As a new parent, you are certainly feeling swamped with all of the new things you need to do and all of the new information you need to know. Thankfully, there are many people who have gone before the uncertainty of parenthood and can offer you some tips before you even get to the stage of feeling swamped. Check out these 9 facts to get some helpful info for a new parent.
- Your newborn may not exactly be the beautiful baby you were expecting. Her head may be in odd shape from passing through the birth canal. She may keep her eyes shut, she may be covered in a little layer of body hair called the lanugo, and she may be an odd shade of yellow.
- For the first six months, he’s likely to have minor skin problems. Dryness, newborn acne, and diaper rash are typical and while you don’t necessarily need to do anything to treat these problems, as most are self-correcting, you may want to get some hypoallergenic baby lotion. This will certainly help keep him more comfortable.
- You’ll need to get used to the idea of cutting her fingernails. It can definitely be scary at first, but if you don’t cut her fingernails, she will probably end up accidentally scratching herself, so while you may be scared of hurting her, keep in mind that you are ultimately preventing her from hurting herself again.
- The soft spot is definitely delicate, but that doesn’t’ mean you can never touch it, ever. It can handle very light and gentle handling as it closes.
- Be on the lookout for hair tourniquets. Loose hairs or threads that float around the house can end up wrapped around the baby’s toes, fingers, arms, or legs, causing a tourniquet effect. If you are ever having trouble figuring out why the baby is crying or seems to be in pain, be sure to check for accidental tourniquets.
- People will say that you should sleep when the baby sleeps, but as you’ll soon learn, that isn’t always a feasible option. Make sure you are sharing night care duties with your partner, if possible. Especially during the first few weeks, you may want to consider asking your own parents, your grandparents, or your spouse’s parents to come over in shifts to help you with the baby. This will give you a way to make up for lost sleep, which will help you be an overall more careful and attentive new parent.
- You don’t have to stop your regular life when the baby arrives, but be sure you are aware of how to take care of him in public places, on the road, etc. Make sure that he doesn’t get overexposed to sunlight and keep him out of places where illness can spread, like the mall around the holidays or at parties where lots of young children will be present.
- Know how to keep the baby comfortable and safe in the car. There are different car seats for babies of different ages and sizes, so make sure you are getting one that is the right size for the baby and can grow with her a bit. The car seat should be put in the backseat, buckled in. Follow the directions for your car and for the specific brand of car seat to know when the car seat should face outwards and when it should face inwards. If you’re feeling nervous about taking the baby in the car at all for the first few weeks, you might consider asking a friend or relative to go with you on your trips so that someone can sit in the backseat with the baby. You can also order eSigns car signs so people will know that you have a baby in the car. This will at least encourage strangers to be extra cautious when driving around you.
- Don’t get caught up buying every cute thing in the baby stores, but don’t be afraid to switch between products as you find ones you like better. With things like clothes, babies grow so quickly that it really doesn’t make sense to spend a lot on clothes. Don’t buy any new clothes right away as friends and family will probably be gifting you with cute clothes and giving you hand-me-downs. As you think of items you haven’t been gifted, see what you can find in the thrift stores and ask around to see if friends and relatives have any to lend you. However, when it comes to things that the baby will use for a longer period of time or that help keep the baby safe like strollers, swaddles, and car seats, don’t be afraid to try out multiple ones to make sure you are using the right ones.
Learning to Be a Great Parent
No one is born being a great parent. It is something that everyone has to learn by doing it. As you are getting accustomed to having a little one, learn not to sweat the small stuff. It’ll be hard at first, but soon you’ll realize that the only way to be a great parent is to find you own way to behaving comfortably and confidently with your kids. And kids are very forgiving audiences! Don’t beat yourself up for the little stuff.
Just enjoy every minute during this fleeting stage of their babyhood.