10 Tips Every Parent Should Know
Caring for your newborn baby can seem rather intimidating at first, but soon you will settle into a routine and things will calm down. There is a lot of information available to you through many sources, including your doctor, friends and family, books, videos, and of course the internet. Take advantage of these resources, but don’t get overwhelmed by the mountain of information. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Utilize your resources. Choose a few people like your pediatrician, your mother or a friend to get you started in the right direction for finding helpful resources. You don’t have to figure everything out on your own. There is help available for the asking.
- Before baby comes make a check list of things you will need to have on hand and things you will need to do. Again, you don’t have to do this by yourself. Many parenting sites have ready made check lists for you to download.
- Safety first. When buying furniture, car seats, baby carriers, etc. for your child, make sure that the items meet safety guidelines. If you are using second-hand items, check to make sure there are no recalls out on the items; this is especially true for car seats, baby carriers and cribs.
- Enlist the help of trusted friends and family members. You are going to be exhausted from the new schedule you will have to keep. It may seem like all babies do is eat, sleep and squirt out icky substances, so taking care of them should be a breeze. It does seem that way, but in reality, most parents end up blurry eyed and droopy tailed after a few days home with a newborn. If help isn’t offered, invite those you trust to help. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.
- Hire help if you need it. Maybe you only need someone to come in and help with cleaning or to sit with the baby while you get some rest. Now is not the time for you to try to be super-mom and do it all.
- Try to get as much done as you can before baby arrives. Here’s where your check lists will come in handy. Get an ample supply of the items you will need for baby and the household. The less you have to worry about shopping the better. If items happen to be on sale, you may as well stock up because you will be using these things anyway.
- Establish some “me” time. Moms will need to have some time to recharge. Even if it’s just time to read a book, go for a walk, take a nap or go out and get a manicure, make time for yourself.
- Plan a date night. Moms and Dads will need to have some time together just to appreciate each other and keep things fresh. A weekly or bi-weekly date night is a good idea to launch now and hopefully you can keep it going. It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go someplace, you can have a great date at home if you plan it right.
- Spend quality time with your baby. Read, sing and play with your little bundle of joy. It is work to care for a newborn but it can also be fun. Don’t forget to take pictures and you might want to use a calendar to jot down quick notes to put in the baby book later.
- Enjoy this time together. When you hear people say, “Oh, they grow up so fast!” just know that they are telling the truth. These days will pass a lot faster than you can imagine, so enjoy them as much as you can; soon they will be treasured memories.
When traveling on a plane the flight attendant always says to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else, even your child. It seems counter intuitive, but it’s the best thing to do, and it’s the same with taking care of a newborn. In order for you to do your best job as a parent, you need to take care of yourself. That’s probably one of the most important tips. Make sure you are getting what you need, then you will have the energy to meet all your baby’s needs. Happy parenting!