The nine months are slowly coming to an end, and you find yourself starting to get a little nervous (or maybe a lot nervous) and you begin to wonder if you will make a good mom or a good dad. Don’t worry all new parents go through this. I remember being afraid I was really going to mess this parenting thing up. Here is my list of 15 tips for new parents.
15 Tips For New Parents
This one was actually really hard for me to wrap my head around. I had grandiose ideas of what type of mom and wife I was going to be, well, life has a way about slapping you back into reality. You might go into this thinking I am going to make homemade baby food, only give my child organic food, not allow TV time or electronics…etc. Those are all great intentions and you might very well keep some of them, but don’t beat yourself up if one or two falls to the waste side. You have to learn to go with the flow. Be flexible. Be kind to yourself.
Have Wet Wipes in Every Room
I love wet wipes. I use them for so many messes! You never know when you might have an explosive diaper or spit-up.
It Will Be Ok
There will be moments where you don’t feel like it will be ok. But it will. And I also want to point out that when you are exhausted a lot of things feel impossible. Exhaustion plays tricks with your emotions and your logical thinking. But what I would have loved to be told when I was a newbie is that whatever you are feeling, just FEEL it. It is OK to be tired, or scared. It is OK to cry and make mistakes because we all do. This goes to the Mamas, let me also be adamant if you feel like what you are feeling is more than just a few new mom baby blues than please reach out for help. Talk to your doctor. Postpartum Depression is not to be taken lightly. Here is a helpful link for PPD.
There Will Come a Time…
When you must choose to either sleep when your baby is sleeping or:
- wash clothes
- clean house
It really is ok to choose to sleep. Honestly, choose what you need the most. If it is sleep, then it is ok to let the dishes or the clothes sit a little longer than normal. In fact, find your new normal. This leads me to my next tip.
It is Ok to Ask for Help
Do not feel like you can’t ask for help or admit that you feel overwhelmed. I remember that sometimes something as small as someone bringing me a fresh sweet tea made my day.
Try Everything (If you need to)
Try out co-sleeping or nursing or sleep training. Or don’t! That’s the thing you are the parent you get to decide what works for you, as a family, and what doesn’t.
Stay Tuned In
As your kids get older they will be living in a different world than we did. Our kids are saturated with electronics all hours of the day. Make a conscious decision to always know what your kids are listening to and watching. Find out what they’re listening to and playing with, get to know their friends, and monitor their access to cell phones and the Internet.
Research shows us that the extent of trouble kids get into is inversely proportional to the number of words spoken in the home. Communicate with your kids. Keep those lines open. Speak to them about things that might seem small or insignificant because this builds a great foundation for when a much bigger issue comes along. Things that don’t matter to you, might be huge to your children. Plus this is a great way for you to learn about your child, how they think, and build a strong relationship.
Remember you Are the Parent
Your children are going to have a bunch of children that tell them what they want to hear. They don’t need that from you. Be a parent, not a friend. They need you to be an authority figure who lets them know where the boundaries of acceptable behavior are. Children model what they witness. Show them how you want them to act.
Give your children the chance to make their own decisions. Allow them the opportunity to see that choices have consequences. This allows them to grow up with confidence and independence.
Never Underestimate the Power of Sleep Deprivation
Be easy with yourself and your partner. Sleep deprivation can make you very touchy.
Have a Decent First Aid Kit
Kids have accidents, be prepared. Also, I warn you, you will probably feel horrible about it and might even blame yourself. Don’t!! Accidents happen it doesn’t make you a bad parent.
This is Not a Competition
Don’t play the comparison game with your friends. Children will do things and reach milestones in their own time.
Breathe and Take in Every Moment (Even the crazy ones!)
Take LOTS of pictures. Babies change so quickly. With both of my boys, the “newborn” phase seemed to go so quickly. They didn’t stay teeny tiny very long. Sometimes I feel like if I didn’t have pictures I wouldn’t remember that they were ever that little! Try to cherish each new moment. The new sound. The new smile. The first giggle. All these phases are temporary, even the hard ones, and one day you will look back and realize it all went by so fast, even if you didn’t feel like it in the heat of the “battle.” I truly agree with the statement that “the days are long and the years are quick.”
Do it Your Way (Listen and Smile)
Haha. Even as I sit here giving you all this advice, remember this do it your way. You will be given A LOT of advice, and it usually comes from a good place, but some of what you hear from different people will be contradicting. For example, breastfeeding vs. formula. Listen to the advice you are given, smile and be kind, but remember YOU get the final say. Bottom line, do what is best for you and your baby/family.
Last Little Tid Bits…
Have fun! It really does happen all too fast. Get all the cuddles you can get. Pray. A LOT. Journal and write down dates. One day you will love looking back and remembering.
Hopefully, these 15 tips for new parents help ease your nerves a bit. However, just remember you got this!
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” -Isaiah 40:31