Many soon-to-be parents think having a baby is about buying cool and cute little outfits and decorating their bedroom, but it’s more than that. In reality, having a baby consists of sleepless nights, diaper changes, crying, and trying to remember if you had a shower or not. The challenges of having a newborn baby can definitely place a strain on yourself and your partner. But if you’re a first-time parent, it’s important to know the tips that’ll help you transition smoothly into parenthood.
Accept you have no idea what you’re doing
You may have everything ready at home, all the diapers you could imagine and an endless amount of baby clothes, but once you bring your baby home, reality hits. It’s normal to go through a phase where you realize you have no idea what to do. Yes, you read parenting books and attended classes, but again, it’s different once it becomes real. The great part is every first-time parent has experienced this moment, and it’s completely normal.
You may think you’ll only need one soother or baby bottle, but don’t kid yourself. Save yourself time and energy by buying bulk. Whether it’s diapers, baby food, bottles or soothers, always have a couple extra handy. You never know when you’re going to need it.
Don’t compare yourself to other parents
If you have family members or friends who have children, it’s easy to compare yourself to them. However, everyone does things a little differently. They will all give you tips and advice on how to raise a child (whether you ask for it or not). What’s important is you take their information and decide for yourself how you’d like to raise your child.
Keep your social life
This is going to be hard in the beginning; however, once you develop a routine, you should try to get back to your normal life. Having a child doesn’t mean your social life is over. It’s important to continue interacting with your friends as they are your support system. Whether it’s meeting up once a week for coffee or dinner, is crucial you don’t isolate yourself.
Don’t forget yourself
Self-care is essential as a new parent. Not only should you be eating healthy; however, exercising, seeing friends, and giving yourself some alone time is crucial. Of course, you want to be the best parent possible, but that means you’re going to need to make sure you’re taken care of. Though many new parents may feel it’s selfish, self-care ensures your needs are met so you can take care of others.
It gets better
As each day passes, you’ll start to get the hang of things. More importantly, you’ll begin to grasp your newborn’s personality - how long they sleep, the cry they let our when they’re hungry, etc. Plus, changing a diaper and feeding your baby will start to be a breeze.
Being a first-time parent can be an overwhelming and exhausting experience. However, don’t worry. Use these tips to make sure you get the most out of your experience.