Becoming parents for the first time is as thrilling as it is terrifying! Although all the people in the world will tell you not to worry, that “It’ll all come naturally to you when the little one is in your lap for the first time,” the sense of dread refuses to leave.
You stay up almost all nights as the due date gets closer, wondering if you’re at all prepared to raise a child despite reading all the books and having a solid child fund planned. You just don’t have the experience that parents who’ve had a child before do!
But hey! Even they were first-time parents once, right? So, don’t panic and listen to what Dr. Luciana Rocha, a psychologist and postpartum and maternity expert has to say. She has six very useful tips up her sleeve that can help you prepare as first-time parents.
1. Stay Confident
Dr. Roc. says the most important thing to do is to be confident. When you get too nervous or too cautious, you start living in this fear that no matter what you do, you’ll harm your child. You start worrying about small things such as bath temperature or leaving your child alone at night with a baby monitor. Child-raising plans are made and remade every single day. At this point, it is important to take a breather and you will be just fine! So, be confident, be careful too but don’t let it bring you down.
2. Visit Other Babies You Know
Tensed that you haven’t had enough baby training? Well, you can get some even before your own child is born by hanging out with friends or cousins who have babies. Dr. Rocha believes that being around babies in general can give you a good idea of what to expect, while helping the parents can offer you the opportunity to train yourself. This initial training may even give you that confidence boost you really need!
3. Never Compare
It’s a natural tendency to compare your child to others, especially if yours is a fussy one. But you need to know that just like you’re unique in your own ways, your child is too and comparison is not going to help. So, Dr. Rocha says don’t lose heart if your child doesn’t walk as quickly as your neighbor’s or talks soon. That in no way means your child is not good enough or is sick. Instead focus on celebrating the milestones such as the first time they clutch your fingers in their tiny hands! Or the first time they mumble a garbled word.
4. Speak To Other Mothers
As a new parent, you may have a lot of questions and the internet is not always the best place to get all the answers. Now that you know you shouldn’t compare your child to others, it’s time you opened up and talked to other moms or dads about the queries in your mind. Talking to them can help you understand more about common child behavior patterns and stop you from calling up your pediatrician every time. You’ll learn little things like your baby getting startled all of a sudden is okay. So is crying in the middle of the night.
5. Get Help When You Need It
Granted parenting is one of those things you have to learn and do on your own but you shouldn’t consider yourself alone either. We live in a society after all, don’t we? Dr. Rocha says that you should always be aware of the fact that people are here to help you, to support you through the difficult task of child-rearing. So, if you’re a facing a tough time with a particular baby problem, don’t hesitate to ask for a hand from those who can help you (your mother, your friends, etc.). Moreover, try not to be too harsh on yourself. Making mistakes is okay for it’ll only help you become a better parent in the long run.
6. Know There’s No Secret Parenting Mantra
The last thing you need to know as you prepare for your little bundle of joy to step into your life is that there’s no magic formula to become the best parents. You just have to go with the flow and raise your child to the best of your abilities. Once you accept that, you will be able to handle the criticism people throw at you with confidence.
Being a parent is difficult, no doubt, as it requires you to be immensely responsible and think about your child’s wellbeing before you can think of your own. However, if you have the right mindset, a positive attitude, and even follow the tips given above, we’re pretty sure that you will be able to become the best parent to your child. On that note, happy parenting!