Advice for First Time Parents
Plenty of folks offer new and first time parents baby tips for getting the job done. I have written some myself and trust me—you will need them! But here is something different…tips to help you thrive, grow and truly enjoy your journey as a first time parent.
Advice for First Time Parents
1. Trust Yourself
Some new parents get emotional whiplash flipping between feeling like you have got the job nailed…and like an inept rookie. But, you know what? You are the newest, shiniest link in an unbroken chain of successful parents that stretches back to the beginning of time! Believe me, things get much stickier later on (fears, unfair friends, teen traumas, etc.). But for now, you will be a total success if you just keep to the basics: love, touch, singing, milk, and patience.
2. Be Kind…to Yourself
If you are like many first time parents, you have barely ever touched a newborn—before you had your own—yet you think you should automatically be a baby care expert. Please, ask that 'judge' in your head to take a hike. Be as supportive to yourself as you would be to your best friend. That is a sure path to greater satisfaction and happiness.
3. Get More Sleep. Seriously.
If parenting is a big balloon of joy, exhaustion is the pin that pops it! Your sleep success can make or break a mood. After 30 years in paediatric practice, I have seen over and over again how sleep deprivation can reduce a mum or dad to tears. It makes you feel alone, incompetent, edgy and causes serious accidents and sickness. The 5 S’s are a simple tool to aid baby sleep…and so is SNOO, our new smart sleeper; the safest, most effective baby cot ever made! (OK, I may be a little biased, but…really it is!)
4. Accept All the Help You Can Get
Never before in history have mums and dads been expected to care for their newborns…all alone. We always had mums, aunts, and older sisters living with us to help out. And when both parents work, they are even more pressed. So, do not hesitate to ask or pay for help. You need…and deserve it. Lean on your friends and family, look into SNOO, or hire some help. You will sleep better and enjoy your beautiful growing family more fully.
5. Be Flexible
You will naturally find that some parenting philosophies make more sense to you than others, but if I were to make a bumper sticker for parents, it would say “Be flexible…or die!” It is great to have ideas and plans, but our children are here to challenge all of our preconceived expectations. Another quote I love is from a man in the 1600’s, 'Before I had children I had 6 theories on how to raise them. Now I have 6 children and no theories!' Stay flexible especially when things are not going as planned. You may be surprised how 'just rolling with it' can keep your good mood going.
6. Keep Your Sense of Humour Handy
Remember, perfection is found only in the dictionary. So, forget dignity, forget organisation, be gentle with yourself and…laugh, laugh, laugh! Laughter raises your spirits, lowers your stress, and is exactly what this doctor orders!
7. Take Care of Each Other. And Do Some Fun Stuff!
Caring for your baby is only half your job; the other is giving your main squeeze some TLC. Step out for dinner or a walk when a family member comes to visit. Find time to cook together, cuddle on the couch, and maybe even…wait for it…you know!
8. Live. Life.
It has become almost as annoying to be told 'the time goes so fast' as it is to hear 'sleep when the baby sleeps.' But it is true! And if your head is caught in the past or the future, you will miss the miracle that is your baby’s first year of life. Hold her close and feel her heartbeat. Lose yourself in her smile. Be truly present when she says dada or mum for the first time. There are few, if any, happier moments in life. Enjoy and thrive!
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.