If you are about to become a new parent, there is every chance in the world that you are feeling incredibly worried and nervous right now. This is a very normal feeling to have, and in a way, it would be quite strange if you were not worried at all. But you should at least feel heartened by the fact that most of the things you are going to come across are things that many people have come across before. What’s more, you are easily going to be able to learn how to manage them all, each as they come.
In this post, we are going to take a look at a number of the new things that new parents always have to learn. Knowing about what these are upfront can help you in a number of ways: you can start researching and trying to learn about them, you can mentally prepare, and you can start to appreciate the magnitude of what you are doing. Don’t let that get in the way, however: it really is one thing at a time, as it is with everything else.
How To Go On Little Sleep
There is no doubt about it: once you have a kid in the picture, you are going to lose out on sleep for quite a while. At the start, your baby will obviously be up and crying throughout the night, and maybe all night if you are unlucky. And then when they get a little older, you’ll find you may lose sleep just from worrying about them! So whichever way you look at it, you are probably going to lose out on sleep for quite a while from here on out.
The question here is how to cope with it. After a while, you will find that you naturally start to manage with less sleep fairly easily. But if you want to hurry that process up and make it a lot easier, you might want to think about trying some tactics for dealing with less sleep. That includes having something to do when you can’t sleep, like reading a book and trying not to worry about it too much, as over-worrying about your sleep often makes it all the more difficult to sleep more!
As long as you don’t panic and you get what sleep you can, you should find that you can more or less function okay, and your body and brain will soon learn how to cope with far less sleep than you may have been used to up until now.
Decorating The Nursery Is Really Important
People often think of decorating the nursery as just a nice, cute thing to do. While it is also that, it actually turns out to be one of the most vital things you can do for your child. The reason is simple: when you have spent a great deal of time and energy and effort on decorating the nursery, making it look really nice, and ensuring it is homely, your baby is much more likely to be happy with the room, and therefore to enjoy sleeping in it.
So, if you want to make sure that your baby is sleeping as well as possible, you should definitely be sure to put a lot of effort into the nursery as best as you can. That is going to make a radical difference to your baby’s restfulness, which as we have seen is important for your own restfulness too! It is also a good way to get yourself ready for the baby’s arrival, and a nice tradition to work on the nursery.
Breastfeeding Takes Practice
Practically no mother in the world finds breastfeeding easy on the first dozen or so attempts. It’s a completely normal and natural part of the process to find that there is a learning curve to trying to get your baby to feed. So if you are finding yourself worrying about this, just try to relax. It really is a very common concern, and nobody in the world finds that their baby latches on perfectly each and every time - and certainly not the first time. You should therefore try to be relaxed around the whole thing, and certainly don’t beat yourself up about it.
Another important thing to bear in mind about breastfeeding is that it can be incredibly painful. This pain can take some getting used to, but it is something that you will find goes away after a period of time, or at least you do ultimately get used to it. You’ll also find that there are times when your baby only wants to feed for ten minutes, and sometimes they’ll want to feed for an hour, so you never really know what you are getting into each time you go to feed them. As long as you know this from the start, it can help you in not over-worrying about these very normal issues.
Nobody Is An Expert First-Time
When you talk to other parents, or when you read books or find information online, you might often get the feeling that everybody else in the world appears to be an expert on the subject of raising a baby. It can be very easy to feel as though you are alone in the world not knowing about the basics of looking after your kid. However, this is how everyone feels when they first have a child, and often far beyond that too, and you are definitely not alone in feeling this way.
The fact is that nobody is an expert right away, and you are not going to be either. It’s okay to have a learning curve and to take your time picking everything up. That’s just how it goes. What you shouldn’t do is blame yourself or be overly strict with yourself and beat yourself up for not knowing things: that kind of attitude won’t lead to anything good, and you’ll only find it actually makes things worse in general anyway. Give yourself a break!
Be Grateful For Help...But Don’t Accept It Blindly
Once you have a baby, everyone in your life will want to help you, and you’ll start receiving offers for different kinds of help left, right, and center. This is going to make you feel either calm or overwhelmed, depending on your nature. The best approach is to be genuinely grateful for the help that is being offered but to also be wary about what help you accept. You need to know that the help is coming from a person who knows what they are doing. If it doesn’t, you are going to find that you can end up in a worse situation just by taking their kind offer of help! So it is wise, and in your baby’s best interests, to be slightly wary of any help that is offered too.
That being said, from time to time you will want to be able to give your child to someone for the night, and it’s good to have someone who will do that for you when required. Generally, this should be your own parents or someone equally as close to you, whom you know you can trust. And bear in mind that this first time away from your child will be particularly difficult for you.
How To Change A Diaper
One of the most important and basic skills that you are going to need to learn is, of course, how to change a diaper. Once you have got the basic process down, it’s not really all that hard, but again it can be the kind of thing that takes a good deal of practice in order to get it going and to see what you need to do each time. You should change a diaper at least whenever your baby feels uncomfortable in their current one - and don’t be surprised if they go to the toilet again straight after putting a new one on them! The easiest way to change a diaper is to ensure you have everything to hand when you begin, keep a hold of your baby at all times during the process, and take it slowly. You’ll find that this makes it a lot easier on the whole.
You Will Make Mistakes
Another important lesson in all of this is that you should expect to make mistakes once in a while. No matter who you are or how prepared you might feel, there are things you are going to get wrong. You have to learn how to deal with this situation, and to do all you can to try not to be too hard on yourself. It really is just a part of the process, and a normal part of it too. You should expect to get things wrong once in a while - if you didn’t, you wouldn’t have any opportunities for learning new things.
As you can see, there is a lot to bear in mind. Just take it slow and easy, and all should be well.