Being a new parent is a wonderful experience. As cliched as that sounds, it’s true. Bringing a newborn into the world and raising them is a joy. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, though. Being a parent is tough, especially for newborns. Even if you’ve had multiple children, each newborn brings its own set of challenges.
If you’re a new parent, it’s okay to feel intimated. There’s going to be a lot of learning and trial and error. Take a look at these five things new parents should be aware of. They might help you relieve some of your fears.
Keep track of important documents
It’s absolutely crucial to keep track of important documents for your child now. They will become necessary for many things as your child grows older.
Some items you’ll want to keep safe are your baby’s vaccination records, birth certificate, and social security card. Try to keep them in as good condition as possible and make sure they’re in an accessible place.
These documents will be important for the rest of your child’s life, so it doesn’t hurt to make backup copies. If you can, give the copy to a trusted love one like your parents.
You’ll struggle in the beginning
Baby crying for no reason check. Sleepless nights check. Endless dirty diapers check. When you first get home from the hospital, expect to be overwhelmed by a variety of things.
Even if you think you’re ready, you’ll be surprised at how much of a struggle certain things will be. Like trying to function off two to three hours of sleep. Yeah, not fun.
Like most things, after a while you’ll get used to it. You’ll get better at anticipating when your newborn is hungry or has a dirty diaper. You’ll even get better at functioning on no sleep (The secret is a lot of caffeine).
You’ll be your worst enemy
It feels like there’s this need to get everything right when it comes to being a new parent. You might ask yourself, “Should I be taking this many photos of my baby?” or “Should I be crying in frustration this often?”
They will be hiccups here and there, but as long as you’re not outright neglecting your baby, things should be fine. Yeah, your parents, siblings, or even neighbor might have their two cents, but focus on being the best parent on your terms.
You are your own worst enemy and the most critical of your parenting. When it comes down to it, odds are you’re probably doing a fine job.
You’ll see less of your friends
When the baby comes, your friends will most likely still be around. They’ll be happy to see the baby. They’ll probably have plenty of questions on what it’s been like being a new parent.
Things do change, though. It won’t be as easy to go out and do as you please before with your newfound responsibility. You’ll have to spend far more nights taking care of your baby and have less time, let alone energy, to do things you might have enjoyed before, like going out dancing at a club.
Your child will be on your mind constantly, and it’ll be hard to break away for them. In turn, this means you’ll be socializing with your friends less. It’s sad but somewhat inevitable. It just kind of happens.
Start a baby book
Maybe it was one of the first things you got, but you should keep a baby book around. You’ll want to have a collection of some of your baby’s first.
Once the baby is born, it’s somewhat common for parents to forget they even got a baby book. There’s a lot going on, and it’s not the most immediate priority, but you should make an effort to update the baby book when you can. The last thing you’ll want is to look back and not remember when you took your baby its first bath or its first Halloween.
Baby books can be fun and rewarding too. It’s a look back on some of the achievements you’ve made so far in your new parenting journey. You’ll face plenty of obstacles when you become a new parent, but you’ll be alright. Plenty of people have been gone through the same experience, and they’ve pulled through.
You’re stronger than you give yourself credit. Keep a positive mindset, and everything will work out.