As a going-to-be parent you knew what will happen. Your whole life has changed and here are those changes.
Whole time goes to baby
Your baby's schedule is now your schedule. Newborns sleep up to 18 hours a day. That is broken up into small chunks and in between there is feeding, changing and a lot of holding and cooing going on. After the first weeks, babies take longer naps at predictable times. That is where you might become a pro at managing your time.
Parenthood begins and suddenly you have a lot of friends. Strangers smile at you. Mothers at church ask if you want to join them for a play date. Your boss wants to know how baby's doctor visit went. It is a great time to find some lifetime friends, so be sure to not miss the chance.
Changes of relationship
There is one more person to interact with and that means less time for the two of you. The relationship dynamic is different and you can get so busy you will forget even to talk. If one of you provides most of the baby care, the other can feel a little forgotten. Just set aside some time. Make a date and share what is happening in both of your lives.
It is true that your newborn rarely means a good night's sleep. That should not last for very long, but until he dozes through the night, you can take turns with your partner in getting up. During the day, do not try to catch up on chores while the baby sleeps. Just enjoy the time and lie down to rest.
It is a fact that family and friends will want to see the new baby. You need to make sure guests are not sick and ask everyone to wash their hands before holding the little one. If you feel overwhelmed or tired it is totally okay to ask them to make the meeting another time. They will truly understand.
Help is a must
Baby is a huge joy, but he also takes an enormous amount of attention. Do not try to do it all alone. Both you and your partner should have time each day just for yourself while the other is taking care of the baby. Watch a favorite TV show, read a book, go for a walk or just take a bath. If you are a single parent, ask a friend or relative to step in. You need the time to recharge.
When you talk with your little one, two simple things happen. The baby learns and you bond with him. The more you talk, the more those two things happen. Imitate your baby's sounds and then wait for him to make another sound. This should help him to learn the give and take of conversation.
If you did not know children's books before, you will certainly fall in love with them now. Many are written with both parent and child in mind. They entertain while they educate. Babies love to be read to and it is never too early to start with yours. Reading out loud will help your baby recognize words when he is older, so be sure to not skip this part of babyhood.
Mistakes are okay
Maybe in a perfect world there are perfect parents, but in the real world, the general rule is to do what works. If your child is too old for a pacifier but it helps him to sleep, you will want to go along with it. Let yourself off the hook, it will not hurt.
Judge of the house
As your child grows, so does your role as mediator. There will be boundaries to establish, disputes between siblings to settle, timeouts to monitor. Discipline is not the easiest thing to administer, but it is part of your job as a parent.
It will be a couple of years before you start potty training. But when you do, either you or your spouse can expect an audience when you go and it is one of the best ways to teach them. Kids learn from your actions as well as your words.
Child is an investment
The average family spends more than $225,000 in the first 18 years of a child's life. That is just to provide food, shelter and other necessities. It does not include things like increases in health insurance or college. So here is a little advice, start your financial planning now so you are well prepared for the future.
Do not be afraid to let go
Every milestone is an accomplishment and you can be proud you helped your child to get there. At the same time, each one means your child is more independent and needs you a little less. It is the bittersweet of being a parent.