From the moment that people learn you are pregnant, you will be bombarded with advice. Even those you have never met before will try to talk to you about how you should prepare. On top of this, every pregnancy book and website is going to have plenty to say as well.
The truth is that a lot of this advice isn’t going to help you. Most people who try to give you advice have long since forgotten what it is like to be a parent. And all those books and sites can often go overboard with telling you what you should and shouldn’t do.
This is why you need a reality check. If you want to find out what you actually need to do before your baby comes, then you have come to the right place!
Make a List of the “Must Know” Details
No one expects you to be the perfect mother. And, even if you end up reading every parenting book on the market, you may still find yourself flailing. This is because each baby is different and is going to act in an entirely unique way.
That being said, there are some bits of information that you simply must know. This mostly involves being aware of how to care for your newborn for the first few months of his or her life. So, you need to know the ins and outs of feeding (breast and bottle), bathing and grooming, and sleeping.
It is also a good idea to brush up on symptoms of common illnesses or diseases. At the same time, figure out what some warning signs may be and what you should do in such an instance. Last, but not least, you have to stay on top of all the safety information involving your little one.
Know Where to Get Your Advice From
As a first-time, soon-to-be parent, you may be feeling pretty clueless. Due to this, there is going to be an overwhelming need to learn from other people. However, as mentioned above, this is a pretty tricky landscape to navigate.
A lot of people have the best of intentions but don’t always realize that stuffing their advice down your throat isn’t helping. Not to mention, there is a good chance that some of those methods may be outdated. As for parenting books, these can leave you feeling overwhelmed and incapable of functioning as a mother.
So, where should you get your advice from? Well, whenever possible speak to actual professionals. If you want to learn about breastfeeding or health, for instance, talk to a pediatric nurse. They will give you some of the best tips.
As far as the actual parenting methods go, talk to parents who have only recently had a child. So, if a friend or family member has had a kid in the last couple of years, they should be a good source of information. This is because they still remember what the process was truly like.
Learn What You Need and Don’t Need
Heading into a baby store or visiting a website can set you on a dangerous path. Just by looking at those adorable products, you are going to want to buy everything. On top of this, you will have every magazine or blog under the sun trying to tell you that you need the latest gadgets for your baby.
Truthfully, your baby is going to only need the basics for those first few months of their lives. First, take care of their bedding – find a great crib and the best crib mattresses to go along with it. Whatever you choose should be in line with the latest safety standards.
Then, there is the changing pad or table. After this make sure you have enough baby clothes and diapers for those first few weeks. Don’t go overboard, as babies will outgrow these items incredibly quickly. So, try and borrow clothes if possible so that you don’t waste too much money.
Beyond this, you will need bathing supplies, feeding supplies, and that’s about it. Sure, baby monitors and toys can help. Nonetheless, you can still do without them. You should first start with the basics and then build up your supplies based on what your baby will actually need.
Hash Out Parenting Techniques with Your Partner
The two of you may have been on board about having a baby. However, many people are surprised to learn that they actually differ in real-life parenting strategies. This, of course, is because each individual is raised quite differently. So, you both end up with varying ideas on how to bring up a child.
Still, it is important to present a united front from the very beginning. This is why you need to discuss just how you and your partner will raise your child. So, what are some of the points you should talk about before the baby comes along?
Well, some of these will be practical-based and involve actual parental duties or child-rearing. Then there are topics that are a little trickier to cover. This can include whether your child will follow one religion or another or even if they need to be religious.
You will also need to hash out discipline techniques. For instance, what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior? Furthermore, what kind of punishments will you hand down when your child misbehaves?
It is only once you begin to broach these subjects that you will realize just how different you and your partner are. So, it is important to stay calm and think things through rationally. It is just as vital that you reach a compromise so that both parties are satisfied. This is something you will need to get used to as a parent, especially as your child gets older.
This is what you should be doing to prepare for a baby. So, don’t waste your time listening to what everyone else tells you to do. You simply have to focus on the most important tasks and your job as a parent will be a great deal easier.
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