When a new parent brings home their little bundle of joy for the first time, it can be terrifying. The fear of taking care of a new baby is unfamiliar and no one can be prepared enough for what is to come. We can have the nursery ready, wash newborn clothes and blankets and have the car seat installed; however, when it comes down to reality, our lives are going to change. We don’t want to make it sound so dramatic, but there will be ups and downs and every minute will be worthwhile, especially since some of us have worked so long to achieve this milestone.
The best advice we can give is for new parents to ask for support. The nurses at the hospital help care for the baby while you are there, but what happens once you go home? Having support can look different on any given day. Many will reach out to family, friends, doulas, night nurses, nannies, or other professionals and this is important and responsible, so you can rest and learn what’s best for your new family. Some days you may need help with sterilizing bottles. The next day you may need help to find an optimal breastfeeding position. Other days you may need help with baby’s first, second or third bath. And every day you will need assistance with changing diapers and laundry. There is no shame for new parents to ask for help during the early stages until they get the hang of things.
You may wonder if you have what it takes to be the best parent to this baby. It takes time and patience to become the best parent to your child. Just like it takes time to learn how to perfectly swaddle the baby or how to calm the baby down. If your baby is fussy or has an upset stomach, you may need someone you trust to help you figure out what will soothe the baby. You may have tons of questions about how long to breastfeed, about sleep schedules or the color of their poop. There is no silly question when it comes to caring for your newborn, so find a trusted person to help you through the toughest, yet most important time in your life.
Be kind to yourself during this special journey as you adjust to this new phase of life. To all the new parents out there, you are everything to your new baby, so enjoy parenthood.