Being a parent is one of the most amazing things in this world, but there are many mistakes that first-time parents make that can be avoided. The good thing is that most of these aren’t dangerous, but they can have a huge impact on your mental health, as well as your babies. We’ve put together ten of the most common mistakes that are made by first-time parents to help you avoid them.
Comparing Your Baby
It can be so easy to compare your little one to other babies, but you really should try to avoid this. All babies grow and learn at their own pace, so there’s nothing wrong if your baby is behind or ahead of the others. You don’t have anything to worry about as long as they are meeting all of their milestones and their doctor doesn’t see anything wrong. If you do have concerns, though, make an appointment with your child’s doctor to discuss any issues.
Oftentimes, new parents get behind on things like housework or grocery shopping. This is completely normal, but some parents feel like they have to get everything done. Not only can this lead to exhaustion, but it can also cause you to feel overwhelmed. All of those things can wait and it’s important you’re getting as much rest as possible. One of the biggest pieces of advice is to sleep when the baby sleeps. Even though it might only be for short periods of time throughout the day, you’ll feel more refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Not Asking for Help
Many new parents feel like they need to do everything on their own and feel bad for asking for help, but this shouldn’t be the case. In addition to creating a good support system, you want to try and have people ready to help when you come home with the baby. This can be a huge help, even if you’re only taking a quick shower or catching a nap. If you have family and friends that want to help, let them!
With so many gadgets and items for babies on the market, it can be easy to accidentally overspend. To help cut down spending, there are a few things you can do. For starters, don’t go crazy buying clothes because babies grow out of them so fast. In addition, try and avoid buying anything that you won’t get regular use out of. Remember, an item might seem like it can help save time and offer more convenience, but it’s important to think about how much use it will actually get. If you’ll only use it a handful of times, you can skip it and get more essential items.
Stockpiling Too Many Diapers
While it’s great to have a good stash of diapers, you don’t want to stock up on too many. This is especially true when you consider how fast babies grow and you never know if a certain type of diaper will cause issues for your baby. A good rule of thumb is to buy a few packs of the same size from different brands. Once you have a better idea of how big your baby is and how they do with various brands, you’ll be able to stock up on them.
Not Bringing Extra Clothes
When going out, you never know what could happen. You might have an unexpected blow-out or a bout of spitting up, so it’s important to pack extra clothes. You should try and pack at least three complete outfits for your baby, as well as one or two for yourself. It’s better to be overprepared and not need the clothes than it is to be stuck with a mess with no clothes to change into. Remember, you’ll want to put more outfits in if you have to use one of the ones you have already packed.
With so many unknown things in the world, many people stay inside and don’t really want to take their new baby out. While this can help keep them protected, it can also cause them to have recurrent colds. By taking your baby outside, you can help clear their lungs and give them some natural vitamin D. If you’re still nervous about taking your baby out, go for a short walk in your backyard or sit for a while on your porch. Make sure to dress your baby for the current weather.
Not Allowing Enough Time
Once you become a parent, everything you thought you knew about being on time can be thrown out of the window. Many new parents don’t realize how much time it takes to get a baby ready and they don’t give themselves enough time. If possible, you should try to give yourself triple the amount of time you used to take to get ready. This should give you plenty of time to get both yourself and your baby ready, as well as adding time for any possible hiccups.
Panicking Over Anything
Since the world of parenting can be nerve-wracking, it can be easy to worry or obsess over everything. Doing this can have a negative impact on you and your baby, and you’ll look back and see that there wasn’t a reason to panic. With that said, though, some babies do develop medical issues that need to be treated. There are many things, like diaper rash, that can be watched at home and successfully treated. If you notice you’ve been treating something with your baby for several days without change, you should make an appointment with the doctor.
Listening to Everyone
It seems like everyone has tips or suggestions for first-time parents, but this can make them more nervous or scared than they need to be. It’s important to take most of these suggestions with a grain of salt and don’t feel like you have to listen to everyone. In the end, it’s your child and you know what’s best!
Parenting can be so rewarding, but also stressful and draining. Everyone has their own parenting styles and all that matters is that your children are happy and healthy. If you do make one of these mistakes, it’s not the end of the world and you can just keep moving forward. Lean on your spouse and family during this time and create the best support system possible.