First of all, congratulations on your new bundle of joy (or soon coming one). Being a parent will be the hardest and best thing you’ve ever done. And everyone — and we mean everyone — thinks their advice is the only advice that matters. To give you a break from all the “you have to try(s)” out there, we’ve tried to present some must-have tips for first time parents below that still give you room to form your own opinion.
It’s your baby after all! Read below to see what we suggest.
1. Learn to Swaddle
The book, The Happiest Baby on the Block introduced the term “the fourth trimester”. Don’t freak out! This is not another one of those things they don’t tell you about pregnancy. The fourth trimester refers to the first couple months after you baby is born.
The idea is to make the transition from womb to world easier by recreating the womb as much as possible in your environment. That includes swaddling, movement, darkness, and some sort of white noise.
There are different versions of swaddling techniques, blankets you can buy to help, and even a bassinet made by the above mentioned book author. Practicing before the baby arrives will help your muscle memory kick in when you’re freaked out holding your brand new human.
2. Read up on “Cry It Out” vs. Not
For a long time, there was a debate on if you should let babies “cry it out” so they learn to self soothe vs. calming your baby immediately. Recent research has come out against the cry it out method, but it’s up to you to do your own reading and decide what camp you’re in.
3. Buy a Range of Bottle Brands/Types
You know how people are fiercely loyal to their favorite football team? Moms are just as loyal to their brand of bottles. Companies know this and you can buy starter packs that have different brands shapes and material bottles in them, to try with your baby if your supplementing breastfeeding or using formula.
4. Take a Stance on Gendered Toys
If you follow any Instagram influencers with children, you know that gender-neutral names like the ones from cadehildreth.com are the new trend. And so our gender neutral toys. If you are trying to give your child initially a gender neutral environment to grow up in, then you need to let your friends and family know your intentions because they will inevitably by gendered toys and clothes if you don’t.
5. Read Up on Digital Consent
Another hot button issue in parenting is the idea of digital consent. This is the idea that children have the right to decide which photos of them should be posted on social media. Parents who do not post pictures of their children on social media wait until they are old enough to give permission before essentially showing their child’s face to the world.
This doesn’t apply for things like Christmas pictures that happen once a year, more like your daily or weekly Instagram post.
We’re not here to pass judgment and you can do your own reading and decide how you’d like to move forward when it comes to their image on social media outlets.
The Most Important Tip for First Time Parents
No list of tips, can prepare you to be a parent. Everyone’s experience is different and even differs with subsequent children. The only tip for first-time parents that spans every single person’s experience, is to ask for help when you need it.
We created the site to help you wether you’re first time parents or third time pros, so click around and see what you can find!