Being a parent is one of the most important roles that you’ll ever play in your life. It is a beautiful, tiring, and amazing journey and for first-time parents, it can often be a tad bit overwhelming. Learning on the job can be quite stressful in any role and just like any other job, all the classes and reading up will not fully prepare you as well as the real-life hands-on experience.
Thoughts race through your mind. What do I do when my baby cries? Will I know if my baby is sick? What do I do when my baby won’t stop crying? While it’s normal to be a little apprehensive about your new role, these questions can become so intrusive and distracting during this otherwise happy time.
Continue reading for some fantastic parenting tips for first-timers and to help you in your new parenting role.
Get Help Where You Can
When you get home from the hospital, don’t be shy to ask for help. Whether it’s your mom that comes and stays over a few nights until you have the hang of it or whether it’s asking friends for some frozen homemade meals, just ask.
Before you leave the hospital, many have lactation specialists to help you with breastfeeding for the first time. New mums can feel a bit frazzled when trying to latch the baby and finding a comfortable breastfeeding position, but that’s what the specialists are there for. They are there to help you.
Allow Time For Bonding
Your physical closeness promotes an emotional connection with your baby. It is very important, especially in the first hours after birth as well as the following few days. Place your baby on your bare chest, this goes for both mum and dad by the way, and stroke your baby’s skin. This promotes bonding and this is your baby’s favourite places to be, as close as close can be.
Get Some Sleep Whenever You Can
The rule is when the baby is asleep, mum should be asleep! Don’t feel bad about taking naps when your baby does especially if you’re breastfeeding as you’ll be on constant food delivery calls, day or night!
If mum isn’t breastfeeding, maybe mum and dad can take it in turns to get up for feeds during the night. Both parents don’t have to get up every time your baby cries. This will help your relationship immensely too because both of you won’t be super tired, you’ll just be tired.
Entertain Your Baby – And Yourself
Dance while holding your baby. Babies love the movement. Take the stroller instead of the car to go to the corner shop. Fresh air is good for both of you. Do exercises while holding your baby. Babies love this and it will help you to shed the baby weight.
It’s never too early to read bedtime stories to your baby. You can incorporate it into the nightly routine. It is a great bonding time and will hopefully instil an early love of reading for your child.
Allow Time For Mum And Dad Together
It’s very important to keep your relationship steady at this time. Going out on a date might not be an option for the first couple of weeks, but you can play games together, or go for a walk together, or just watch a funny movie together while the baby sleeps.
You Can Do This!
Going home with this little life that you are now responsible for can seem a bit daunting, but know that you can and will be able to be a super parent. You will get to know each different cry and you’ll know how to respond. Your gut will tell you if your baby is sick and you’ll figure out how to stop your baby crying. Millions of people have done it before you. Call it instinct or a sixth sense, just rest assured that you were chosen for this role, and every now and then, remember to breathe.