Becoming a parent is the best thing. But it’s also the most terrifying thing. Nothing will make you love more, or worry more. It’s amazing and it’s infuriating. It comes with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There are days when you feel more weighed down than a weighted blanket. But that’s what makes it so beautiful. And being so many of us have been through the experience, we all have a lot of advice for new parents.
Having kids changes you. And it can take a while to feel comfortable with the new you. It changes your relationship. There will be days when you see your partner holding the baby, and your heart could burst because you love them so much. Then there are days when just the sound of them breathing makes you want to scream! Those days get fewer once the baby starts sleeping at night!
It’s amazing that we can spend hours pacing the room trying to get these tiny creatures to sleep, yet as soon as they are down you miss them an insane amount and your arms feel empty without them.
There will be a moment in the not to distant future that brings you to your knees. It could be a spilt bottle of milk that took you forever to express. It could be an explosive poo (no one warned me about those). But in that moment the only thing you will want is someone else to come and be an adult for you. You get through it, and eventually you will look back on the moment that you literally cried over spilt milk and laugh.
There will be a song. Just one song. But that song will be your saviour. It will be played loudly at any time of day or night to soothe a colicy baby, or a teething baby. You will love and hate that song in equal measure. And one day years from now you will hear that song and will hold such a special place in your heart.
Because if there is one universal truth in parenting, it’s that it flies by. One minute they are babies. The next you are looking at secondary schools.
The advice for new parents can be overwhelming, But for what it’s worth, here is mine…
Advice for new parents
1, Trust your own instincts. No one knows your baby better than you.
2, This too shall pass. When you are having a hard time, remember it’s a phase. They eventually get all their teeth!
3, Don’t beat yourself up. There’s no such thing as perfect parents. Even the ones that show up in your social media feed. We are all winging it. Your kid will love you unconditionally and think that you are the best.
4, Take lots of photos. You can never have too many. And partners, take photos of Mum with the baby. Even if she’s tired and hasn’t washed her hair. Just take the photo. Because years from now she will treasure it.
5, Write in the baby book. You will be tired and you won’t feel like it, but just do it. Because you think you will remember everything. The first smile, the first word, when they took their first steps. But you won’t. You’ll be too busy remembering the names of 30 class mates and which Paw patrol pup is their favourite. Just write in the baby book.
6, Don’t look at the exit wound for a good 6 months!
7, Nothing happens overnight. Especially sleep! But seriously, breastfeeding, getting into a routine, cutting teeth. It all takes time.
8, If you think they need a doctor. See a doctor. You will never be wasting anyone’s time.
9, Never leave the house without a change bag. No good ever comes from it. I learnt the hard way. And when I say hard way, I mean driving home in your bra after a projectile incident.
10, If you ever want a hot cup of tea again, you are going to need a thermal mug. Best thing I ever bought.
What was the best bit of advice you were given?
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