Many people think that new parents have it easy. But the truth is, they face a lot of challenges. They need to set up their lives for a whole new person who will depend on them for years and years. And while there are many joys in parenting, there can be just as many difficult moments when you really wish you had someone to help out or cheerlead from the sidelines.
But don’t worry,10 useful tips will make your life easier as a new parent–and give your child a healthy start in life too.
1) Read up on your baby’s development.
When you read about baby milestones, it can help to demystify those new behaviours. You may be surprised at how much progress your infant makes in the first few months of life! The American Academy of Pediatrics has a great section on infant and child development that can really give you a better understanding of your baby’s growth.
2) Think ahead to predict potential challenges.
It can be difficult to respond to temper tantrums, biting, and other sudden behaviours when you have no idea what caused them. But if you think about why your child is behaving this way at the moment, you can usually find a pattern in the behaviour. It may not always be easy to figure out, but it should give you some idea of how to respond and what to do next time your child acts that way.
3) Be prepared for a few weeks of chaos at home.
The first three months are challenging as your child adjusts to a new environment and begins to sleep most of the time. You’ll both need things like extra patience, help from friends, siblings, and family members to get by during this period.
4) Learn about your baby’s health as soon as possible.
You can learn a lot about your little one’s health by simply observing them. However, it can be helpful to learn about what is normal for your child and when you should immediately take action from a medical professional specialising in infant and child care.
5) Aim to attune with your child as much as possible.
Attunement is the process of learning how to really understand your baby by observing them. You can use attunement to learn about your child’s thoughts, feelings, and needs. There is a great section on this in the book Transforming the Difficult Child by Dr Ross Greene that you may want to read for further information.
6) Learn about normal growth and development.
Awareness of normal growth can be helpful for new parents since it allows them to determine whether something is really not quite right with their baby or if it’s simply a phase that they will pass through. There are some great charts by the World Health Organization that show average weight data compared to age, height, and head circumference. You can also take a look at the CDC charts for babies 0 to 24 months.
7) Online baby store:
Sometimes, it’s nice to have a quick peek at what is available for each category of baby thing that you need. Spending hours shopping online doesn’t make sense when your little one might suddenly start crying or fussing! Having a few great online baby stores can help you get through the initial pregnancy and first-month stages.
8) Think through all of your options before responding to negative behaviours.
Sometimes it’s hard to know which new behaviour is most important (or annoying!) when you parent your child. To help prioritize things when you are being bombarded by new things to deal with, it helps to list exactly why something is bothering you and then what you can do about each of these situations. Depending on how many issues you have had with your little one, this could be a very long list!
9) Keep track of baby milestones in your baby’s health record.
You can make up a quick chat with your child’s name, birth date, and then on the left side, pitbull of the areas where you want to track information. Choose some that are important to you, such as weight gain over time, eating patterns or sleeping habits, for example. Over time, you can look back at this chart and see how your little one is growing up!
10) Familiarize yourself with your local baby equipment rental store.
Having a baby means purchasing all of the different things that your child needs during their first couple of months. You will have to buy clothes, diapers, furniture for the nursery, and more. However, you don’t want to have to purchase everything yourself. Check with your local baby equipment rental company to see what they offer for families in your area.