Parenting

Best first time parent advice

I have a ridiculous amount of friends who are pregnant and due soon. They keep asking me for my best words of wisdom with parenting advice. All I've come up with is "when you think you have it figured out they will change it up on you. So be flexible and do what works at the time and trust your instincts"

Along with, go out for one last really nice dinner before the baby arrives since those will be few and far between for months to come. Haha. I wish I'd not been so "I'm miserable" the last 2 weeks of pregnancy and gone out for the melting pot dinner my husband suggested and enjoyed all three hours of uninterrupted, delishishness.

What's your best advice for first time parents? Anything you wish you'd been warned about or told?
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Re: Best first time parent advice

  • You don't need half the crap you think you need.

    Save your receipts.

    Your MIL doesn't know what she's talking about.  


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    Jacob, 1/14/13
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  • image MelissaRae1525:
    You don't need half the crap you think you need.Save your receipts.Your MIL doesn't know what she's talking about. nbsp;


    I love this, haha.
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  • My advice is more for people who have suffered a loss, but don't put too much pressure on yourself to " cherish every moment." That is simply impossible.  My frist child passed away when she was 4 mos old and spent her entire life at the hospital, but I had a hard time with my second because...well because having a newborn is hard.  No matter what I had been through before, I wish I would have just given myself permission to be like any other mom and admit that it is hard and frustrating and no I don't have to "enjoy every minute."
  • image morgann2010:
    image MelissaRae1525:

    You don't need half the crap you think you need.

    Save your receipts.

    Your MIL doesn't know what she's talking about.  

    And you need more of the crap you think you don't need.

    This is also true.  


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    Jacob, 1/14/13
  • I always say don't feel like you are alone. You are not the only mom who doubts herself and who misses their prebaby life and lots of those other thoughts you have shortly after having a baby.
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  • image stw_77:
    My advice is more for people who have suffered a loss, but don't put too much pressure on yourself to " cherish every moment." That is simply impossible.nbsp; My frist child passed away when she was 4 mos old and spent her entire life at the hospital, but I had a hard time with my second because...well because having a newborn is hard.nbsp; No matter what I had been through before, I wish I would have just given myself permission to be like any other mom and admit that it is hard and frustrating and no I don't have to "enjoy every minute."


    This is great advice. I'm so sorry for your loss. I think it's great advice to recognize that moments of frustration are totally normal and that doesn't make you a bad mom. Being a mom is hard and those moments will happen.
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  • Ask for help. Don't wait around for people to just offer it.
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  • Very true.  Sometimes I felt like since I had a loss, I had even more pressure to be in this constant state of mothering ecstacy.  Some of that pressure was put on by others and some of it came from me. 

  • image SunnyDays26:
    image stw_77:
    My advice is more for people who have suffered a loss, but don't put too much pressure on yourself to " cherish every moment." That is simply impossible.nbsp; My frist child passed away when she was 4 mos old and spent her entire life at the hospital, but I had a hard time with my second because...well because having a newborn is hard.nbsp; No matter what I had been through before, I wish I would have just given myself permission to be like any other mom and admit that it is hard and frustrating and no I don't have to "enjoy every minute."
    This is great advice. I'm so sorry for your loss. I think it's great advice to recognize that moments of frustration are totally normal and that doesn't make you a bad mom. Being a mom is hard and those moments will happen.

     

    ITA. So sorry about your first born, stw. You make a great point.  


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    Jacob, 1/14/13
  • image shanado:
    Ask for help. Don't wait around for people to just offer it.

    And LET people help you. It's not going to kill your baby if someone else changes their diaper, or watches them so you can run to the store for an hour. It doesn't make you a bad mom to have help. It's very hard to do alone.

    There was a post on my BMB about letting family change diapers when our kids were like two months old. I couldn't believe how many people had family around that wanted to help but people wouldn't let them.  


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    Jacob, 1/14/13
  • As a FTM, I feel like I'm still learning!

    1. For goodness sake - ask for help if/when you need it. No need to be a supermom.

    2. Only you know what's right for you and your baby. Trust your gut. 

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  • image MelissaRae1525:

    image shanado:
    Ask for help. Don't wait around for people to just offer it.

