Becoming a parent for the first time can be the greatest experience in anyone’s life. It can also be the most frightening experience of anyone’s life. There are so many questions that you will not know the answers to and that is okay.
After all, there is no definitive handbook on parenting and there never will be simply because kids are different than the next and parenting is not a universal thing. They may share some of the same traits, but your kid is your kid and that is unique to you.
There are a few things that you can do as a first time parent to make things a little bit smoother and help you gain the footing that you need on your way to becoming the best parent for your child.
Know How to Handle a Newborn
Newborns are actually far easier to deal with than kids at most any other age because they all start out right around the same level. They all need relatively the same thing: warmth and nourishment. After that, there really isn’t much left to do for your baby other than change the diapers.
But there are definitely a few things that you want to keep in mind with a newborn. Remember to cradle their head and neck. When they are infants, they don’t have the strength yet to hold their own head up and they can really get hurt if their heads are not supported.
Never, ever shake the baby. This can cause bleeding of the brain and death because (as mentioned above) their neck is not strong enough yet and their heads are developing. If you feel like your baby may be unresponsive, poke or tickle their feet to get a response.
Bonding Is Important
Part of what builds the relationship between infant and parent is the bonding period. They don’t know anything at this stage other than keeping warm. You can build emotional and developmental growth by instituting bonding.
You will see how this works at the hospital when your child is born. The nurses will have you hold the baby to your chest, creating the bonding effect as they take the warmth and comfort that you have to offer. It is called “skin-to-skin” and is a very important part of the bonding process with your child.
The rest is relatively easy. You will be on feeding schedules for most of their first year and changing diapers is about the only other thing that needs to be done. The rest of the time, they will spend sleeping or looking around. It’s not so bad being a new parent and it can be one of the easier aspects compared to what is to come.