It’s an exciting time when a new baby is welcomed to the world, especially when it’s the first. And first-time parents are some of the most excited when it comes to this life-changing event. However, it’s natural for them to feel nervous and unprepared, especially once they get home from the hospital.
But with these tips, bringing your first baby home doesn’t have to be a scary experience:
- Trust Yourself
With everything you learned from the nurses, doctors and your extensive research, you should have faith in yourself and your partner. Any parent will tell you that you are never really “ready” to bring your first baby home, but only because you’ve never done it before. This is a new experience, and with new experiences come new challenges and chances to learn. Trust your gut and be confident that you will do the right thing for your new child.
- Ask for Help
When things become overwhelming and you get stuck, unsure of what to do, ask for help. Whether from your partner, family, friends or even a call to your doctor, reaching out will always be a smart choice. Need help swaddling your baby? How about getting them to eat? Maybe they just won’t stop crying. Whatever the case may be, don’t expect to know all the secrets of parenting—no one does!
- Take a Break
This is a stressful and tiring time for all first-time parents, and in order to give your baby the care they deserve, you need to care for yourself as well. If you have a partner, or others around to help you, take advantage of the time they give you to take a break. Shower, nap, eat or simply relax, even if for only a few minutes. Self care is an important factor for first-time parents. Though you may not feel relaxed very often during this time, even the littlest break can be a big help.
- Forget “Perfect”
One of the most common causes of parental anxiety is making mistakes, especially when it comes to first-timers. The reality, though, is that no parent is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, but with mistakes come lessons. You learn as you go, just as every parent has before you. Ignore judgements and perceptions and remember that perfection is an unattainable goal.
- Have Fun
As each day goes by, filled with diaper changes, feeding times, sleepless nights and lots of screaming, don’t forget that these are the moments you will never get back. Enjoy the little things, including challenges, as you watch your baby grow and learn. And set aside time for your own fun, like a movie with a friend or a date night with your partner. As overwhelming as this time can be, it can be just as fun, as long as you try.