There is nothing as great as having a family. There is just great joy on giving birth and welcoming a newborn home. We all have those times when the people we want to have kids with the people that we love, and there is nothing more joyous like when there is a family around. A home without a child is a reckless home. I am only being honest here. And this is actually why we pray to God to favor our family and give us the gift of a newborn.
Sometimes, parenting should come with a Manual. Being a new parent is tough. Pregnancy does little to prepare you for what is to come. No matter how terrible the morning sickness, or how strong the cravings, pregnancy and childbirth is nothing compared to what comes after the baby is born. After two or three days in the hospital, they send you home. And this is when you start to wish that parenting comes with a manual.
How much food should you feed the baby? What happens when they cry? Is it okay for you to cry as well when things become too much? Should you breastfeed and for how long? Should the baby sleep facing up, down or sideways? Those are just some of the questions you will wish you had answers to. It takes a village to raise a child. Prepare to get contradicting parenting advice from your mother, mother-in-law, friends, other mums and even strangers.
Parenting tips for a New Mum
The first few weeks after the baby is born are the toughest for both the parents and the baby. Other than the fact that the mother is yet to recover from childbirth, they have to deal with visitors during the day and a baby who wakes up for a feeding every two hours at night. If a mother does not rest well, she cannot be able to take care of the baby the way she should. Sleeping during the day whenever the baby sleeps is the best parenting advice a new mother will ever get. This is the only time when it is okay to be selfish. If you have friends over, excuse yourself and take a rest. It will do well to both the mother and the newborn baby.
Colic is an issue that affects most babies. This is when a newborn cries uncontrollably for hours and hours. Tummy gasses swallowed as the baby is feeding cause colic. To reduce the risk of your baby developing colic, it is important to ensure that a baby burps after every feeding. Another tip that works is to ensure that the baby feeds on one breast until it is completely empty before offering her the other one. This is because not all milk is the same. While the fore-milk is rich in sugar and water to quench the baby faster, the hind-milk contains fats that help in digestion thus preventing the gas buildup in the tummy. If the baby does get uncomfortable after taking all the necessary measures, massaging the tummy and giving the baby a warm bath will release the gas and reduce the discomfort.
When it comes to sleeping, many parents have differing theories as to the best way to place your baby when sleeping. Your mother will probably tell you that the baby should sleep on the stomach to avoid choking in case she spits up. This is not only untrue, it is also very dangerous. One of the risks that newborns have is SIDS. Short for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, SIDS is the cause of many unexplained deaths in children below one year. One of the SIDS causes is suffocation when a baby sleeps on their tummy. To reduce the risk, ensure that your baby sleeps on their back at all times.
The last tip is on feeding. Breast milk is enough for a baby for the first six months of their life. It contains all the essential nutrients and is very good when it comes to boosting your babies’ immune system. It not only costs nothing, it also comes in the right temperature and packaging and there is no chance of contamination. Studies have shown that breastfed babies have reduced likelihood of developing major health conditions later in life. Obesity is an example. Mothers who have to go back to work after three months can still give their babies the goodness of breast milk by expressing milk using a breast pump.
The list can never be comprehensive. Parenting will throw you one challenge after another. The good thing about not having a parenting handbook is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. At the end of the day, it is important to go with your instant and do what feels best for your kid. This is because as a parent, you have your child’s best interest at heart.