For first-time parents pregnancy and birth can be an exciting and amazing time. When you come home from the hospital with a newborn in your arms in can be daunting, tiring and simply scary. Don’t be afraid because being a parent is simple and at times it is rewarding. This guide has been put together by parents around the world who know what they are talking about. So, put your little one down for a nap, grab a cup of coffee and read about the things you should know about being a first-time parent.
Coping After The Birth
After you have given birth your body is going through a massive amount of changes and whether you had to have a c-section or you gave birth usually recovering while looking after a newborn can be hard. You will be tired; you will be in pain, and you will be frustrated. This is normal and all of this will pass and within six weeks you will be feeling yourself again.
Make sure you enroll others to help you and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding you can call up friends, parents, family or even ask the neighbors round. They will all be so engrossed with the baby they won’t even know you slipped off for a quick shower. Many new parents don’t like visitors, and it is OK to say no. They will understand how tired you are and they won’t be offended.
Make sure you take it easy and eat well. Take vitamins and painkillers when you need them and look after yourself because if you aren’t well, then who will take care of the baby? If you think you cannot cope then, it is OK to go to the doctor. Many women suffer from postnatal depression as well and admitting you have it is the first step on the road to recovery.
Basic Care For a Newborn
Basic care for a newborn is simple. All they want is a feed, to be burped, to sleep and then to have their nappy changed. Once you get the hang of this the rest is easy! Getting up at all hours of the night can be exhausting so ask your partner to take turns with you.
Bathing a baby can be hard as you have to support their neck and their head while trying to wash them. Lukewarm water and baby soap is the answer in a bowl in the sink. You don’t need to wash your baby every day as their skin can dry out quickly. Try and establish a night routine from the beginning as well. Bath, baby massage, feed, and bed in the dark. This will get your newborn used to nighttime and will help them sleep through the night quicker.
Make sure that when your baby is in a pram, a car seat or a bouncer that they are strapped in. They will make sudden movements and accidents can happen quickly. Also remember that your newborn isn’t quite ready for wrestling on the floor with you so be gentle.
Babies love it when you sing and talk to them so spend time with them. Cuddle them, play with them and smile at them. Bonding with them is the most important role in being a parent.
Most first time parents say that they overspent on baby equipment and clothes. They grow so quickly, and you probably won’t use half of the equipment you bought. They also don’t get through as many clothes as you buy and as long as you have the basics you are good to go. A newborn should be dressed as you are depending on the season plus one layer of clothing on top.
Don’t invest in the heaviest, largest pram you can find as you will be the one pushing it through town. Go for lightweight strollers, they are inexpensive and will work a lot better. The best lightweight stroller is usually one which is suitable for all seasons and is compact when packed down.
Baby bouncers can be a savior when you need to cook or clean at home. Invest in one which has music and vibrations. This will keep your baby occupied while you get those jobs done. Baby baths aren’t necessary, and you will find it easier to wash them in a small washing up bowl. Stack up the cupboard with nappies, wet wipes and milk for emergencies, and you will be fine. Enjoy being a parent because time goes quickly.