Parenting has got to be one of the easiest things to do right? I mean, how hard could it possibly be. You put a baby in the oven, wait till well done, let it out, and then wait and watch while it grows. Easy peasy. Anybody could do it.
This is probably how a lot of people have been seeing it unfortunately, and the results aren’t all that pretty.
I’d like to think of parenting as an art. It’s interesting how some parents do it right their first time, and the others… well… let’s just go with not-so-right. And so first-time parents, don’t be so hard on yourselves about getting this whole “parenting” thing down to perfection. That said, do be wise about it and learn from the mistakes that others have made and have bravely shared over public domain for the rest of us to learn from.
On that note, here’s a list of ten mistakes that most first-time parents make.
10. Believing every single thing you hear.
This has GOT to be on the top of the list for the obvious reason that it’s the most commonly made mistake by a majority of new parents. New parents do tend to be very uncertain, and rely on gathering as much info from those around them who speak with experience. But then again, this is babies we’re talking about. No two babies behave the same. A lot of parenting wisdom comes from having actually experienced the phase with your own little offspring.
And so, new parents, while most of what you hear, read, or seek out might hold true, it may or may not apply to your baby. Take everything you hear with a pinch of salt. Learn to trust your gut instinct a little more, and avoid taking every bit of advice thrown at you as Biblical word.
9. Neglecting yourself, your partner, and your relationship.
This is one of the worst things you can do. Having a new born to look after is definitely one of the hardest jobs in the world, but you’re in no way making it any easier for yourself by prioritizing just the baby. A great way to work around this is for both parents to get more involved in taking care of and raising the child. Not only will you and your partner bond better, your partner won’t feel as left out as he/she might do otherwise.
8. Comparing your baby with others.
An absolute no-no. As I said earlier- no two babies are alike while you raise them, and so comparing your baby with another is probably not the best way to go about assessing your child’s healthy and overall growth. I’ve seen a lot of parents boasting about how intellectually-abled their barely-a-year-old babies are, and this really adds a lot of pressure on other parents to push their little kids too much sometimes. Give your baby space and time to grow naturally. Babies are great at grasping and you’ll see your little one picking up on all sorts of cues in his or her own time.
7. Not trusting your parental gut enough.
Yup. Parental gut is a thing; and a lot of new parents are guilty of ignoring theirs, because God-forbid, something went wrong with their baby. But you know what? Your instinct as a parent is a lot stronger, and deserves a lot more credit than you give it. At the end of it all, always remember- Only you know your baby well enough. Not even a doctor’s opinion can top that. Of course, if you’re really not sure, getting help isn’t a terrible idea.
6. Spending way more money than necessary.
Babies grow up real quick, and outgrow those cute adorable teeny-tiny clothes even quicker. So while it might be tempting to grab nearly every single adorable outfit at that babyGAP store, hold back and remember- Your little baby will not be needing that INR 2000 outer-space onesie in less than three months down the line.
5. Not getting enough help, even when offered.
New parents are often exhausted, sleep very little, and make their job as parents seem the least bit attractive. So when offered help from say, a family member, a neighbour, or a close friend, graciously accept it. Being a parent has never been easy, and any little bit of help you can get in the process is always welcome.
4. Panicking over anything and everything.
Being unsure about what’s going on is natural as a new parent. But then again, panicking over the littlest unusual occurrence isn’t considered wise. This takes me back to the point I was making on parental instinct. Learn to listen to your gut carefully. Babies DO cry, and it need not always mean they’re hungry, sleepy, or uncomfortable. They also cry for attention. Learn to listen to your baby’s signals, and trust what your baby is trying to tell you. I know this seems impossible, but I’m sure time and a little practice is all it takes.
3. Ignoring oral hygiene.
Practicing good oral hygiene on babies is a great way to ensure they continue the practice as they get more independent. Oral hygiene doesn’t limit itself to just teeth. Taking care of your baby’s gums is quite important, and this practice should obviously continue as your baby starts teething.
2. Getting enough rest.
The SOP here is- Nap while your baby naps. New mommies, you’re probably exhausted a lot through the day, and caring for your new born can be very draining. It’s also true that a good night’s rest is a rarer occurrence than a blue moon once you have a baby; and so ensure you’re making good use of those few opportunities you get during the day to take a nap. You’ll find that these naps will keep you energized enough, and will help you recover sooner.
1. Staying cooped up way too much.
Of course being a parent is a full-time job but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to leave home at all. Staying cooped up indoors too long will really get to you, and you’ll find yourself snapping too much. If you’re not feeling too up to it, don’t worry about dressing up too much. Simply put those trainers on and go for a nice walk in the park or even just around the neighbourhood. You can even take your baby with you, properly clothed and covered of course.
You know… parenting may be just as tiring as they all say it is, but it’s also a very beautiful phase in your life, and you’ve got to ensure you don’t miss out on the opportunity of enjoying it. So no matter what, don’t let these precious moments slip by you. Stay happy, stay healthy and positive, and enjoy your new baby. He/she will grow out of the stage sooner than you can realize!