There’s no denying that parenthood is the most exciting stage in life, especially when it happens for the first time. It can feel like your life has turned 180 degrees, and now you need to adapt to all these changes. While the entire process can be challenging, there are ways to feel confident about your newfound role of a parent.
Whether you’re a nervous mom looking for answers or a confused dad trying to figure things out, here is a list of some amazing advice for first-time parents to help you start this exciting journey on the right foot.
Make time for yourself
With the arrival of a newborn, self-care seems to take a backseat, especially when it comes to first-time parents. The same is true for getting the much-needed shuteye. It just doesn’t seem to be in the cards once the baby is born. In fact, studies have shown that sleep deprivation in new moms is quite common, with many of them getting only one to three hours of continuous sleep during nighttime.
While adjusting your expectations is a must, do your best to make some time for yourself. Go for a walk, watch your favorite show, and definitely get some sleep whenever you can. Remember – a(semi) rested parent is better than a grumpy, tired one, even if all the housework is done. Cherish every moment you spend with your baby, and spend more time creating memories than striving for perfection.
Actively seek support
They say that it takes a village to raise a child. While it may sound odd, there’s a good reason adages like these exist. Parenting can be difficult enough on its own, but it’s especially exhausting when you try to do everything by yourself. Rather than going through everything alone, seek support from your community, experts, and experienced parents.
Nowadays, there are online platforms that offer handy tips on everything from breastfeeding to sleep training to newborn care. Such platforms can be of great help for moms who are struggling adjusting to their new role of a parent. Whether that means consulting with a coach or talking to a doula, addressing your concerns will make parenting less stressful. All that with just a click of a button.
Trust your gut instinct
It goes without saying that there are many things you can learn from experts and parents who’ve “been there”. While these tips can come in handy most of the time, sometimes, you need to rely on yourself. This is especially true when it comes to making decisions on sensitive and controversial parenting topics.
From choosing between the most popular baby sleep-training methods to deciding how long to breastfeed your baby (or whether to breastfeed at all), trust what your gut instinct has to tell you. Every family is different, and what works for some parents and babies may not be the best option for you. Your gut instinct never lies, and you’ll feel far more confident knowing you listened to yourself rather than blindly following what others are doing.
Just roll with it
Just like trusting yourself to make the best decision when it comes to your newborn, it is also important to learn how to be flexible with your new role. Truth be told, becoming a parent becomes almost synonymous with learning how to live with uncertainty. It’s also common for first-time parents to feel totally inept.
The best thing you can do about it is to stop being so rigid on yourself. Instead, embrace the emotional rollercoaster that parenting can sometimes be (and often is), and let go of the little things. Do your best to eliminate those preconceived parenting expectations you had before becoming a mom or dad. Also, laugh a little, and allow room for mistakes. Simply put, roll with it, and take things day by day.
Accept help when it’s offered to you
Many parents hesitate to ask for help, assuming they should be tackling everything on their own. In reality, many friends and family are often eager to help out any way they can. Whenever someone offers to help, don’t be too proud.
Instead, accept everything that will potentially ease the load of being a parent, whether that means letting your family take care of your newborn while you rest or hiring a meal kit delivery service. Better yet, be specific about your particular needs at the moment and address them whenever someone offers to help. Stay calm, relax, and remember that this too shall pass, so make the most of it.
Adjusting to a newborn in your home can be stressful and challenging, especially when you do it for the first time. The good news? It gets easier with time. Rely on the tips above during this transitional period, and remember that all the hard work is worth it.
About The Author
Taylor Parker is an American based writer and blogger. She is very passionate about family, fashion, health and lifestyle. Taylor writes mostly lifestyle articles, but also you’ll find her in home improvement and other niches.