Becoming a new parent and bringing your newborn child home is can be a daunting start to your new journey together. Along with all the joy and love you’re feeling, it’s entirely normal to feel underprepared and overwhelmed. If you’re struggling to adjust to becoming a mum or dad, we’ve rounded up a few handy tips on how to be a more confident parent.
- Listen to your mum’s intuition (or dad’s intuition!)
Motherly intuition isn’t a myth, nor is fatherly intuition for that matter—sometimes parents just know what they need to know. Learn to trust your instincts when it comes to your new child. You know your baby best, so if you feel that something is wrong—perhaps he’s napping more than he usually does, or pickier when he feeds—don’t ignore your gut feelings. If you feel that you need some extra help, book an appointment with your local healthcare professional for counsel. The more you act on your intuition, the more your confidence and expertise will grow.
- Build a support network
Everyone needs a solid and dependable support system. From helpful family members and reliable friends to that all-important mummy group, they can give advice, offer to babysit and even provide a much-needed laugh! Beyond that, make sure that you have a selection of experts on hand too that you can contact quickly. A large list of qualified professionals will be able to answer any unique questions you have, easing any worries and satisfying your curiosity.
- Ignore the myths of parenthood
It’s best to have realistic expectations of parenthood and what it’s like and what it means to become a new mum or dad. There’s no such thing as a perfect parent, so try and let go of that ideal. Accept that things might not go as planned, that everything might take a little longer (even just getting out the house is going to take more time and preparation that it did before), and that priorities will change. You can only do your best, and that can be enough so long as you stay good.
- Make time for self-care and self-improvement
Self-care is so important for both your mental and physical health. You’re a parent now, a mum or dad, but that’s only part of your identity. Keep up the hobbies that you enjoyed before your baby came along. Or you can take up new ones, perhaps drawing, playing an instrument or participating in a fitness class. Be kind to yourself and weave your inner monologue into something more positive and encouraging. You’re not failing; you’re learning. If you have any questions or concerns about mental and physical self-care, reach out to or find a healthcare professional you can trust.
- Be a role model for your child
Just as you want to be a confident and competent parent, don’t forget that it’s your responsibility to guide your baby into becoming a happy, confident child. Be a positive role model, someone that you yourself would want to look up to. Enjoy fun and active playtimes together—no digital screen time needed. And don’t forget that your child is more likely to eat new and healthy foods if they see you eating them; if you liked them, maybe they will. Encouraging these healthy habits early enriches and fortifies this first stage of your child’s future development. Give your baby a strong and happy headstart.
Me and My Child – https://www.meandmychild.co.nz/
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