Parenthood is probably one of the most challenging and fulfilling roles a person will have in their lifetime. It is a full-time job with lots of overtime and no pay. It’s daunting enough to be a parent, but more so if it’s your first time. Don’t worry though. Lots of people have traveled through that long, hard road and came back wiser and more confident. Here are some tried-and-tested advice for preparing for your first child.
Be Part of a Support Group
The first few months after giving birth can be a roller coaster for first-time parents. Hormones, sleep deprivation, and all the new responsibilities you have on your plate can take a toll on your emotional health, which is why you need a support group. They are a great place for you to meet fellow parents and counselors who can give you practical tips on how to navigate through the nitty-gritty of parenting and, more importantly, emotional support. Being part of a community of people sharing the same journey as you can be very uplifting, especially for first-time parents. Support groups can also help you expand your network for child services since fellow members can refer you to health specialists and carers that they know.
Go on a Baby-moon
A baby moon is one last vacation that couples go on before the due date. It may sound like an indulgent idea suited only for celebrity couples, but it can actually be very helpful for first-time parents. The baby moon can be a great time for you and your partner to work on your teamwork and to honestly share your concerns about the new chapter ahead. The vacation doesn’t have to be an expensive trip to an exotic country. If you are working on a tight budget, you can just have a stay-cation at a local hotel for a few days. This can be a great time for you to unwind and clear your mind before the big day.
During your baby-moon make sure to adopt a positive, affirming, and nonjudgmental attitude when communicating with your partner. The final months before your due date can be stressful, but this should not make things tense between you and your partner. Your trip together should be a good reminder that you and your partner are in this together as parents.
Get Your Health in Order
Many advice columns and blogs for first-time parents focus on how to take care of your baby, but you shouldn’t forget about your own well-being. Your health should be a priority at this point—not just for you, but for the newborn too. You can expect months of sleepless night and regular breastfeeding on top of regular chores at home. But you’ll also get to enjoy cuddles and the indescribable joy of seeing your baby smile and laugh for the first time. In order to be able to do all these things, you will need to be in tip-top shape, so make sure you prioritize self-care. Get enough sleep while you still can. Don’t miss doctor’s appointments. Eat healthy and sign up for exercises especially for expecting couples. Last but not the least, if you have any unhealthy habits, now would be the best time to break them. If you smoke, now’s the time to quit, not just for your sake, but also for the child’s.
A nicotine test kit at home could be the first step to breaking the habit. Depending on the severity of your addiction, you can either quit on your own or sign up to a support group so you can get help from people who have the same struggles.
Ask Help with Childcare
There is no shame in asking for help with caring for your newborn. The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is certainly true, especially with all the responsibilities that first-time parents have to juggle. You can’t be the best mom or dad you can be if you are constantly tired and cranky from spreading yourself too thin. Don’t wait until you’re overworked and sleep-deprived to ask for help. Months before your due date, contact family members and see if they can give a hand in taking care of the baby for a couple of days or nights a week. They can help you with errands around the house or with babysitting. If you have the budget, you can also consider the help of a nanny too. It is important that you contact an agency in advance especially if you live in an area with a high demand for childcare. Parenting is tough, and you need all the help you can get so you can rest and recuperate.
It’s normal to feel nervous as first-time parents. The journey ahead of you is undeniably life-changing. Some days can be hard, but the only way through it is to go through it and embrace the whole experience, both the good and messy sides of it. Read more about baby and parents care tips and reviews for the experts and real parents at our blog bestbabycares.com