Becoming a parent is an exciting time, and many new parents-to-be find it overwhelming when looking at the huge responsibility they have ahead of them.
Caring for a child, especially a newborn, can be stressful at any age; the stress never really goes away, nor does parenting get easier; it simply changes as your child grows and your relationship evolves.
But in those early heady days as a new parent, what exactly do you need to know, and how can you do your best with your new arrival?
Find A Good Pediatrician
A good pediatrician can help you out in so many ways. As a first-time parent, you will find that you are learning as you go, and the support of a pediatrics clinic can offer you peace of mind and help you to ensure your newborn baby is in good health and rectify any issues if they do come up. Ask other parents in your area or friends or family members who they recommend to help you find a pediatrician in your local area so you know exactly who to call when you have any health concerns.
Bringing home a newborn, or multiple if you’re lucky to be expecting more than one baby in your pregnancy, isn’t easy, nor is it always plain sailing. It can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. And while you might want to prove you really can do it all, at some point, you might find that you can’t.
Accept generous offers of help, be it watching baby while you get a hot shower, some good food, or a nap. Allow others to assist in chores around the house, taking pets for a walk, or cooking your meals, so you have one less thing to do. Accepting help isn’t a sign of weakness, far from it; it shows that you have the presence of mind to know you cannot do it all alone, and you know when to accept help. After all, it takes a village!
Related: Secrets to Getting your Baby To Sleep Through The Night!
Parenting is a wild ride, and there are few areas of your life that others have so many opinions on as parenting. Everyone has ideas about everything, and everyone thinks they’re experts. At least, that’s how it can feel at times. Avoid taking things others say or do to heart, especially concerning how you choose to parent or how your baby is developing.
Sure, you want your baby to hit developmental milestones, but just because Carol at your baby class boasts her child is doing x,y, and z already 3 weeks after arriving in the world, it doesn’t mean your baby needs to be too (or even that Carol is telling the truth; spoiler alert, she probably isn’t!). Babies will develop in their own time. You are allowed to raise your child as you see fit, even if others think they know better. Don’t compare yourself, and don’t allow others to make you feel bad for the choices you make or your baby not doing what they are.
One of the best ways you can support your baby is to relax as much as possible. Yes, you are responsible for raising a completely dependent little person who cannot do anything for themselves yet. But this is also a time you should cherish and enjoy, and if you’re too stressed, you can’t do that. You don’t need to enjoy every second of parenting; no one does. But allowing yourself to relax and enjoy spending time with your little one and family can help you to be a better parent.