Babies are the most wonderful and precious gift in a parent's life. They bring joy and happiness to the family. They can also bring sleepless nights, dirty diapers and loads of stress. Being a new parent is not easy by any means, but it's definitely worth it!
Babies are innocent creatures that need to be cared for and protected from any harm. In this article I will cover what you have to expect as new parents. This is going to be a fun ride!
The first thing that you need to understand about babies is that they require a lot of care and attention. This means feeding them, changing their diapers and keeping them happy at all times! It's important that you devote time each day to your baby's needs because they can't do it themselves yet!
You don't have to be a parent to know that raising a baby is hard work. But you might be surprised by how many of the day-to-day challenges of new parenthood were left out of your pre-baby preparations.
Some of the following may seem obvious, but it's easy to forget in the midst of caring for a newborn. Knowing what's ahead can help you cope and prepare, and give you one less thing to worry about in those sleep-deprived days with a newborn.
Here are 10 things no one tells you about new parenthood:
- Feeding Your Baby
Babies need food every 2-3 hours or so which means waking up in the middle of night just feed him/her again! If you're breastfeeding – great! Otherwise, make sure there are enough bottles prepared for when you're away from home or at work during those late hours when everyone else is asleep except for you (and your baby). Babies cannot eat solid foods yet.
- Breastfeeding will take some getting used to
For many women, the first few weeks of breastfeeding can be challenging. It may take a while for you to get the hang of it and feel like you’re doing it right. In the meantime, your baby may become fussy or cry when she nurses. But don’t worry — this is normal, especially if she has trouble latching on or your nipples become sore. Remember that you’re helping her learn how to nurse too!
- Babies are more sensitive to noise than you think
If you notice your baby becoming fussy when there’s loud noise around him, don’t assume he just doesn’t like loud noises — he may be afraid of them! If this is the case, try turning down the volume on your TV or radio and see if that helps settle him down.
- The first six weeks are like a roller coaster ride.
During the postpartum period, you'll experience lots of highs and lows as you settle into your new role as parents and adapt to life with a newborn.
- You’re bound to get overwhelmed at some point.
If you've never cared for an infant before, it can be overwhelming — even if you've read everything there is to know about newborns. “The sheer volume of the baby's neediness can feel overwhelming,” says Bennett. “We are actually biologically programmed to have those feelings because we need to feel that we have our hands full so that we don't go off and have another child.”
6.You'll probably be surprised by how much poop your baby has
“Babies will typically go anywhere from five to 10 times a day,” says Dr. Tanya Altmann, pediatrician, author and spokesperson for American Academy of Pediatrics. “They usually poop after every feeding, but it can vary from every couple hours or once per day.” Baby poop comes in all shapes, sizes and colors — and it can be surprising at first. But if anything seems off about your baby's bowel movements, contact your pediatrician to see if there might be an issue.
- You will be tired In the beginning
There is no such thing as “sleeping when the baby sleeps” because you have a million other things to do.
As your baby gets older, he or she will eventually sleep more soundly through the night, but for now you need to embrace the fact that sleep will be hard to come by and make sure you're taking care of yourself in other ways (caffeine!).
- First solid food
This could be at four months old or six months old, depending on your pediatrician and your child's readiness, but it will be exciting, a milestone and also kind of gross all at the same time, because babies are messy eaters!
- You’ll become a master at applying diaper cream and changing diapers in the dark.
You will learn to change diapers like a pit crew member at the Indy 500 — quickly and in the dark. As for applying diaper cream, you will get better at this over time as well, but it helps to have an arsenal of tricks to keep from getting it all over everything including your hands. It helps to have a supply of these things on hand: Wipes Diapers (obviously) Diaper cream A changing mat that fits in your diaper bag so you can change them anywhere (park benches seem to be ideal)
- Your body changes
Take a look in the mirror: What's with all these dark circles under your eyes? When you're sleepless and stressed, it's easy to get dehydrated, which is why many people have dark circles under their eyes during their first few weeks as new
- You'll need help.
You may have big dreams about handling everything as a couple or as a solo act, but most parents quickly realize that they need some help. Get it from family and friends, or hire a postpartum doula for overnight care so you can catch up on sleep, get a shower and eat something other than cold cereal.
We hope that these 11 things to expect as new parents will help you prepare for your new addition. It’s an exciting time! But it’s also a crazy time, and we want you to be prepared so you can enjoy it as much as possible.
This guide is based on anecdotal evidence from our own non-medical sources, but hopefully it will provide some good advice nonetheless.