When you’re expecting a baby, you can also expect a boat load of advice. Everywhere you turn, you will find people eager to share their best parenting tips. In person, in books and magazines, on TV, on the Internet. Wherever you go, there is plenty of parenting advice to be found, some of it good, some of it not so much, some of it even conflicting. But, overall, the abundance of parenting advice is a good thing, allowing you to draw from the pool of collective parenting wisdom from the time you find out you are pregnant to the time you send your precious bundle off to college and beyond. Here are three of the best tips for new parents:
- Go easy on yourself. You might be surprised to find this one at the top of the list, but it’s vitally important. We all want to do the best job we can of taking care of our little ones. And well we should. But all parents make mistakes. Lots of them. When you make a parenting mistake, take a step back, learn from it, and move on. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes that you make while raising your baby. In the end, your baby will be fine even if you make a mistake here and there, and it will all come out in the wash.
- Take turns. Ideally, if Mom and Dad are both present and accounted for, come to an agreement early in baby’s life (or, preferably, before baby is born) about who will do what, how night time feedings will be handled, and how the baby chores will be divided. Ideally, both parents should strive to take on an equal share of the baby responsibilities. If one partner is missing, you may have to look a little harder to find some help, but it’s worth the effort to do so. You’re going to need a break once in a while. Besides, you’d be surprised how many aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas and friends are happy to pitch in and help with baby.
- Get plenty of rest. This goes hand in hand with the last two tips, but takes things just a tad farther. When baby rests, you should be resting, too. New parents need naps almost as much as their babies do. It isn’t going to kill anything if the dishes or the vacuuming have to wait for a few hours, and you’ll need the rest not only to take care of yourself but also to optimally care for your baby.