feel worse. Get as much sleep as you can, whenever you can. Until your little one sleeps through the night, fitting in a nap here and there can help. If the grandparents come over, ask them to babysit so you can get some overdue shut-eye.
Go with the Flow
Whatever schedule you’ve set for bath, feeding, or sleeping, expect it to go out the window. When things don’t go your way, take a breath, and learn to adapt. “Rolling with it” will do wonders for your patience and mood.
Keep Your Sense of Humor
When it comes to caring for a newborn, what seems catastrophic at the moment will be funny later on. There will be many challenging moments during diaper changing, feeding, and baths that you’ll soon laugh off. Laughing at the everyday mishaps will raise your spirits and lower your stress.
You’re going to feel clueless at times and wonder if you’re going to mess up. Don’t worry. That new car carrier you bought is safe. Poking your baby that one time with the diaper pin won’t scar him for life. You’ll be fine if you just do your best and trust your instincts.
Live in the Moment
Many experienced parents will tell you that those sweet, early months with your baby will zoom by in a flash. Don’t worry so much about your child’s future that you forget the miracle of the present moment. Soak in the way your infant grasps your thumb. Feel her heartbeat while you cuddle her. Cherish those short, fleeting moments.
Parenting is arguably the most formidable job you’ll ever have. Trust your gut, take care of yourself, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Remember that you have all you need to nurture your child toward a bright future.
Author’s Bio: Matt McGrath is an avid traveler and a prominent writer in the blogging community. He has been to more than 50 countries. While he loves discovering new cultures and adventures, he is also passionate about sharing practical tips to his followers. If you love to travel and adventure, we recommend that you read and follow all his articles! More about him on his website – http://mattmcgrath.me/