Are you a New Parent?
Having a baby is one of the most rewarding experiences. It can also be a little scary. You’re suddenly responsible for a little bundle of joy when you haven’t cared for a baby full-time before.
It’s normal to feel a little unsure of yourself, and it’s normal to wonder if you’re doing a good job. The good news is, confidence often comes with experience, which means you’ll get the hang of this parenting thing as your child gets older. Fortunately, there are also some things you can do to feel more confident when while your baby is still in diapers.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
It can be scary to ask questions because you may worry that it means you don’t know what you’re doing, but how are you supposed to get better as a new parent if you don’t ask!
The trick is to ask people you trust. For example, you may want to direct your questions to your pediatrician. They are experts at caring for a new baby, and they are up-to-date on all the latest research and techniques. In addition, they are an unjudgmental source of information. You don’t have to worry about what they’ll think when you ask your pediatrician for advice.
Ignore Unsolicited Advice
Asking friends and family for advice can be helpful too. The trouble is, many family members often offer up advice even though you didn’t ask for it. The advice they give may be well-intentioned, but it may not be what you want to do with your child. There are many ways to raise a child, and just because your mother-in-law did it one way doesn’t mean you have to do it that way too.
Don’t feel like you have to take unsolicited advice. After all, you didn’t ask for it! There are many ways to deal with unwanted advice. You should feel empowered to use the method that’s best for you, even if it means nodding your head without saying anything at all.
Leave the Room With Your Baby
Calming a fussy baby is no easy feat. It can get especially difficult if your baby decides to start crying during a Sunday night dinner with your parents.
It can be difficult to excuse yourself from the room because you don’t want to make anyone else feel bad. You also don’t want to take the baby out of the room if that’s the reason for the visit! However, the needs of your baby come first, and that often means taking them away from the commotion for a bit.
Once you have a little quiet and privacy, you can try a few strategies to calm your little one down. Not only will your baby be more likely to calm down, but you can also avoid the discomfort that comes with well-meaning friends and family who want to try and help, but end up making things worse.
Take a Break When You Need It
Many parents feel like a failure if they can’t remain calm and collected every moment their baby is awake. The fact is, you can still be a good parent even if you lose your cool. The trick is to know when you need a break and take one.
Babies can sense when mom is stressed out, so trying to comfort your upset baby when you’re upset too isn’t likely to do the trick. It’s actually much better if you leave the room for a few minutes to compose yourself, even if your baby is crying. Once you’ve had a moment to center yourself, you can go back in and try again.
Do Things Without Your Baby
It’s important to remember who you were before you had a baby. That means doing things you used to like to do before they arrived, and looking for new fun things to do after they are born. If you feel more confident in who you are, you will naturally feel more confident as a parent.
A few things you can do alone after your baby is born includes:
- Continue a hobby you did before the baby was born.
- Learn a new hobby you’ve always wanted to learn.
- Listen to music or read before bed.
- Join an interest group.
- Play an intramural sport or sign up for a workout class.
No one feels 100 percent confident, 100 percent of the time as a new parent, but with these tips, you can feel a little bit more confident in your new role every day.