Parenthood is an entirely new phase in life. Nothing can prepare us for parenthood better than hands-on experience as we go through it, as experience is the best teacher. Unfortunately, there’s no manual or cookie-cutter formula for how to be the best new parents. Every parent you encounter has an opinion to share. But when it comes down to it, it’s a mix of experience, intuition, and a handful of passed-on knowledge from our parents and others. As new parents, the first year is the most challenging. There can be a lot of crying and many sleepless nights. We may feel clueless about what your child wants or why he or she is crying. The best we can do is to try our best and learn from those who have conquered this huge minefield – a place filled with unexpected twists and turns that involves a lot of patience and guesswork – known as parenthood.
If you’re a new parent or preparing to become one, read on. We’ve laid out 5 of the most common mistakes new parents tend to make, so you can avoid making these mistakes yourself.
Panicking about every little thing
It’s best not to panic over every little thing your child does or not do. They may be little, but babies will pick up on your anxiety and reactions. It may seem easier said than done, but new parents shouldn’t dwell on little things too much. Excessive worrying can get in the way of you enjoying the precious time you spend with your child in their first year. It’s OK to loosen up a little. Your child is more resilient than you think.
Constantly trying to stop the baby from crying
As new parents, keep in mind that crying is your child’s main form of communication. Your job is to make sure that your baby’s needs are being met.. Babies cry sometimes because this is how they communicate. When everything’s alright and you’ve taken care of their needs , it’s OK to relax and give them a hug. You can still console them of course. But sometimes it’s okay to let your child cry it out. You know your child best. If something seems unusually wrong, it’s always best to check with your pediatrician.
Waking your child to breastfeed in the middle of the night
You may think that because of its thinner consistency, breast milk may not fill your child for as long as regular milk, and that therefore your baby can’t sleep through the night. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Even if your child only drinks breast milk, you and your child should still be able to get a good night’s sleep without needing to wake the baby for feedings.
Thinking “It’s just a fever”
On the other hand, a common mistake new parents make is the tendency to make light of some situations. In cases of fever, giving an infant fever medicine is not likely to work the way it does in adults. An infant’s immune system is not strong enough to deal with infection on its own, especially during the first few months of life. If your child feels warm, keep calm and don’t panic. Here’s what you can do instead. First, check your child’s temperature. This is done rectally. Keep in mind that any fever above 100.4°F during a child’s first 3 months is critical and must not be taken lightly. If this happens, consult your child’s pediatrician immediately so as to avoid any risk of it getting worse. The only time a fever this high is acceptable is only within 24 hours after your baby’s first set of immunizations.
Ignoring dental hygiene
Oral care. We often heard our parents remind us to brush our teeth when we were young. This taught us the importance of developing good oral and dental habits. But oral care shouldn’t only begin as soon as kids are capable of brushing their teeth on their own. Proper dental hygiene should start as soon as your child’s first tooth erupts. Remember cavities? Those nasty little things don’t only come out because of candies and other sweets. In infants, the milk bottle is often the main culprit for cavities. Letting your child fall asleep with a milk bottle in his or her mouth is a no-no. This increases the risk of forming cavities. Also, remember to wipe down your baby’s gums and teeth regularly. Using a toothbrush is ideal as soon as your child turns one . And remember to have your child drink water after feeding. Fluoride is often found in toothpastes but fluoridated water is a natural source of fluoride which is good for preventing tooth decay. As an alternative, supplements can also be taken if fluoridated water isn’t available in your community.
Taking your marriage for granted
Maintaining your relationship with your partner can take a lot of effort once a baby is born. Having your first child can either bring new life to your marriage or it may be a cause for some marital issues since you’re unable to focus as much attention on each other. Parenthood can be a drain on both your time and resources, but it’s important not to take your marriage for granted. If caring for your little one has you feeling overwhelmed, it can be comforting to know that you have a partner to lean on. Remember to take care of your marriage as you juggle your parenting responsibilities. Schedule some time together. Take turns allowing the other to take some alone time. Keep in mind that you don’t become different people when you go through parenthood. You are still the same person that your partner has agreed to marry and be with for the rest of your lives. So be that person for your significant other, and don’t get lost in taking care of your kids.
Ready to take the next step for your child? Akers Academy is an excellent partner to support you in raising well-rounded children by helping them learn, thrive and grow. Check out more of our parent resources for more information https://akersacademy.com/blog/.