A new phase of life
We are well aware that newborns do not come with an instruction manual on how to take care of them. Although we try our best to prepare ourselves for the baby’s arrival into our lives by reading countless books and receiving plenty of unsolicited parenting advice on how to take care of your infant best, it is a difficult task nonetheless when you are in a room alone with your baby crying continuously in your arms.
Becoming a new parent isn’t easy, especially in today’s world. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and the extended family involved in the day-to-day process of taking care of a child benefited new parents in past generations. But, in today’s world, many families are separated from loved ones and are nuclear. Parents are left to fend for themselves, learning daily and hoping that their choices will instil in their children the skills they need to live a happy and fulfilled life.
This article will guide you through your early days with tips and seasoned parenting advice for years to come on how to take care of your offspring the best way possible. From how to take care of an infant to activities that will help your infant develop and the changes that you and your child might go through in this process.
The early years
First and foremost, take advantage of the newborn stage.
It’s difficult to appreciate those early months when you’re sleep-deprived and weary from nursing and taking care of the baby 24/7.
Most parents want to get it over with and move onto days when they no longer have to get up every three hours to feed the baby. Strive not to be overly concerned with your routine or all the tasks you believe you ought to be doing. The first several months fly by, and before you know it, years have passed without you relishing your child’s toddler years.
Take turns taking care of the baby
According to Bowlby’s attachment theory, babies are born with an inbuilt need to create bonds. Such attachments help the infant survive by guaranteeing that he or she is cared for and protected. Furthermore, these attachments are marked by distinct behavioural and psychological patterns.
One of the most important things to do while taking care of a baby is to share the burden equally with your partner. Usually, new moms tend to overexert themselves in doing everything from a to z while taking care of their baby, often excluding their partner. It results in exhaustion and breakdowns. Always ask for help. It will form an unbreakable support system for you and help shape the way you communicate with your child in the future. Don’t be concerned with what you have heard or what others claim is correct or incorrect. Take the advice that will benefit you and your spouse the most. One of the critical steps to positive parenting Follow your instincts and do what seems right for you and your family.
Soothing a Baby using the 5 S’s
Dr Harvey Karp’s 5’s Theory for calming babies is effectively used for taking care of babies with colic or sleeplessness.
Take care of each other too
Be kind and loving to one another. Try to be understanding with your partner as much as possible.
Take advantage of every opportunity to sleep. Solicit assistance from your spouse and include him or her as a team member. Allow people to babysit so you may spend quality time with your spouse. Make the most of your cuddling time.
Allow yourself 15 minutes to read or go for a walk in the fresh air.
Dealing with emotional changes
Often becoming a parent is a fulfilment of a long-standing desire to have children. They adore holding, stroking, looking at, and sniffing their child. A couple’s sense of love and connection to each other and their infant may also grow more robust.
Others are filled with dissatisfaction and sadness at losing aspects of their previous lives, such as financial independence, a career, spontaneity, and time with their partner and friends. Some individuals also feel stuck by the massive shift that has engulfed their lives and their sense of identity. They may be concerned that that of a parent has overshadowed their identity.
It’s critical to remember that these feelings are natural and part of the transition process, not an indication that you don’t want and adore your baby. It’s unfair to blame yourself or assume that parenting isn’t for you if it’s not what you envisioned. Remember that becoming a parent is a huge responsibility.
It’s critical to recognize your feelings and share them with someone you can trust. Speak to a trusted friend about how you feel if you’re confused or upset. You can also request a recommendation to a psychologist from your family physician or obstetrician; it’s beneficial to express your anxieties and fears and work things out.
Tips for easing a new parents stress
Take deep breaths
Find a relaxing spot to lie down. Put your hands slightly below your ribcage on your abdomen. Begin by taking calm, deep breaths. You will feel the expansion and contraction in your abdominal region before your rib cage extends if you are breathing correctly.
Keep things in perspective: Positive parenting
Be on the lookout for enjoyable social interactions, notice your child’s smiles, and take advantage of opportunities to provide physical affection. Reminisce about joyful times, read inspiring stories, tell jokes, call a friend.
Prioritize your sleep
A sensation of well-being is dependent on getting four hours of sleep in a row. Some spouses prefer to sleep in the baby’s room on alternating nights, providing care throughout the night. However, being away from your infant all night might cause worry in some women, so see what works best for you.
Exercising is one of the best stress relievers for new parents; try to schedule a time when your baby is asleep or when your partner or spouse can attend to the baby for a little while.
