Becoming a parent for the first time is a huge and wonderful life changing event. At times, you can feel overwhelmed with advice from friends and family. You may wonder, is there anything they are not telling you? Maybe. Here are a few essential tidbits of knowledge every new parent needs to know.
1.They grow up so quick!
Kids grow up fast. I know this seems obvious, but they do. Their childhood just shoots by. The best advice I have is to enjoy it. Yes, it’s tough when they are sick at 3 am, or you are watching the same cartoon for the millionth time because it’s what they are obsessed with at the moment. But childhood is a stage, and once it’s gone, it is gone. Remember to cherish all the memories that you are making together. Photo albums and memory books are a great way of doing this.
2.It can be really hard work.
Some stages of your baby’s development are easier than others. Teething, tantrums, and potty training can be a rough time. Don’t forget you’re not on your own. There is a wealth of support on the internet that can help you through difficult patches. Sites such as pottytrainingsolved.com and www.parents.com can be helpful when you are struggling.
3. Sleep is a Distant Memory
Also, you are not going to sleep. I mean, you will sleep, just not eight unbroken hours of restful slumber. But it’s going to be ok. Some nights you’re going to survive on 2-3 hours, and you will cope. Some days you will long for sleep and on some wonderful, magical days, baby will sleep for hours! So how do you cope with a reduced amount of sleep? If you can, nap when baby does, the chores can wait. Try eating well and drink lots of water. It is vital if you are struggling, ask for help from your partner or family. Even a short break can refresh you and help get you back to your normal self again.
4. You don’t have to eat for two.
Now, eating. Do you eat to live or live to eat? Either way, you might find your food habits change a lot when baby arrives. Of course, nursing mothers need additional calorie intake. Be mindful though, eating for two isn’t the way to go. An added 500 calories a day can be enough to keep you and baby healthy without packing on the pounds. Also, as your little one grows you might find yourself finishing the things they don’t eat. Watch out for these dangerous leftovers. Is a soggy, half eaten sandwich what you really want to eat? Or are you just having it because it’s there?
5. Encourage their development.
Remember too, while it is your job to protect and provide for your child, you also need to encourage their development as individuals. There are lots of ways to do this, including encouraging them with imaginative play, reading and creativity.
Many parents invest in educational resources, to help their kids get the best start, even before they get to school.
There will be some unexpected twists and turns while learning to parent your newborn. But what every parent will tell you is, although it’s hard, it is one of the most worthwhile experiences you will ever have.