The day has finally arrived, your new little special package has arrived. You’re finally a first time parent!
But then the self doubting thoughts begin to creep in...what if you’re a first time parent who’s overwhelmed, what if you haven't got all the essentials you need to take care of your baby, and doesn’t know where to start?
Well, we at The Best Baby Care Tips are here to tell you to put those negative thoughts to rest. We’ve got you covered.
We could tell you all the things that you should be doing - although you've probably already had your fair share of baby advice already.
We find the best way to help people is to share the collective knowledge of our community. Learn from the mistakes that we have all made and experienced. So in the spirit of sharing and caring, here is a list of our best tips for first time parents - a guide for what NOT to do!
Let's get one thing straight from the beginning. Every new parent makes mistakes. That is what parenting is.
It’s a hard and exhausting job, and there’s so much to learn. It will require practice and patience.
If you’re a new parent, here are some mistakes you can make yourself aware of so you can try to avoid making these on your journey.
One of our favorite tips for first time parents is to stop allowing those negative thoughts to play around in your mind.
This is one of the easiest mistakes to make as a first time parent. It is easy to question your decisions and create self doubt in your abilities. Especially when you sleep deprived and everything just seems to be going wrong.
Believe in yourself. Believe in your instincts. Remember the parenting journey is a trial and error journey - and each is unique to every parent.
It is also important to remember each baby is unique. Just because someone else's baby 'seems easy', doesn't mean you or your baby are doing anything wrong.
Doubts are normal, but it doesn't mean you are failing. Fight through your doubts and continue taking each day as it comes. There will be many mistakes made, but as long as you have you babies best interests at heart, you will come out the other side triumphant.
Whether you want it or not, people will give you advice on how to parent the best.
One of the biggest mistakes is when new parents try to listen and implement every single piece of advice they hear.
Let us be the first to tell you it is not possible without driving yourself insane.
The best way forward is to listen, absorb the information, thank them for their advice and politely walk away. You may be able to take bits and pieces of advice here and there, but you will soon find your own way forward for parenting.
You will also discover in Mistake Number 3 who the most important person to listen to is...
This goes hand in hand with Mistake Number 2. So many people will be throwing advice at you as you enter this new world of parenting. And as we explained above, they are unintentionally (or intentionally) projecting their experiences onto you.
I can vividly recall a conversation I witnessed between two very close friends of mine as we celebrated the arrival of their very first child. My new-parent friend was excited to introduce her two-week-old daughter to us, however she explained she was exhausted from the lack of sleep. Having a 3 year old myself, I understood completely what she was going through and rather than say anything, just offered to hold her newborn while she sipped her hot chocolate. My other friend, however proceeded to say "It's all about the routine. You just need to get them into a routine." My new-parent friend tried to probe her for more information about the magical "routine", however she was unable to give specifics.
You may be asking yourself why would she withhold such critical information? Possibly because she did not have a child of her own. That's right - my childless friend was advising a new mother how to parent.
My point of telling you this story is that parents often neglect listening to the one person that will be able to give you the necessary feedback of what you are doing is right or needs adjusting...your baby.
He/she will tell you (through cries and sleep) whether they are suited to a routine. Your baby will tell you through grunts whether they are comfortable or not. Your baby will tell you (even when you have tried everything), whether they are ready to go down for a nap.
Stop listening to other people's advice and listen to the one person that matters.
Another common mistake made by new parents is not taking care of themselves.
One of the best tips for first time parents is to leave some time to yourself.
Taking some time out to do what you enjoy, like reading a book, going for a workout session or simply taking a moment to meditate and recenter is vitally important. Important for your sanity and the time when you do spend moments with your baby.
It is often these small moments that you can regain a sense of self and recharge your batteries ready for the next challenge.
Making sure you are feeding yourself nutritious foods should also be at the top of your list. Remember, there is no point being a parent if you are not around to look after and raise your baby.
This may sound silly, but many parents get too caught up in following routines, or running around trying to get things done. That they miss the special moments that they should be cherishing - spending time with your newborn baby.
Instead of seeing things that need to be checked off each day, try creating moments with your child. Change the bath-time routine into a magical story telling water play experience. Let go of your inhibitions and make up a fun and lovable story with water toy characters.
If your child is not falling asleep for their nap, take a note from Mistake Number 3 and listen to your baby. Fool around with them in your bed for fifteen minutes and create tender loving moments that you can look back upon in those hard times. Who knows, it may just tire them out in preparation for their nap?
Learn to see this new parent time as special, and not just something that you have to endure. After all, they are only this small once.
Once you have graduated from being a 'new-parent', do not forget to come back to this article to share the little pieces of knowledge and wisdom you picked up in your experiences. Remember, we are about fostering a community of parents here. Don't forget to let us know what you've learned so that other new parents may benefit from the mistakes you've made.