The parenting hacks that every new parent must know
Becoming a parent is one of life’s greatest joys. At the same time, it can also be a confusing and scary experience and is why many parents feel wholly unprepared for their first child.
The truth is that you learn much of what you need to know along the way. However, having a couple of useful tips and tricks really can make all the difference. So, if you want to know how to make your jobs as parents a little easier, here are the top hacks to keep in mind:
Learn as much as you can about breastfeeding
Most expectant mums assume that breastfeeding will come automatically to them. This isn’t always the case though. Around 80 percent of new mothers stop breastfeeding after a while because they encounter various issues. Now, while it isn’t uncommon to face certain problems, you will be relieved to hear that many of them can be fixed.
To prevent these issues, speak to lactation experts soon after giving birth. If possible, have a nurse on hand when the new mum breastfeeds the first couple of times. Even after going home, don’t hesitate to ask for help if you have any questions or queries.
If you look around, you may find that there are support groups for new moms to join. Here, you will be able to meet experienced women as well as those in the same position you are. Thus, breastfeeding will be a much easier thing for you to manage.
It's also worth noting that if you decide to bottle feed, that's ok too - don't let other's opinions on how you should or shouldn't feed your baby get in the way of what you feel is best.
Get Dads involved in the feeding
A lot of new dads can feel left out in the first couple of weeks. This is because new babies and mums tend to bond during feeding times. To make sure that dads feel involved as well, consider using one of the top breast pumps mentioned here https://littleonemag.com/best-baby-bottles/.
Dads can then take over once in a while. Not only will they be able to bond with their newborn, but mum will get a chance to have a bit of rest as well. So, this strategy works out well for everyone involved.
Don’t worry about the small stuff
Once everyone finds out about the new baby, you will find your house overflowing with eager visitors for the first few weeks. This means that the urge to clean, tidy up, and make cups of tea may be overwhelming for some. Try not to do this.
Remember, you now have just one goal – take care of your baby and yourself. Everything else can fall to the wayside. No one is going to judge you if your house is a little messy. If they have kids of their own, they will certainly understand.
Say yes to all help
Along with the influx of visitors, you will also find that lots of people will offer to help. Now, your natural instincts may be to thank them but never actually take them up on their offer. Nevertheless, you should get some assistance from the people closest to you.
So, whether you need a meal cooked or your laundry done, ask your nearest and dearest to help you out – just don’t misuse them or take them for granted. This will leave you with more time to tend to your baby or simply get some sleep.
Ignore unsolicited advice
There are lots of people who imagine that they are being helpful when offering you all the advice that they can think of. In some cases, you might find people without children giving you “tips” as well. If you haven’t asked them for their guidance, it is best to ignore them.
Now, parents who have just had babies – or became parents in the last year or so – can be a helpful source of information. They have some understanding of what you are going through and may have found their own hacks. So, some of the advice that they offer can actually be rather helpful.
However, if you are only getting instructions from people with much older children, you may not want to pay too much attention to them. Most of these individuals will have forgotten what it is like to take care of a newborn.
Have supplies all around your home
As you can imagine, your baby isn’t going to wait for the most convenient time to throw up on you. This is why it is a good idea to keep up some clean-up supplies with you throughout your home. It doesn’t have to be anything too comprehensive. Rather, some tissues, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer will do. Then, you can quickly clean up yourself and the baby on the spot.
Forget about “Going By the Book”
There are millions of parenting books available. Thus, it can be tempting to read up on as many as you can and to use them as a “how-to” manual for raising your child. More often than not, though, these books will simply drive you nuts!
In fact, research shows that parents who read these books end up feeling depressed and have lower confidence in their parenting capabilities. So, while some conventional wisdom can be helpful, these can easily be picked up from your own parents, doctors, and nurses.
It is also important to remember that parenting doesn’t need to be quite so complicated. In the beginning, you need to make sure your little one is fed, is clean, and gets as much rest as he or she needs to. After that, you are allowed quite a bit of flexibility in your parenting strategies.
It will also serve you well to keep in mind that your child is unique. So, even if these parenting books help some parents, it doesn’t mean that they will have the same effect on you or your baby. Thus, you should just save yourself the time, money, and heartache.
Sure, being a new parent can seem like one of your greatest challenges. However, even with all of the crying, sleepless nights, spit-up, and soiled baby clothes, it will be one of the best times of your life. So, make sure to enjoy this period while you can – it goes by so quickly.
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