10 Things Every New Parent Should Know

10 Things Every New Parent Should Know

Nothing prepares you for being a parent. Not your friends, family, or your baby books. When your child arrives everything changes, and nothing will be the same again. Often, a lot of the preparations you made go out of the window and you have to wing it. But that’s okay. And it’s also normal. Here’s our list of what we think every parent should know.

  1. You can’t learn everything from a book. During pregnancy, it’s natural to read everything you can get your hands on. But nothing will fully prepare you, and there will be lots of unexpected events. By all means, find out more about practical things like scratch sleeves, burping cloths, and trimming nails, etc.  But you don’t need to know everything straight away. You learn as you go.
  1. You’re going to make mistakes. And when you do, you’ll feel like a terrible parent. Mistakes are natural and inevitable. Things are going to be different to what you expected. This is not always a bad thing. Just accept it and move on.
  1. Many of your parenting ideals and beliefs will go out of the window. Sometimes you’ll do the things you vowed never to do. Other parents do these things too. They just decline to mention it. Keep to the main parenting principles and you’ll be fine.
  1. Develop a parent filter. When your child is born, you will receive lots of well-meaning advice. Be polite and filter out the bits that are useful. Discard everything else.
  1. Parents forget. When their children are a few years old and have moved onto the next phase, they forget what it was like to look after a baby. Therefore, any kindly-intended advice can be taken with a pinch of salt.
  1. Things don’t have to be perfect. Try not to set yourself impossible targets. The house is a mess. So what? You’re still in your pyjamas, and it’s 10:30. So what? Focus on the essential tasks first and then anything else is a bonus. Make sure you and your family are happy and healthy and the rest will follow.
  1. It’s okay to ask for help. Parenting a baby is hard. I doubt anyone would disagree with this. Therefore, it’s fine to ask for help if you need it. And don’t be too proud to accept help when it’s offered. You’ll find that people will be dying to get involved. If a good friend or family member offers to make your tea or babysit, let them.
  1. You can’t have enough muslin cloths. You will use them for everything, from wiping up vomit to dealing with spills. Make sure you have a good supply. The same is true of tissues. Keep a box in every room.
  1. You’re going to feel tired all the time for the next couple of years. Sleep whenever you get the chance.
  1. And finally, no-one can prepare you for that rush of love you feel when your child is born. There is nothing like it. All you need to do is to love them. This is what children need above anything else. The rest will follow.

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