Parenting tips for new parents on Nurturing your child
According to child psychologists, a kid’s brain development is most important during the first three years of life. The brain of a child is twice as active as that of an adult. Emotional, psychological, cognitive and physical growth are all built on the foundation of these cells in the brain and their connections. Many of these interconnections will be reinforced and established during the early years, while others will perish due to lack of use. Parents must assist children in nurturing and maintaining these bonds to be more equipped for the cognitive, psychological, and physiological challenges they will face in schooling all through life.
Remember that each child is unique and different and that comparing their growth and development to other children will just be damaging to them.
Activities to stimulate your baby’s development
Paying attention to your child by spending time with them and doing activities gives them a feeling that they are essential. That is why it is essential to spend enough time throughout the day with your child.
Back-and-forth interactions with parents are at the heart of the baby play. And when you engage with your baby while they are playing, you give them critical information that will help them grasp the world. A simple game of peekaboo, for example, teaches your child that when mom or dad leaves, they always return.
From 3-6 months
- Together, read books, sing songs, and repeat nursery rhymes. Cloth books with diverse textures, flaps, and puppets are popular with babies.
- Teach your child to grasp, drop, and roll various balls. It will assist your child in learning how things move.
From 6-12 months
- Play with rattles, bells, and other sound-producing toys.
- To encourage mobility, surround your infant with toys.
- Stacking blocks and toys that your baby can roll or push across the floor are fun to play with.
- Use different voices for different characters or make animal sounds while reading with your infant.
Activities to help your child through their growing years
- Outdoor physical activities to develop fine motor skills
- Activities for language development such as singing songs, nursery rhymes, holding conversations about specific topics.
- Activities for cognitive development such as recognizing shapes, colours, alphabets and numbers.
Children learn to govern and control their bodies through their early infancy years. They become more conscious of what their bodies are capable of and what they are unable to do.
Try to recognize your child’s emotions
Parents who adopt this mindset may find that their children’s behaviour improves as their families become more familiar with the method of emotional education. It occurs for a variety of reasons. Emotional parenting parents constantly respond to their children’s sentiments before they get too overwhelming. In other words, emotions don’t have time to develop since the child gets the attention he craves.
Children gain confidence in their parents’ ability to understand, empathize with, and be attentive in everything that happens in their life. If parents engage their children in emotional training from a young age, they will become masters of contentment. They will be able to remain calm under pressure, which will lessen the possibility of undesirable behaviour.
Parents who participate in emotional education do not judge their children when they express emotions. Therefore there are fewer conflicts. In other words, children are not chastised for expressing dissatisfaction or displeasure by grieving. On the other hand, parents set limits and make it clear what behaviour is okay and what is not. Children are also more likely to comply when they are aware of the rules and the consequences of breaking them.
The emotional tie between parents and children is strengthened through this parenting style.
Maintain a nutritional diet
Before the age of three, what your child consumes is incredibly essential. In reality, research shows that there is a link between early eating and later IQ. Processed foods high in fat and sugar lower a toddler’s IQ later in life, whereas healthy diets rich in grains, portions of pasta, fish, and fruits raise it.
Whereas all babies are born with a craving for sweet-tasting food, they acquire the rest of their dietary preferences as they start to eat pureed and solid meals. What kids are given initially would become the benchmark against by which all subsequent foods are measured. As a result, youngsters fed on processed and artificial foods grow up to prefer unhealthy diets.
Fresh, soft fruits, steaming vegetables, and eggs are all practical and healthful dietary choices as you navigate this development phase.
The goal is to choose foods that are simple to chew, soft, and high in nutrients.
It’s a good idea to introduce new meals one at a time and in tiny portions. Keep an eye out for adverse reactions whenever you introduce a portion of new food and stop feeding it to them if you notice signs of aversion or allergy.
Parenting during a Pandemic
It is a unique kind of stress that parents face today; parenting during the coronavirus pandemic is no easy feat as the generations that have come before us have not faced this dilemma.
You’re probably working from home and running the household while also attempting to keep your kids on track with their virtual school work—all while dealing with social isolation and possibly being shut off from the support of friends and family. The strain might seem endless when the entire family is crammed into the same place day after day.
- Monitor your child’s screen time
- Establish a healthy routine of timely exercise, play and spending quality time with your offspring
- Create a study route, but make sure it’s not overwhelming for your child; add regular breaks and intervals with activities that your child enjoys.
- Answer any questions that your child has about the pandemic honestly
- Please communicate with your child and talk about their feelings and emotions during these trying times.
- Always be supportive of their accomplishments, however small they are.
At the end of the day
The move to parenthood is a significant life change. For families, this is a delicate and crucial time. Parents-to-be and their loved ones can better plan for the transition with a bit of knowledge and planning.
There are so many people with good intentions overflowing with guidance; even though there is a lot of solid advice out there, it is usually best to trust your gut.
You are the only one who truly understands your child.