Common Mistakes New Parents Make

Common Mistakes New Parents Make

If you are about to become a parent for the first time, it is essential that you equip yourself with all the parenting wisdom you require. Begin with reading about common mistakes new parents make from the following article.
Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories. ~ John Wilmot

Well, more often than not, that's how things turn out! All your ingenious plans and brilliant strategies regarding raising a child hit the dust as soon as you actually have a child. Theories have little, if any, resemblance to practical situations and childcare is no exception! Parenthood, no doubt, is a wonderful phase of life but it is not devoid of trials and tribulations. New parents are faced with a lot of unprecedented situations which make them prone to commit various blunders which may range anywhere between silly and harmless to downright foolish and dangerous. A lot of common mistakes that new parents make stem out of various incorrect notions and traditional approaches of childcare which are archaic and unscientific in nature. Let us get into the details of some of the most common mistakes parents make with newborns and infants in the subsequent paragraphs.

Common Childcare Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Here are few of the most common areas where new parents are most likely to commit errors of judgment while trying to care for a newborn or an infant. If you are a new parent, you'll know what I mean as you scroll through the following points. Also mentioned, under each point, are ways that help in avoiding common mistakes that new parents are prone to make so that you do not end up in the 'new-parent trap'.

Advice, advice everywhere;
Which to follow, which to spare?
Pieces of advice - you are going to be bombarded by a lot of those from all conceivable (and inconceivable!!) directions. Now, there are two things you need to know about such a situation - (1) don't get confused by the quantity and variety of advice and (2) listen to everyone but follow the 'right' ones. Let's talk about the first point. When people who are close to you come to know about the introduction (or possibility thereof) of a new member to your family, it is natural for them to feel excited about it and extend their wisdom to you in this regard. This is especially true about elder relatives and friends, particularly those who have had kids before you. Now, not everyone raises a child the same way. Therefore, there is every likelihood that you are going to get many different suggestions on the same area of childcare, say, feeding an infant or bathing a newborn. While you should listen to whatever your folks have to say about these things, do not attempt to implement all of them in your childcare regimen. Also, do not feel overwhelmed or bewildered by it. Now, let's come to the second point. While you may feel obliged to listen to everyone's advice, do not feel pressured into following any or all of them without consulting your obstetrician or a qualified pediatrician. Remember, while your friends and family mean well and only want to help, these medical experts spent a good part of their educational lives learning all about the science of pregnancy, pre and postnatal childcare and infant healthcare. They earned academic degrees in this area and make a living out of giving professional medical advice and offering their expert medical services. Therefore, it is in your and your child's best interests to consult these medical experts before following any childcare advice.

Panic, panic, loads of panic,
Even ripples assume proportions oceanic!
Panicking when faced with an unprecedented challenge is nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, when that challenge happens to be a tiny, living, breathing, gurgling bundle of joy, there is all the more reason to feel nervous about taking care of it. This nervousness is nothing but an external manifestation of the concern that you feel for a life for whom you are primarily responsible. If you are a new parent, your lack of experience in childcare gets added to your concern and sense of responsibility and the sum of it is experienced by you in the form of panic over something as harmless as, say, spitting-up. Knowledge is the best alleviator of panic. Reading up reliable information on childcare and seeking advice from friends and relatives who have raised children of their own are some good ways to lay your doubts and concerns over such mundane childcare issues at rest. Ring up your pediatrician in case of any perceived abnormality (such as difficulty in giving feeds, evident physical discomfort in the infant, etc.) or any doubts and apprehensions regarding your child's health and nutrition needs.

All through the day keep it loud and bright
So that baby gets tired and sleeps all night!
Attempting to coordinate the baby's sleep-wake cycle with their own is one of the most common mistakes new parents commit. They deliberately and forcibly try to keep their baby awake for a good part of the day, hoping for it to sleep longer and better at night. While the prospect of sleepless nights may lead to parents making such 'win-win' solutions, they are neither practical nor good for the baby. Not all infants have the same sleep pattern. It is always best to let the baby sleep when IT feels like rather than when YOU feel it should. Instead of regulating the baby's sleeping schedule to suit your convenience, you should adjust your resting moments around the baby's natural sleep-cycle. You would have to get used to catching a few winks of sleep now and then, here and there, without having an opportunity for continuous slumber. Remember, as parents, you are responsible for making adjustments to accommodate your baby's welfare. There is no other way to it!