    And LET people help you. It's not going to kill your baby if someone else changes their diaper, or watches them so you can run to the store for an hour. It doesn't make you a bad mom to have help. It's very hard to do alone.

    There was a post on my BMB about letting family change diapers when our kids were like two months old. I couldn't believe how many people had family around that wanted to help but people wouldn't let them.  

    That blows my mind. I'd love to pass diaper duty to someone else every now and then!

    Don't over think it. Follow your gut, not parenting books. 

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  • image shanado:
    Ask for help. Don't wait around for people to just offer it.

    You beat me! Great minds and all...Smile
    I wish I would've learned this much, much earlier than I did.  

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  • ALWAYS pee before you get the baby.  You just never know how long you'll be there for. 
     
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  • image sofamonkey:
    ALWAYS pee before you get the baby.  You just never know how long you'll be there for. 

    Oh, I forgot about this. Brilliant advice! 

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    The first few weeks are about healing and survival. Don't worry about sleep schedules or laundry or dishes. Focus on getting better and taking care of the baby. There is no reason to feel like you have to be Super Mom.
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  • Take time for yourself. Your sanity is very important.
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  • Oh and don't get too caught up in milestones and stages.  Kids will grow and learn new things on their own time.  Don't get too worried if a friends child is crawling, walking, talking, using a sippy or whatever before yours is. 
  • Choose your bottles. I spent way too much time arguing with my mom that DS HAD to be swaddled a specific way, or HAD to use a certain brand of something- I could have just chilled out and realized that there isn't necessarily one single way to do things, and it may do some good for me to branch out once in awhile and learn from others.

    Along that same note- I worried way too much about all the "bad habits" we were trying to get over. The first 3 months I obsessed about getting him to nap on a certain schedule when I should have just let it come naturally.

  • Don't feel bad about treating yourself every once in a while.

    Don't feel bad about sending the baby to the nursery for the night, you need rest, and so does the baby.

    Never, ever, ever second guess your mommy/ daddy instincts.

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  • never wake a sleeping baby. 

    sleep when the baby sleeps. i learned that one the hard way with DD. i was all "i have stuff to do and it's daytime and i cant sleep". after a few days of up all night scream fests, i slept when she slept!

    the only thing i've really learned about babies is that no matter how hard you try you will never figure them out! 


  • Day/night no longer exist. Sleep whenever the baby sleeps. Your longest stretch may be while the son is up.
  • image nancy30005:

    image sofamonkey:
    ALWAYS pee before you get the baby.&nbsp; You just never know how long you'll be there for.&nbsp;

    Oh, I forgot about this. Brilliant advice!&nbsp;



    YES! It only took me a few weeks to realize the truth to this advice. Many uncomfortable moments in the rocker when I had to pee and the baby was "just about" asleep.
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  • Oh, and sleep gowns are a must! Nothing like thousands of buttons at 2 in the morning in a dark room to drive you insane.
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  • Having a newborn can actually be very lonely. Don't be afraid to call your friends to say hi because they probably aren't calling you because they don't want to wake you or the baby.
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  • Advocate for your child. Doctors really do not know it all. Don't be afraid to grow some balls and question their judgement if you feel it isn't right.

    Go on a date night once a month. I doubt we would have made it through the first few months without that alone time.

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  • There isn't just one parenting style.  What worked for your mom may be outdated.  Do what works for you.
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  • image MirandaHobbes:

    Choose your bottles. I spent way too much time arguing with my mom that DS HAD to be swaddled a specific way, or HAD to use a certain brand of something- I could have just chilled out and realized that there isn't necessarily one single way to do things, and it may do some good for me to branch out once in awhile and learn from others.

    Along that same note- I worried way too much about all the "bad habits" we were trying to get over. The first 3 months I obsessed about getting him to nap on a certain schedule when I should have just let it come naturally.

    Choose your bottles, LOL!

    imageimage
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  • After you have kids everyone has an opinion on your parenting choices. Don't worry about what others think. Do what is right for your family. When people question it just say
    "We have chosen to... Bf/ff, CIO/ not CIO etc..because it is what is right for our family."
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