When I married 17 years ago, I became pregnant 30 days after. On my fourth month of pregnancy, I traveled to Saudi Arabia to join my husband, who was an OFW (overseas Filipino worker).
I remember that I worried about one thing -- I don't know anything about taking care of a baby. I don't have any other family member there except my new husband, who also didn't know what to do.
After giving birth to 5, here are some Practical Advice for Soon to Be New Parents that I would like to share. I believe these will be very helpful to all new moms and dads.
1. Educate yourselfThere's one wedding gift that I really appreciated at that time. It was a book by Dr. Miriam Stoppard about baby and child care given to us by my co-teacher. This book (I still have it to this day) became my helping guide on what I needed to know about babies. It had almost everything I needed to know. Yup, I read that book. Ages ago books are the main sources of knowledge. Now, you can just Google or watch on YouTube for information.
|This is a more updated version of the book I mentioned available at Amazon|
2. It's Okay to Get Help from FriendsAnother thing I really appreciated as we started our little family is the circle of Pinoy friends we have there. They gave us helpful advice before and after the baby was born. They even gave us some time off and took care of our baby for us.
3. Be RealisticLife is going to change for new parents. Your priorities will change. If before you can attend all the social gatherings you like, as new parents, that will not be easy. There is going to be a lot of sleepless nights and it is going to get to a point where one might even feel like they will never be well rested again.
But, in exchange, you will have feel joy far more wonderful than what you might have experienced prior to being a parent. Appreciate every one of those moments, focus on the good, and see it will all come to pass.
4. Learn to RelaxYou will be busy dressing the baby, feeding the baby and changing diapers. But don't forget to take care of yourself, too. Eat healthy food so you have enough energy to take care of your baby. Get some rest and sleep. Sleep while the baby is sleeping. You may want to get some things done while the baby is sleeping, but I suggest you take a sleep first. Learn to say no and let the other things in life go.
|Image by Winnie-T from Flickr, CC BY 2.0|
5. Remember that You are the Child's Mom or DadYou can listen to all the well meaning comments and advice that other people including in-laws will tell you regarding your child. But you are still the parent who will decide how to raise your child. No need to argue. Just be considerate and do what you think is best for your child.
6. Be Prepared to Get MessyThe baby can make a mess that you do not expect sometimes. So you better have several washcloths or bibs as well as cotton balls (make your own for cleaning the nappy area) ready. You can use disposable baby wipes but that can be costly. The washcloths and cotton balls will be very helpful to clean up everything with a baby.
7. Each Baby is DifferentSome babies love sleeping in their cribs. Some babies are born to co-sleep. We have a crib for our baby, but he rarely used it at night. Almost 100% of the time, he slept with us. That is actually advantageous for me because I breastfeed him and do not need to get up just to feed him at night.
At other times, he sleeps on my husband's chest. If you do this, just make sure that you don't let the baby fall off you or you don't accidentally squeeze him.
Remember that what worked for your friend's baby might not work for your baby. But that is completely okay and does not mean that anything is wrong.
8. New Babies Cry
|Babies cry and you got to know why|
Babies cry for a reason -- hungry, wet diaper, sleepy or gas pain. If all reasons have been exhausted,.it is okay to take a few minutes to collect oneself. Just place baby somewhere safe like their crib without any blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals and walk away for a couple of minutes to allow time to calm down. Being upset and frustrated is only to make baby feel tension which means that he or she might never calm down.
9. Do Not Worry Too Much About Developmental MilestonesShould there be any concern about the baby's developments, you can tell his pediatrician to address it during regular check ups. So, it is important to keep up with your baby's regular check ups. It was especially helpful for us to see a pediatrician to assure us that everything is doing well with our babies.
10. Make time to do something elseI decided to start this blog after I gave birth to our 4th child. That time I feel I already had ample experiences with baby care and being a mom, which I would like to share. The first few posts were about baby care basics. Here are the links to those posts.
- How to Hold Your Newborn
- Bathing a Baby and Navel Care
- Diaper Changing
- Swaddling and Burping the Baby
- Breasfeeding Your Baby
- Baby's First Foods
Being a new parent is one of the toughest jobs that mom or dad will ever have. It can feel extremely frustrating sometimes and you may feel like a failure at some point along the journey. I remember one night my husband was so frustrated when it was his turn to take care of the baby because our son just won't go to sleep and was fussy. Finally, when I took over his job then the baby fell asleep.
The good news is being a parent is also very rewarding. Every time your baby smiles, gives you a kiss or a hug, and tells you "I love you," all the hardships and sacrifices seem to fade away.
Before I sign off, I would like to give you a gift. I got giveaway rights for a series of videos about baby care basics for first-time parents. I have this published them on YouTube here. You can watch all ten videos for free.
Here's a sample video:
But if you want a personal copy (that means you can download and watch them any time but you cannot give them away), just sign up to my blog's list. See what's included in the video series here.
Feel free to share this blog post with you friends if you want them to get a copy of the videos, too.