First time parents go through a slew of emotions when their first child is born. There is excitement and a surge of happiness; a sense of hope and clarity about their love towards this child. There are however other, more anxiety-inducing emotions − there is fear of not understanding the needs of the child and anxiousness to be the best parents they can be.
The media often paints a distorted picture of parenting, compelling dads, and mums even more, to be super parents. With this in mind, we have come up with the top ten things every first time mum and dad should remember − from the safety tips to some reassuring points.
1. Spoiling you child- unlike what you may have heard, you cannot spoil a child with love. You do so when you give the child a substitute for your attention. It is important to love your child and to show this love, so he will know that there is someone in this world who loves him unconditionally. Moreover, you should not let your child cry for too long. Crying is your baby’s last resort at trying to communicate with you about a discomfort and he should not learn to self-soothe. Responding to their needs will give the child a sense of security that will serve him the rest of his life.
2. Advice – you are not an incompetent parent if you ask for advice. Choose someone you can trust and confide any issues you are facing.
3. Hygiene- your child’s immune system will get stronger through time but until then, make sure anyone who cradles the child washes their hands and that your child lives in a clean environment.
4. Routine- as baffling as his 2am wailing might be, you will figure out what his cries mean. More than that, you will ease into a routine in time.
5. Bonding- the physical closeness for a newborn is crucial as it helps create an emotional connection. Try skin to skin bonding and make sure you keep your newborn close during the first few days.
6. Safety- never underestimate how your child can get hurt. Cradle the neck and avoid bouncing or shaking when your child is still a newborn. When he starts to roam around the house take precautions.
7. Development- refrain from comparing your child to another because every child develops at his or her natural pace.
8. Nutrition- obesity will be our children’s biggest issue, so make sure you provide appropriate and the healthiest foods for every stage of his development.
9. Playtime- incorporate playtime everyday and expose your child to nature. With so many indoor distractions − from televisions to gadgets − it is easy to forget giving your child the chance to interact and play outside.
10. Personal time- loving your child means being a happy parent. Make time for yourself by doing something you love and go on date nights to reconnect. When you are with your baby, wrap him up in a sling and go for a relaxing walk. It is essential for you to get out of the house.
Author Bio: A parenting writer, Regina empowers women through her writing and modern parenting tips. If she’s not writing, you can catch her surfing the web for what’s new at Fertile Mind.