Real Parenting Tips For New Parents - From Real Parent

The experience of first time parenting cannot be expressed or shared in words. Each parenting experience is unique and different, with its own set of happy and challenging moments. There is no rule book for how, when, or why. It is the parent instincts that win the game! However, after long surveys and discussions, a few tips for new parents are listed below to save some time before embarking on a learning journey, only to realize how real these hacks are.

1. Expect Stress - No matter how much help you have and family members to support you, stress is inevitable. Feeding, changing diapers and putting the baby to sleep, even with all the help, a mother's or father's role is irreplaceable. Be mentally prepared, accept it and take one day at a time. 

2. Trust yourself - While you might doubt your ability as a parent, the instincts will soon kick in once you are home from the hospital. Trust yourself as no parent knows how to do it all and have nothing but the best at heart for your child. Soon you will be able to handle it much, much better with each passing day. Parents across the community vote that even with infinite unasked advice, trusting the natural instincts worked right for their babies.

3. Love Yourself, Forgive Yourself - Unconditional love for your child does not mean you need to stop loving yourself. You will make mistakes, forget to give medicine on time, maybe leave a diaper unchanged for long hours, fall asleep while the house is left messed up. Your first job is to nurture the baby with care and love and not gain some medals for doing it all. Forgive yourself for mistakes. Love yourself. Only then you can really be whole-heartedly compassionate and caring towards your child. Mother's over the years shared they regret the most is being too hard on themselves when it turned out that they were only expecting too much from themselves.

4. Accept Help - Accept help. Even though it is difficult to trust anyone and let them in on your territory to take care of the baby while you rest or spend time with your partner. Allow someone (you trust) to cook in your kitchen or get groceries for you whenever they offer to. The toughest part is to leave your child with someone else, as new parents actually freak out to leave their baby. Find someone in your family or friends (you blindly trust), give an instruction manual and make some preparations beforehand like formula, cleaned bottles and clothes needed. Also, you will be a call away or at least answer their questions if they have any while babysitting. Rohini, a mother of two, shared her experience that trusting her second child with her mother-in-law helped her recover better (faster). It was easy on mental well-being to go out of the house for a few hours for some work, doctor appointments etc. without losing her mind. She 100% seconds taking help whenever needed, especially while recovering from the childbirth process.

5. Sleep Schedule is Holy Grail - Ask away, and every sane parent will tell how important it is to develop an early sleep schedule. It will be difficult to form one, but you will thank us later. We cannot emphasize more on the fact that if they sleep on time and early, it is easy to manage your own schedule, have some fixed time to complete your chores and have a peaceful time for yourself. Sleep routine also means preparing them to fall asleep on their own, as rocking or patting will create a habit with which they won't sleep.

6. You deserve time-out - It will get overwhelming at times. You would be losing your cool and get frustrated as well. Ask your immediate helping partner, parents or friends to take care of the baby while you cool down, relax, and be up again for your baby. If the child is too cranky and you are about to steam off, drop the child in a safe place, go out of the room and drink water. You will get calm in those 10 seconds or maybe 20, but it will definitely prevent you from taking it out on your little one. Remember, you are a human, and you deserve a time-out.

7. Flexibility for Sanity - Every parent has a picture of how they will handle it all. Well, here's a curveball, it doesn't always go as planned, or let's just say seldom goes as planned! To maintain your sanity, allow flexibility in schedule. Even if it means treating yourself with a chaotic day when all the routine is going for a toss. To keep yourself sane, go with the flow on the days when nothing goes as arranged.

8. Partner for Life - When you are partners for life, it goes for parenting too. Share chores, responsibilities and roles with each other. Be open about your feelings, fears and expectations. Embracing parenthood together will make the journey merrier and more memorable.

9. Brace up for Sick Days - As the babies are still in the phase of developing immunity, they are bound to get sick even if you take the best care. Be mentally prepared to face it. Gradually, you will learn to recognize symptoms better and know when to reach the doctor. For more understanding of fever, read our blog Fever in babies. Mostly, by the age of five years, with vaccinations and acquired immunity, children fall less sick and recover faster. Vaccination is crucial and helps to fight severe diseases. (Read our blog on Vaccination in babies).

10. Breastfeeding vs Formula - Advice on this hottest topic will pour in from all. There is no doubt breast milk is the first choice. However, with innovations, the new formulas have all essential nutrients required for proper growth in babies. If breastfeeding is painful or taking a toll on your mental health, you make the decision for yourself.

We do not endorse using formula over breastfeeding (Read our blog Breastfeeding - All questions answered), but extend our support for every Mother who faces difficulty in breastfeeding. Do not undermine yourself and avoid any guilt trip if you need to give formula to your child for your own health reasons.

11. Overwhelming Milestone Race - Out of pure parental concern, you will have an impulse to compare your child's growth milestones with other children, information on the internet. The best judge for the same is your pediatrician. When you go for regular checkups, they will measure the growth and other development. If you have concerns, share them with your medical expert rather than develop constant anxiety if your child's growth is concerning you.

12. Pediatricians Know it All - Find a pediatrician with whom you connect and feel comfortable. It is super significant you have complete trust in the medical experts. They understand the parent's apprehensions and advise you to sail through it. Always asks questions as they are your best advisors. Breastfeeding, cranky, colic, sick, eating less, or eating too much, all questions have expert answers, and they will be happy to help.

Talk to other parents and know their personal hacks that worked for them. Then choose the best as per your instincts. 

If you are a new parent already, then hold on, you are doing great.

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