When the baby cries, is it time for a feed?
Apart from hunger, an infant may have some other need.
It is wrong to assume that whenever a baby cries, it is hungry. While many a time this may be so in case of an otherwise healthy baby, there may be other reasons as well. An infant has very few means of communication with its caregivers and crying is primary among them. If a baby wishes to convey any kind of physical discomfort such as cold, moisture, pain, etc., it cries out to let its caregivers know of its distress. A few days into childcare will tell you how many feeds your baby requires throughout the day and at what intervals. This knowledge will equip you to make out any reason, other than hunger, that could be causing your baby to cry out. For instance, if your baby starts crying very shortly after you fed it, then hunger is least likely to be the reason. Also, when your baby is in some sort of pain or physical discomfort, it will not take feed at all. If the crying persists even after you've tried feeding, covering or changing the sheets, you should immediately take your child to a pediatrician.

They change your life, they change your ways;
Infant(s) in the house? Say 'bye' to careless days!
I fail to understand why, but one major thing most new or would-be parents fail to realize is that along with their lives, their living space also needs certain adjustments with the arrival of a child. Getting baby-seats installed in your car and childproofing your household should be done within the first couple of months of your baby's arrival. You see, normally, infants grow up at a tremendous pace and, being busy with childcare activities, you would hardly realize when your tiny tot became a toddler and started exploring areas of your house outside the nursery. You would neither want to restrict your child to just one room, nor would you want him/her to get hurt by coming in contact with anything rough, sharp, pointed, hinged or heavy. Therefore, before your child reaches the toddler stage, you should childproof your living space thoroughly to avoid any unpleasant experience that could ruin your tiny tot's exploratory endeavors.

Shower thy child with love and care
But neglecting thyself won't be fair!
Most new parents are so overwhelmed by the trials of childcare that they forget to take care of their own physical, nutritional and emotional needs. While it seems easier said than done, it is necessary for new parents to take time out to relax, de-stress and pamper themselves. Get an older and responsible relative or friend to take care of the baby for a few hours so that you can get a few hours of undisturbed sleep or get a much-needed salon or spa appointment. You and your partner can take turns looking after the baby if no one else is available to momentarily relieve you of childcare. Eating nutritious food is mandatory for both parents as the pressures of childcare demand sound health and strong constitution of the caregivers. Unless you are healthy yourself, you cannot expect to survive those sleepless nights and irregular schedule that form an inseparable package of childcare. Also, a healthy constitution keeps your mind alert and your disposition buoyant. Lack of adequate nutrition and sufficient rest is often major reasons behind postpartum stress.

A bit of this, a piece of that
Keeps the going smooth and flat!
A few more pieces of advice for new parents - accept assistance from the experienced, solicit medical advice whenever in doubt and do not neglect your partner. Elderly family members or relatives who have had experience in raising kids are often more than glad to share their wisdom and offer childcare suggestions. New parents should take advantage of their expert advice and accept their offers of assisting with the childcare process. This only makes the going easier for the new parents. When in any kind of doubt or dilemma, remember, your doctor is just a ring away! Be it a query about your baby's health or diet or be it advice regarding baby products, trust your doctor to suggest the best option available that would suit your baby's needs. While taking care of her baby is the most important concern for a new mother, it is also important to make sure that her partner does not feel neglected. Include him in the regular childcare activities if possible. This way, you can still get time to bond, besides experiencing the joys of rearing your child together!

So, that, practically, sums up what common mistakes new and would-be parents make and how these can be avoided. When a child arrives, your life is supposed to revolve around it and not the other way round. You cannot expect to raise a healthy and happy child with an independent personality and a strong character if you strive to regulate every moment of its life to suit your convenience. On the other hand, when you give up your personal comforts in order to protect the health and welfare of your children during their tender, formative (both physically and emotionally) years, you can rest assured that when the time comes, you will look upon them with pride over their personal achievements. They, too, will look upon you with pride and affection for molding their characters the way you did... for making them the persons they are.
Advertisement