The first twelve months of a baby’s life is when you are both still learning about each other. From the moment you both lay eyes on each other, there is an immeasurable amount of love. However, then comes the surprise of bringing the baby home. The realization of being in charge of someone else’s life sinks in like a ton of bricks, and you may find yourself asking yourself “now what?” For those excited but very scared parents of babies in their first year you should always remember ten things.
#1 No one talks perfect baby
Although by the end of the first six months many parents may be able to tell the difference between a hunger and wet cry, no one is always right all of the time. No one talks perfect baby language all of the time. There have been lots of research done in this area, and lots of money has been spent trying to give new parents the key to exactly why their newborn baby is crying. However, part of the joy of parenting is not knowing what is wrong but seeing the smile on your newborn babies face when you figure it out.
#2 You need a break
It is ok, and very necessary to take a break for at least five minutes or so. Even if this is just five minutes outside of your baby’s room just to catch a breath. Putting a crying baby down in a crib for a few minutes will not hurt the baby whatsoever, and coming back with a calmer attitude will help the both of you resolve whatever issue is at hand. When finally getting a chance to take a shower or bath take a few minutes extra just to enjoy your self. If you find your self waiting at the doctor’s office, relax and take your time. Your baby will be just fine, and you will be a better parent for taking a moment to remember whom you are.
#3 Always pack an extra outfit for the baby
Whether you are going on a short trip to the neighboring store, or visiting family for a few hours, you must always pack an extra outfit for the baby. It is amazing how much stuff can come out of either end of an infant and how often. Coming prepared will just save the embarrassment of someone asking you “Didn’t you pack extra clothes?”
#4 Take protection during every diaper change
Infants are very skilled at very few things, but one thing they seem to always be able to do is surprise you doing diaper changes. Even if you have never been squirted on before, and you think your baby is going to be different always be prepared. Make sure to have extra protection between you and your infant during every diaper change so that you will not get surprised.
#5 Your babies favorite toy is usually you
Many parents spend lots of money on toys for their babies. However, most babies never smile bigger then when they are watching mom or dad talking to them. Babies love to listen to the tone of your voice and watch your facial expressions. The simple act of talking to them teaches them so much. They watch your mouth to learn how to talk. They watch your face to learn how to control their own. The voice that they heard in the womb was yours so it would make sense that your voice would bring them comfort.
#6 there is no right or wrong way
Parenting is a learning process. There are lots of information out there that tells you just how to do things. Information that says you have to breastfeed your baby tries to make you feel as if you not then you are doing it the wrong way. The pamphlets that tell you not to fed your baby solids until exactly five months may make you feel as if you may not start one day sooner. However, these are just not the case. Years ago, some of this advice was just the opposite. The most important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way of doing things and to trust your judgment.
#7 It is ok to ask for help
No one has all of the answers. Even if you have had four other children, each child is unique. It is ok to ask for help. If you find that your child is hard for you to handle, or you are confused on a situation, ask for help from many sources. Many sources out there can help you as a parent, and knowing that it is ok to ask for help will keep you from getting too upset at yourself and your baby.
#8 Learn to laugh
During the last six months of the first year, learning to laugh will be very helpful. As your baby learns to move around more and explore more things, you will find yourself getting more and more upset about some of the messes your baby can make. It is uncanny the amount of things your baby can find. Even the most baby proof house will turn up with something your child will find once they start to move around. You must learn to laugh at these mishaps and treasure the memories.
#9 Figure out sleep
Many others will tell you to sleep while the baby sleeps. However, if you are like most parents, you will look around your house and think about nothing the amount of housework that needs to be done. You need extra sleep during the day to make up for the times when your baby will wake you up in the middle of the night. Often times expecting a new parent to sleep as often as a new infant does is unrealistic, but you need to get extra sleep during the day. Pick a time during the day and take a nap, and then take advantage of the other times the baby is sleeping to do some housework. Finding a good compromise now will help in the future.
#10 Sometimes you just have to get messy
Getting messy can sometimes be a new parent’s worse nightmare. The spit-up, poop, and the “what is that?” type of stuff seem to come out of nowhere. Children also like to get messy every once in awhile. You need to let your children explore the world around them and remember that sometimes messes can be fun and educational.
Bonus Tip: When planning for your baby’s first birthday party keep it simple. Besides the pictures, your baby will not remember what happened.