As a new parent, you will worry about every little thing and every little detail. You will wonder if you are doing things correctly or doing them in the best way. The one thing I can tell you with complete certainty is that you will mess up, you will not do everything correctly…or in the best manner. As it has been said since the beginning of time, “there are no directions or guidebooks that come with being a parent.” Therefore, by the very nature of the task, we make it up as we go along — each minute of each day for the entirety of our lives and the lives of our children. Each day brings new questions, new situations, and new issues to juggle and conquer.
6 Helpful Tips for New Parents
Being a new parent is overwhelming because we want to do everything just right. So here are a few simple tips to remember as a new parent:
1) A fever is not the end of the world
2) A dropped pacifier does not call for a decontamination team to be called in
3) Let a sleeping baby sleep
4) It is easier to get out for dinner, travel, etc with a new born than it is with a toddler
5) The football carry is an effective way to carry and sooth a newborn
6) Sleep when they sleep
So what does this all mean?
1) Most new parents freak out at the first sign of a fever. They call their parents, they call the doctor, they rush to the hospital. Now it is completely natural to feel nervous whenever our children are not 100%, but a fever is not a bad thing! Sure the baby may be more fussy and this certainly helps to exacerbate the sense of urgency, but in reality, a mild fever can be a good thing as the baby’s body learns how to fight infection. Of course you always want to monitor fevers. If the fever is above 102, call a doctor. If the fever is over 100 for a sustained 24 hour period, call a doctor. But if the fever is mild and low-grade, let it ride. Make sure the baby is hydrated, fed, and well rested.
2) Now, the dropped pacifier. Most new parents freak out at this occurrence. Everything stops. They run to the bathroom and sterilize. They pull out the back-up from the diaper bag. This happens with the first child. After the first child, the 30 second rule comes into play. The pacifier falls and the parent picks it up, wipes it off, or cleans it by putting it in their own mouth — and carries on. The secret here: save yourself some anxiety and skip to handling this as if it is your second child. Parents have done this for decades and their children have turned out just fine.
3) Letting a sleeping baby sleep is self explanatory. Unless you like crying and fussiness, then let a baby sleep. The better rested the baby is, the more peaceful they are and therefore the more sane you stay.
4) New borns are easier to get out with than toddlers. They sit in their little carriers, they sleep and eat. Sometimes they cry, at which point you can sooth them. Once they become a toddler, going out becomes a game in strategy. You need to be prepared. You need activities to keep them occupied. As a toddler you will begin the parent relay. This is the event that requires the parents to switch on and off with the child. One parent eats while the other entertains and then they switch. So if you are the parent of a newborn, go out and stay out. It is the best time to do so.
5) The football carry is a carry that many parents swear by. This is simply a carry in which you position the new born on an arm. Head gently cradled in the hand, legs straddling either side of the arm. It resembles a running back carrying the ball down field. Something about it is soothing and works every time.
6) Sleep when they sleep. Again, self explanatory. I know there are a lot of things around the house to get done when the baby is sleeping, but take some of this time as an opportunity to catch up on your own sleep. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of them.
These are just some simple tips for new parents that may make life a little easier. Hope they help! Share your tips and advice by commenting below.