Most new parents are over the moon with joy when they find out their bundle of joy will be making an arrival. But, with that joy comes the realization that parenting is no simple thing.
Parenting can be intimidating, exhausting, and overwhelming all at once! To help you out, here are 8 things new parents should know to make navigating this new journey just a little bit easier.
1. Don't expect to get much sleep
Parenting means sacrificing sleep for those late night feedings and the random cries in the middle of the night. But don't worry, it won't last forever! If you have a partner try to alternate with baby to get a few hours of rest here and there. Your sleep is just as important as the baby’s sleep, try sleeping when baby sleeps so that your maximizing your rest time. Most new parents will be able to keep up with their little one by doing this. Although it may be tempting to get a few extra things done around the house it’s a good idea to just relax and take time to rest while baby is sleeping so that you can be your best self for baby.
2. Parenting is unpredictable
Parenting isn't always going to be perfect, sometimes your baby will surprise you with their needs or wants. Be prepared to go with the flow and know that it's okay if things don't always go as planned! Many new parents stress out about things like how baby will arrive, breastfeeding and even the type of bottles baby will be using. But over time those things become less and less relevant. The best thing to do is to look at now and enjoy it don’t over obsess about the little things, after all your little one is only little for so long.
3. Plan ahead for extra time when heading anywhere public
Going to the supermarket or even to a family member’s house can be exhausting. Try to make sure baby’s bag is always packed with essentials. Also be sure to know what you’re doing so that you and baby are dressed appropriately. The process of getting out of the house can be overwhelming, but take a moment to breathe and think especially if you’re in a rush because if you don’t you will be sure to forget something that may be important.
4. Babies are unpredictable
Don’t be afraid to go with the flow when your plans don’t work out as expected — chances are your little one will surprise you with how well they adjust to new situations! Parenting isn’t all about having a plan and following it. Parenting is more of an art, so be flexible and remember that things won’t always go exactly how you planned them to.
5. You are the expert
Parenting can sometimes feel overwhelming because there are so many “experts” out there who have their own ideas or opinions on what will work best for your baby. Of course, it's great to take advice from others but don't forget that you know your baby best! Do what feels right for your family and don't worry about what anyone else has to say.
6. Parenting is expensive
There are lots of ways to save money, including shopping secondhand and taking advantage of any discounts available for new parents. Parenting doesn't need to break the bank, there are so many options for being frugal and smart when it comes to spending money on your little one. Joining a online parent group can help with saving some money as well. Many people in these groups will post deals and even offer second hand items that they are no longer using. Think about also making some of your baby’s food at home instead of buying it, as always please consult your pediatrician before doing this.
7. It’s okay to ask for help!
Parenting can feel overwhelming at times, so don’t be afraid to reach out for assistance from family and friends. Even your pediatrician may be able to offer you advice on getting some assistance with your little one if you don’t have the support system of friends and family. So don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help when you need it. Parenting is a job that's too big for one person so don’t be embarrassed to accept help!
8. Parenting isn't all about the baby
Parenting can quickly become all about the baby and their needs, but remember that it's important to make time for yourself too. Whether that means taking a few moments each day or getting out of the house once in awhile, self-care is essential when it comes to parenting. Parenting is hard work, so don't forget to take care of yourself as well as your little one!
Being a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences, but it can also be quite challenging. With these 8 things in mind, you’ll be able to navigate your parenting journey with more ease and confidence! Good luck and happy parenting!