You're now carrying the fruit of love that you share with your spouse or partner. While having a child could be the most wonderful thing that could happen to you, this could also be the most anxious, especially if you didn't have prior experience in attending to your younger siblings or nephews or nieces.
Parenting is a lifetime vocation and commitment. The first phase, tending to your infant’s needs is just the start. What’s more challenging is how to raise your helpless baby properly to a responsible adult.
Before enumerating the more physical aspects of parenting infants and toddlers, let me first introduce to you the challenges parents are about to face once their babies are born.
Modern parenting challenges
Changes in values and technology make parenting a more challenging obligation. The way our parents reared us during our childhood has changed dramatically. Psychologists and parenting experts cite many problems rookie parents face both in physically attending to their babies and the psychological well-being of their children, among them are:
Mental stress – Children are exposed to too many physical and mental development risks. We no longer live in a society when mothers are only focused on upbringing their children. Our current socio-economic environment pressures both dads and moms to work just to get a decent living. Stress from jobs, environmental dangers, and many others burden parents.
Financial problems – New parents may have to tighten their belts once you step into the parenting ordeal. Raising a child will be a huge hole in family bourses. Expenses for food, clothing, education, and visits to doctors make raising children an expensive ordeal. This fact should oblige prospective parents to plan for their finances long before they give birth to their children.
Physical Exhaustion – Parenting is a puts a heavy toll on the body. Imagine doing nonstop work, sometimes juggle two or more chores. Cooking meals, washing clothes and dishes, cleaning the house are now done along with raising your children. Your sleeping hours will likewise be disrupted, causing you to get insufficient sleep. You and your partner should set a plan and schedule on how they share the duties.
Changes in plans and priorities – The arrival of your child means a sudden change of priorities. Just as in sleep, your baby's birth can also interrupt your plans with your couple. You should prepare for abrupt changes in your personal plans. Other experts recommend couples to find time for bonding with your partner even while raising your child.
Rookie mistakes to avoid
Now that you’re officially a parent, you now experience all the above challenges. On top of these problems is the fact that you are inexperienced in raising a child. Being such can lead you to commit the following mistakes.
1. Forgetting that you now have a baby – This is a real possibility. Some parents are too occupied with their pre-parenting days that they forget they now have a child under their care.
2. Buying too many newborn clothes and diapers – Don’t buy too many clothes and diapers as your baby will grow ultra-fast. Purchase clothes and diapers as needed.
3. Letting your baby play with your phone/tablet without putting it on guided access – The late Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs and other technology CEOs and venture capitalists limited their children’s use of iPads or iPhones because of the dangers of technology on the fertile minds of children. The tech icon knew that technology devices can upset the cognitive, psychological, and social growth of children. Instead of letting them play digital devices, give them old-fashioned toys and children books to stimulate their mind.
4. Depending on parenting books, apps, etc. as only manuals of parenting – Your child is not a specimen of a scientific experiment. He/she is an individual who has his/her distinct character and personality. Books can teach you some valuable lessons, but you can learn the behavior and habits of your baby and adjust to them accordingly. The best way to determine your child's behavior patterns is to observe.
5. Being germaphobic – Overprotection of your child from germs is not advisable by medical professionals. You must see to it that your child’s room, food, and toys are clean. But sanitizing them each time your child is about to expose to them does not help. In fact, many studies are showing that early exposure to dirt, germs, and pets can give them greater protection from infections and other diseases later in life.
6. Respect your baby's sleep pattern – Adequate sleep is necessary for the development of your child. Doctors say infants 0 to 12 months need at the very least 12 hours of sleep. One way to make sure your child gets quality sleep is to make her bedroom, including the mattress and pillows she uses, cozy.
7. Obsessing over growth charts – Again, let me emphasize that your child is an individual with unique physical traits. As long as his/her pediatrician says his weight and height is within the normal healthy range, there’s nothing to worry.
Just like any vocation, being a rookie parent is a difficult ordeal. But once you have learned the ropes and avoiding the mistakes above, parenting can be the most rewarding career you can aspire.
About the author:
Ethan Wright is a health enthusiast who believes every great day begins with a good night sleep. He is currently a researcher and writer for Bedding Stock, an online retailer of Twin, Twin XL, Queen, King, Cal King, and Full size gel memory foam mattress in the USA. When not wearing his writing hat, you will see him traveling to places with his journal.