What is the most useful advice for new parents? You are not alone.
If you are in a room full of parents, you can easily spot the new ones. They are the most paranoid, most worrisome, and easily, the odd one in the bunch. They cannot focus on the conversation that they are having with another parent because they are too busy looking by their shoulder to check their kid or constantly checking their phone to see if the baby sitter or grandparent sent a text concerning their children.
These kinds of behavior do not come as a surprise because you are having a new season of your life. Gone are the days when you are alone in your home with your spouse. You cannot stay out of the house for too long because your wife or husband is waiting for you to take your turn in taking care of the child. And you cannot also stop yourself from actually going straight from office to your home because you just want to smell the sweet smell of your baby.
If you think that you are just the only parent that worries so much about your kid, think again! Almost every mom I know went through the same motions of a new parent. According to the Pew Research Center, around 1.2 million millennials became first-time moms in the US in 2016. That is a million new moms in just one year! And these first-time parents are worrying and overthinking as much as you do.
Useful advice for new parents
You are not alone in this kind of experience because even those parents whom you know had that kind of everyday scare when they were first-time parents. But see how calm and collected they are today. We have collected some of the most useful and practical pieces of advice that come from professionals, experienced, and trained experts- the second-, third-, and tenth-time parents!
It is okay to look at other parents as inspiration but you have got to believe in yourself
You should never compare yourself to other parents. This is where most first-time parents go wrong. They tend to look at their social media and video-streaming sites and see how other first-time moms and dads handle their kids. Most of the time, these are celebrities or famous people like mom influencers who can afford to spend tons of money to care for their kids. And these are not wrong as long as they can afford it and they are providing for the needs of their children.
Insecurity starts to creep in your life if you see yourself as someone who cannot offer the same luxuries as other parents give to their children. Do you think that spending more can show how much you love your baby? Not at all! As long as you can provide everything that your baby needs to grow healthy and without sickness or lack of nurturing, you are doing a great job.
I met a first-time mom who was very distraught before I approached her. I asked her why she was worrying so much. And then she said that she cannot afford to give a nice-looking crib for her three-month-old daughter. All of us want to shower our babies with the best products in the market. Instead of looking for the most expensive, you should look for the safest. Check out the rules and guidelines on how to protect your babies during sleep. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has set informational principles on cribs.
Children have different phases of growth
Another way to keep yourself up at night is making comparisons between your own baby and other people’s babies. You would ask a parent beside you while you wait on the doctor and see how the growth of their child has been. They might say that their baby started talking or started crawling at a specific month. They might boast about how fast their son or daughter tried to stand or walk. Because you also want your kid to perform the same as other people’s babies, you will force your baby to stand, crawl, or speak.
Although every baby has a basic developmental growth, each one is unique in themselves. One may opt to develop a new skill earlier than expected in their infant life. Others may train their motor skills a little later. And this is all okay. Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician and the co-author of Heading Home with Your Newborn, said that a baby who is currently developing a certain skill may try a different skill at a later time because he is still perfecting the skill. Give your child a break. As a parent, you are not supposed to push your kid to do something that he is not ready yet. You are the one who should guide him to be the best version of himself from his infant years to his adulthood.
Always have a backup set for your baby
A stressful event that always occurs in every first-time parent’s life is forgetting a diaper at the time when you need it most! A change of clothes, toys that he can play with, baby formula, snacks, wipes, and towels are just some of the items that your baby needs every time. To avoid tense situations between your spouse and yourself, you must always bring a set of these items in your baby bag or your car. This is also useful during emergencies. Just keep a set of the products in one bag so that you can pick it up whenever necessary.
Don’t sweat it out if you have moments when you do not love being a parent
You will have times in your parent-life when you just hate being a parent. You do not want to change diapers. You don’t want to clean the bed sheet full of poop and pee. This is normal. It is because of the fatigue and sleepiness that are settling in. You do not have to be depressed and hate yourself for feeling this way. Parenting is not all flowers and butterflies. It requires hard work. Just keep your head held high, rest for as long as you can, and care for your child. If you feel tired, just look at your baby when they are peacefully sleeping and you will find the strength to do everything over again.