There is no scarcity of advice for new parents. Between well-meaning friends and family, books and strangers, there is an overwhelming amount of information at your disposal. Differentiating between what you should follow and what you should discard is not easy but worthwhile. All parents have been there, and there is no doubt that holding your baby is one of the most life-changing experiences you will ever have. Here’s everything you should know about expecting and parenthood.
1. Follow Your Gut
Avoid comparing your experience with others or with a previous pregnancy because they are all unique encounters. Following your gut always pays because most information you come across is conflicting. If you feel like your baby is not kicking as they usually do, don’t shy away from visiting a doctor because you are probably right. The best thing is not to feel guilty or try explaining your decisions to others. If the choice feels right, it probably is, and that’s enough.
2. Educate Yourself
Even though you are not a first-time parent, attending parent coaching classes will help you prepare for delivery and caring for a newborn. Ask as many questions as you please regarding childbirth and infant care. If you attend the classes with your partner, this is an excellent opportunity to bond and prepare for parenthood together. Remember to address your family’s medical histories and your history as well. Talk to the doctor about issues with past pregnancies and report any incidences of congenital disabilities.
3. Take Prenatal Vitamins
Your baby’s neural cord, which becomes the spinal cord and the brain, develops during the first month of pregnancy. Therefore, taking essential nutrients like calcium, folic acid, and iron from the onset is vital. Prenatal vitamins are available in most drug stores and over the counter. You can also get a prescription from a gynecologist.
4. Embrace Your Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be challenging, especially in the first trimester. Therefore, you need to embrace your condition and find the bright side of everything. Remember that you are creating a new human being, and it’s not meant to be easy. The pregnant partner should find the magic in pregnancy and not feel bad about her changing body. The other partner should offer as much moral support as they can to make the experience bearable.
5. Write A Birth Plan
If want to hire a doula, this is the best time to hire one. Write down all your wishes and make a copy for everyone who will be involved in the delivery. Ideally, the plan should include the people you want present during the birth of your baby, unique clothing you want to wear, the procedures you approve, and the music you would like to be played. Remember to include the pain medication you prefer and instructions for the medical team to follow if complications arise.
6. Learn How to Install A Car Seat
Statistics show that 60 percent of car seats are installed incorrectly. So, ensure anyone who will be driving your child knows how to install a car seat appropriately. One can visit the car seat brand’s website for step-by-step instructions on installing the seat. You may also go to a local fire station to have it inspected if you are concerned about anything.
7. Accept All the Help You Can Get
New dads and moms are not expected to take care of newborns independently, which has always been the case since the history of humankind. There has always been an aunt, grandmother, or friend who stays with the parents to help them navigate this new experience. So, you don’t have to bear the burden alone. Accept any help you receive from family members and friends.
8. Acknowledge That the First Year Is Challenging
A common myth many expectant parents have is that getting kids won’t change their lives. Some assume that they will carry the baby everywhere they go. While it is a nice thought, it doesn’t always work out that way in reality. The first year is tough because having a baby will change your lifestyle. You may have to change your schedule to accommodate your child’s needs.
If you are preparing to receive your bundle of joy, this period can be overwhelming. The eight tips will make the process easier for you. If the journey seems harsh at any point, remember you are doing a fantastic job and ask for help if you can’t handle it anymore.