As a first-time parent, there can be a lot of pressure on yourself, whether you’re doing it alone or with a partner. There’s the fear of the unknown and not knowing how you’re going to handle being a parent for the first time. Here are some tips that are worth knowing as a first-time parent.
You’ll Learn A Baby’s Needs And Habits
Every baby is going to be unique, and that’s something that is going to be different even if you have more than the one child. As you start to spend time getting to know your baby, you’ll begin to learn it’s needs and habits. The bond between you is only going to grow stronger and stronger as you identify when your baby needs feeding when it’s uncomfortable or needs to be burped. It’s something that won’t come easily to you, to begin with, and you may have days where you’re struggling to figure out what is wrong with your child. You may have to go through the whole checklist until you find it, but don’t worry, that’s typical and something you’ll pick up and learn as time goes on. It’s going to take time, but you will get the hang of it slowly but surely. For some, it can be easier, but for all first-time parents, the experience is unique, and every parent is simply trying to navigate each day as it comes.
Be Prepared for Lack of Sleep
It’s a well-known fact that parents don’t get a lot of sleep when they become parents for the first time, and it’s something that definitely won’t change as the baby grows. Making that transition is one of the most difficult things to do because some days will be exhaustive and to the point where you’ll probably feel very sleep deprived. One rule to try and stick by when it comes to parenting is that you should try and get the sleep in where you can and when your baby is asleep. If you’ve got a partner, then it’s definitely recommended that you try and make accommodations for each other so you can tag-team quick naps where possible. As your body clock adapts, it will start to get easier, and when your baby has started to sleep into more of a routine, you might be able to catch some shut-eye.
You Can’t Plan Your Birth Experience Exactly
When it comes to your birth plan, it’s something that you can plan, but it might not pan out exactly the way you expected it to. Things can go wrong, and the unexpected can happen where it throws you off completely. You can’t predict what’s going to happen at the moment, what you might forget, or have prepared for, and it not transpire the way you thought it would. A birthing plan is certainly something that’s worth having if you’re nervous and need your mind easing for parts of it. However, it’s also important to remember that some things might not go to plan, and you know what they say ‘the best-laid plans go to waste.’ When you’re in the moment, you’re likely not going to care, and it’s simply going to be a case of wanting to get your baby out in the safest and secure way. Your health and the baby’s health are important at this point!
The Love You Feel Will Be Unlike Anything Else
When they say the love between you and your child is unlike any other, they are right. The love that you feel for your child is something that you’ll never likely feel for anyone else. Your children are your blood, you’re responsible for bringing them into the world. It can be a wonderful feeling but also the most terrifying as you know that this newborn stage won’t be forever. You know that you’ll do anything for them to ensure they’re safe and will have everything they need and that you can provide. A bond like this is something that can often be a thing that can’t be broken, and it’s something you definitely want to savor as much as you can as they learn new things and grow into adults.
The love is a beautiful thing and something that will only grow as time goes by. Enjoy that feeling to the fullest!
You’re Going To Be Learning Everyday
There are things that you’re going to get wrong, and it’s important to recognize it and accept it for what it is. Whether it’s should your family use a hypoallergenic shampoo to figuring out breastfeeding for the first time. You and your partner are going to have a lot of firsts, and that’s something that’d exciting. As a parent, you want to try and get everything right, but this is an experience that is completely new, and therefore, you really don’t know how everything is going to work the first time. You may have read all the books, done all the classes, and more, but nothing really prepares you for the real thing. Know that you are going to slip up at times, but life is all about those lessons you learn and grow from it. Each lesson is going to make you a better parent, and so any mistakes shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. We all make them after all!
Spend Time On You Too
It’s important that you don’t lose yourself as a person when you become a parent. It can be hard to remain your old self when you have the responsibility of a child. The priorities change, your lifestyle will change, and as a result, you might find yourself losing precious time to spend on your own. Either with your partner or simply on your own, try and make time for the little things. Take advantage of time alone and opportunities that might come along where your parents or family member offer to babysit. Make sure that you’re still making the effort to treat yourself and to give yourself a bit of self-care. It’s important to do so, and you’ll definitely benefit from it. When you’re trying to be the best version of yourself for your child and others, you can only do it when you’ve worked on yourself and cared for yourself. Try to spend more time on yourself where you can, even though actually doing so might be a little difficult.
Know That Mom Guilt Is Normal
Mom guilt is completely normal to feel, and it’s something that’s very much real. You’re bound to, at times, feel like you’re doing something wrong. Those times where you might want to treat yourself but felt bad the moment you put yourself first before your child. It’s difficult, but it’s important to feel that way. Every parent is going to experience it at some point or other, and it’s typical to feel. Your baby is relying on you to be there, but you can’t be there 24/7, and that can be agonizing for any new parent to admit. There’s going to be times where you need a break and times where you’re going to feel overwhelmed. Try to focus on doing the best you can because that’s all you really can do. Give yourself credit where credit’s due and try not to feel so bad.
As a first-time parent, parenthood is like a minefield. It’s an experience that is going to change you forever, and it’s going to definitely challenge you. Take it a day at a time, and you’ll get the hang of it eventually.