Are you expecting your first child in the next few weeks or months? Do you find yourself nervous about the next stage of life after having your baby? As frightening as it might be, remember that this is a very exciting time for you and your growing family!
Even though this is uncharted territory for you, it’s a tremendous opportunity to grow and become the parent you were meant to be. In time, you’ll find a way to make everything click.
Be sure to read below for an in-depth guide with advice to new parents. You can use these tidbits of knowledge as you prepare for the next stage.
1. Schedule a Newborn Photo Shoot
Ask ten parents about the newborn baby phase and they will all tell you the same thing: it comes and goes way too fast. You will literally see your newborn grow and change a little bit every single day.
For that reason, we recommend that you schedule a newborn shoot as soon as you possibly can. While it might seem like a lot at the time, try to schedule the shoot within the week of your baby being born.
This will help you capture how they looked when they first entered the world! You, your spouse, and anyone else you wish to include will get the chance to pose with your child and capture a moment you will cherish forever.
When scheduling a newborn shoot, be sure to hire a photographer with experience shooting with newborns. It’s a completely different process than any other kind of kids shoot. The photographer has to remain patient.
Be sure to ask the photographer to see a portfolio of their other work. Also, you can research a few newborn photos online to see what kinds of ideas you’d like to incorporate into your photos.
2. Prepare to Be Unprepared
You’ve read all of the first-time parent books that Oprah has recommended. You’ve listed all of the best baby equipment and devices on your registry and received them all from friends and family. You feel ready for when the baby comes.
That’s great! But here’s the thing: your baby is different. There isn’t a solve-all tactic for everything that your baby will do.
Sometimes your baby will opt to cry bloody murder instead of breastfeeding. Just when you think you’re getting into a rhythm, your baby will throw a curveball at you. These things happen.
Preparation certainly comes in handy, but it’s just as important to remain flexible and maintain perspective.
In these moments of unpreparedness, you’ll have to try everything in the book. Try feeding, try swaddling, try burping, try changing their diaper, try laying them down, the works. Even then, your baby might be overtired and unwilling to cooperate.
It’s all trial and error. Any experienced parent will tell you that. For the first few months, you may find yourself going through a checklist of things when your baby cries to get to the root of the problem. Every parent does, you’re not alone!
3. Focus on Your Mental Health
To all of the first-time mamas out there, we now speak directly to you. Your body is an amazing spectacle. Everything that it goes through with a baby—from birthing to breastfeeding, and everything in between—is a miracle.
Since this will be your first time giving birth, you need to prepare yourself for the very real chance that you deal with some level of post-partum depression.
The birth of a child sends your hormones spiraling, which can quickly lead to you experiencing what experts refer to as the “baby blues”.
There will be nights where you feel like crying. let it out! There will be moments when you experience harsh anxiety. Get the help that you need.
The worst thing you can do is say “it won’t happen to me”. Those that shrug it off often deal with it the worst. Give yourself time. Surround yourself with the support system to battle through it.
4. Never Wake a Sleeping Baby
When talking to other mothers, you’ve probably had many women all tell you the same thing: “sleep when your baby is sleeping”.
However, we’re here to tell you another piece of advice that no one will tell you about being a first-time parent: never wake a sleeping baby.
You may read things that tell you a baby needs to be woken up to be fed every few hours. Don’t do that to yourself. If the baby is that hungry, they’ll let you know it. Let that baby sleep for as long as possible!
5. Trust Yourself
It can be overwhelming to listen to all the different experts out there and other mothers trying to give you advice. At the end of the day, there’s only one person that knows your baby best: you!
Consider the advice that you’re given, sure. But if your motherly or fatherly instincts are telling you differently, then roll with those instead.
Worst case scenario, your gut feeling doesn’t pay off. Then you know not to go about it that way the next time. As we said before, this entire thing is a trial and error situation. Sometimes your failures will be the best lesson you can have.
Advice to New Parents: Prepare to Adjust
Now that you have seen an in-depth guide with several nuggets of advice to new parents, be sure to use this information to your advantage.
Remember, it’s your child. You’re the one that will know it best. Your situation will differ from others who have gone through being a first-time parent. Embrace that!
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