Being a first time parent is a world filled with new first time experiences. You’ve made it through all the excitement of the pregnancy and the delivery, and the first time you hold your newborn baby is a feeling like no other. Through all of the excitement, happiness, and exhaustion, many first time parents express a frantic feeling when bringing their newborn home for the first time; no matter how much preparation they have done!
Even if you have been around children, infants, or newborns numerous times in your life, it is still perfectly natural to have those slightly frantic feelings as a first time parent. While each parent will have a unique approach to raising their child, there are a few tips that all first-time parents can benefit from, and get you feeling confident in your childcare in no time:
- Wash Your Hands
Unlike adults, or even slightly older children, newborns haven’t had the chance to develop a strong immune system yet, making them more susceptible to sickness. While this doesn’t mean you have to be a clean fanatic, it does mean you should be more aware of what you, and other people, have handled directly before handing your newborn.
For example, many of your visitors will come in from their cars or transit, and the first thing they will want to do is pick up and hold your newborn. Unfortunately, the world is filled with bacteria and germs, and exposing your newborn to the germs your visitors may have picked up before arriving isn’t the best idea. Kindly request your visitors wash their hands upon arriving at your house, to help avoid germs. Don’t forget to uphold this rule yourself!
- Be Prepared
This, in an ideal world, should come before your baby does. Having a stockpile of supplies for you and your newborn will ensure you are fully ready for their arrival home, and will avoid any last-minute trips out to the store when you are suddenly out of diapers! Most of these items will be for your newborn, but stocking up on items including mouthwash, protein bars, and stain remover will make your life easier as well!
- Bond With Your Baby
Being a first time parent may feel like a balancing act. Between feeding, diaper changes, and naps, you may feel like quite the juggling act! Bonding with your newborn is one of the most pleasurable, and important, parts of newborn care. Through bonding and soothing touches, newborns feel safe and loved, and are able to form a deeper emotional connection with their parents. Children thrive in feeling loved, especially babies.
- Accept Help
You may be dead-set on doing everything perfectly, and doing everything yourself! While it’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself about being a perfect first time parent, it’s also important to accept the help that is offered to you. You may not need to take a break from holding your newborn, or may not want to admit you need a break. Regardless, accept when a visitor, family or friend, is offering to lend a helping hand. Anything that will make the first few weeks with your newborn easier is truly a blessing.
- Embrace The Experience
This is probably the most well known piece of advice you will hear as a new parent, but it’s too true! There is such a short period of time when your newborn is still, well, new. As infants grow so quickly, there is a limited time where they will remain so small and precious. You may spend so much time trying to get everything absolutely perfect, that you will forget to spend time bonding with your new baby.
Additionally, babies love sounds of all kinds, including: babbling, talking, and singing. You may feel like you don’t have a lot of time to just be with your baby, but you can definitely fit in some vocal bonding during your regular activities. Try humming while feeding, and babbling during diaper changes. Your newborn will love it, and you will love the smile on their face it produces!
While there is a slew of firsts for both you and baby, you also only get those experiences once, so enjoy them. The first laugh, first finger grip, and first full-night’s sleep will quickly come and go, so make sure to take the time to enjoy your newborn baby and each new first they experience.
Do you have any helpful tips for first time parents based on your own parenting experiences? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!