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You’ve been blessed with the most perfect, most precious gift you’ve ever had – a child. This tiny person’s life is now in your hands and you’re terrified. What if you mess up? How do you know what to do for the best? The last thing you want is to end up doing something that might harm them, and the thought that you might is crippling you with nerves. Just remember these things:
- Ask your parents for advice
There’s lots of good general advice to be had from lots of different places, but certain quirks often run in the family. Tricks for feeding and sleeping that your parents had are ones that you’ll probably find work well for you too.
- Read the books but follow your instincts
You’ve looked at all the latest research and the experts are all busy contradicting each other. Some say to comfort crying babies, some say this teaches them to cry for attention as toddlers. Some say swaddling is good, some say it’ll harm the baby’s growth. The best thing to do is to read what people have to say, consider it, but in the end follow your instincts. After all, they’ve got thousands of years of experience to draw on, and the human race has done ok using them this far.
- Don’t be afraid of asking for help
Friends, parents, grandparents, hospital staff, charities; they are all there to help you. Whether it’s with babysitting so you can have a break, reassuring you that everything you’re seeing is normal, or just being a listening ear. Whatever you need know you are not alone and it’s totally ok to ask for help.
- Every child is different
Just because your sister’s baby slept through the night and yours does not is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of your parenting skills. There is no set right-way to do things and every child will grow and behave differently.
- Don’t worry
Nobody’s perfect. At some point everyone is going to make a mistake. Babies can sense emotions, and if you are scared and nervous this will make them scared and nervous too. It may not be easy but one of the top things you can do for your child is to be happy and relaxed.
Everyone will worry about whether they’re doing the right thing or not at some point. Just try not to let that fear stop you and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The best we can do is to do our best.