Babies can be little bundles of joy as new members of your family. However, they can also be a significant challenge. These little humans are fully dependent on their parents to survive, and there is very little that they can do alone other than poop, sleep, eat, and cry. This stage of life takes a lot of work and can be exhausting for parents.
Caring for a baby requires a lot of knowledge. You need to learn about their habits, what they are capable of eating, how their brains/bodies will develop, and how to keep them safe. Usually, the only breaks come when they are napping, but even then there are so many household chores that stack up.
Parents need all the help they can get, especially if they want to get through this stage of their child’s life. Here are a few tips to embrace the baby stage and take care of your little one.
Advocacy During and After Birth
Your baby has no control over how they enter the world, and the delivery process is vastly complicated. Even in the best of circumstances, you never know what mistakes a doctor or nurse might make that lead to a birth injury, either to the mother or the child. Standing up for yourself during and after the birth is important for the child’s welfare and your own. If a mistake by a healthcare professional does cause an issue, contacting a birth injury lawyer could help your family overcome medical bills for ongoing treatment from the injury during a difficult time. Though we never want to consider that this might happen to us, it is common enough that you should understand the legal steps to hold hospitals responsible for putting our babies at risk.
Plan a Flexible Routine
Routines can be life savers when the chaos of bringing a child into the world begins. Though some parenting styles embrace methods that go against set schedules, it can still be helpful to establish somewhat of a routine for your baby. As they learn the routines, they will become more comfortable with them and start responding positively. This can make it easier to feed them and put them down for naps. However, do not overschedule your baby’s day. Be willing to flex to suit their needs and do not force a routine on them to the exact minute. Routines will naturally shift over time anyways as they grow.
There are many methods for feeding a baby, and one of the most popular strategies is known as baby-led weaning. For this method, parents will start offering solid foods to the child around 6 months rather than relying on purees and baby food. Instead, you can slowly offer the same foods you are eating with mild alterations. Keep in mind, this strategy can be messy. Food may end up everywhere, so you should probably invest in some bibs, a lot of wipes, and a high chair with a large eating surface. Babies fed with this strategy tend to become less picky eaters and it cuts down on the amount of work parents must do for food prep.
Baby-Proofing the Home
At first, your child is going to be very immobile. The only things they will be capable of doing are laying on their back and laying on their stomach. Eventually, though, they will start to move. Rolling, crawling, pulling themselves up, and walking will be here before you know it, and it is important to prepare and baby-proof your home for when that happens. You can buy little kits that come with several baby-proofing tools for securing cabinets or covering sharp corners. Baby gates may be needed to block stairs or rooms that you don’t want them in. These steps can help keep your baby safe when it is impossible to have your eyes on them every second.
Humans need social connections to thrive, and this is just as true for your baby as it is for you. Letting them interact with other people is crucial for their development at an early age. This could mean visits from grandparents, trips to parks/playgrounds even if they cannot play yet, spending time with other babies, and getting out into public. Just being around other people can help them learn about the world.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up Over Mistakes
It is easy to feel like you are failing as a parent. Maybe they are not reaching milestones or you were too far away when they were sitting and they fell back and hit their head. While your goal is to keep them safe and happy, mistakes are going to happen. It is impossible to be present for every second and to be the perfect parent. There is no such thing. As long as you are doing your best to nurture the child and encourage development, don’t beat yourself up when you make mistakes.