When my daughter Lily was born it was both the most wonderful time of my life and the most challenging. She was an angel, perfectly perfect and so stinkin’ cute I just wanted to stare at her all day. Problem was, usually I was staring at her while she was crying. Because this child cried A LOT. Even in the hospital one of the nurses said to me, “Oh, this one is yours, Princess Screams-a-Lot.” Worst nurse ever, and I stand by that. But in retrospect she pretty much nailed it. Lily screamed a lot and her voice had this piercing, dear-God-help-me tone to it. She was definitely a colicky baby which made life challenging for me. Now she’s 9 years-old and super sweet and fun, not the screamer she once was by a mile (though drama, well…that’s another post). And that determination that make her scream her way to getting what she wanted as a baby is coming out in other ways, like straight As on a report card that she worked her butt off for, and being a killer soccer player. I adore her and can now look back at that time when I was a new mom with a laugh and a smile. There’s no doubt that being a new parent is challenging, even if it’s the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. So, see if you can find a tidbit here to help make those first few months a little more manageable. We’re pulling for ya!
5 Top Tips for New Parents
This Too Shall Pass
I remember being obsessed with every little issue my daughter had. She would fall asleep in the middle of nighttime feedings. She’d scream in the car. She spit up a lot. As soon as we moved on from one major (what I deemed major) problem, another one would crop up. 9 years later it’s the same story. While it seems like the biggest thing ever when you’re dealing with a new phase, it passes. And then something will take its place.The first 6 weeks were a blur to me with both of my kids. After that things got markedly easier. So remember to just hang in there.
Take Care of Yourself
In a sleep-deprived zombie state it’s easy to let self-care slip. Don’t I know it. But do your best to remember that if you don’t take care of yourself, it’s going to be harder to take care of that little baby. And that baby needs you! So sleep when you can, drink plenty of fluids (water, juice – try to avoid a lot of caffeine if possible), eat decent food. You’ll feel better, feel better about yourself, and have more energy to do what you gotta do to get through those challenging days.
Stock Up on Teething Toys
I had them everywhere. Everywhere. My son wasn’t too bad, but teething for my daughter was a full on nightmare. And it went on foreeeeevvvver. Having something for them to chew to give them (and let’s just be honest here, you) some relief is super important. tommee tippee has a great line of baby teethers and the thing I love about these is that not only are they designed to provide relief to your cranky, teething baby, but they are really easy for those little hands to grasp. Notice the thin pieces that little baby hands can easily wrap around on the Chewther Keys and Cosmic Chewther. A lifesaver.
You just can’t do it all alone. So if you have the option to get some help, take it. And you can decide what you will accept help with. I personally wasn’t a big fan of someone coming into my house trying to do my laundry. Hands off my underwear, thankyouverymuch. But if you want to cook me a meal, wash my dishes, or take the dog for a walk? Yes, please. Usually people will ask what they can do the help so be ready with some ideas. They’ll feel useful and you’ll save yourself from going crazy. Win win.
Enjoy Your Child
They grow so fast. Go ahead and slap me for saying it because you’ve heard it 50 million times. Let me tell you something: It’s true. Just this week I took my daughter shopping and bought her clothing in the JUNIOR department. Hold me. Pretty soon this blur of diapers and laundry will end and you won’t even see it coming. So in the midst of the mayhem, just enjoy your baby. Don’t worry so much about if your kid hits the milestones you found in your parenting book before or after the babies in your moms’ group. Who cares? Let it be known: Competitive parenting is unbecoming. Don’t participate in that sport. Your child will develop on their own timeline, which is just perfect for them. And it’s pretty amazing to watch. So enjoy it! Your ride is just getting started, my friend.
Tell me, what are your best tips for new parents? Leave a comment below!