Becoming a parent for the first time is exciting and daunting. I remember leaving the hospital with my first child Harrison and feeling like I had no training at motherhood at all. What if I did something wrong, how would I make sure he stays alive? I mean I kill every plant I have ever owned. How can the nurse give me such a large responsibility and say there you go?
I didn’t sleep for the first four days my child was born. I was so afraid of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), I was scared to close my eyes because I couldn’t watch him breathe.
I remember calling an ambulance when Harrison cried for ten minutes.
I thought he must have has a serious issue. How would I know if he is having a heart attack or a stroke? He can’t communicate except for crying. Looking back I laugh at this experience my second child cries all the time.
In a short period of 9 months when the baby is conceived, a thousand things come in mind on what you need to do and learn. There are the worries of early miscarriage and whether the fetus is growing strong and healthy.
One of the best gifts you can receive is becoming a parent. For me it was the best gift of my life.
My son came moments before Mother day, it was the best Mother day gift I could have ever received.
So how do you prepare to become a parent for the first time? With the sleepless nights of nursing a newborn there are a few things you should prepare:
The Child-Friendly Home
Being a parent for the first time begins in the home. You need to prepare and baby proof the home. A few things to consider are:
#1. Stock up on baby essentials
With a lack of sleep, the last thing you are going to want to do is run to the store. Make sure you have a good supply of formula, diapers, wipes, a&d creme, swaddles will save your life and pacifiers will too.
#2. Get efficient
Bibs, clothes, burp cloths, and swaddles are the essential clothing items you will need fast. Arrange them in an efficient way so that you can access them fast. I personally like the Marie Kondo method. It allows you to see all your clothing items at once so you don’t need to ruffle around in your draws. Here is a video on her method.
#3 Food storage
You have to feed, change diapers and nurse if you choose to breastfeed. Healthy snacks should be placed in a cupboard or fridge in order to have healthy food with low maintenance. Running to the market on a daily basis won’t happen while you get through the newborn stage.
I cooked a week’s worth of meals and put them in the freezer before the baby was due. This allowed me to eat well and all I had to do was zap it up in the microwave. In hindsight, I wish I had done this for at least two weeks of food.
I filled my pantry with healthy quick eats such as protein bars, cliff bars & almonds. Think healthy nonperishable items.
#4. Take some couple time
Before the baby arrives, take some time out for you and your spouse. Try go on date nights and spend quality time together on weekends. Give your partner as much time as you can, when the baby comes you will only have time for baby.
#5 Take some me-time
I hate to say it, but it’s probably the last time you are going to me time without having to get a baby sitter or your husband taking the little one out of the house. You will more than likely be exhausted at the newborn’s needs. Take long baths, read books, meditate enjoy the serenity of the quiet world around you. That will change before you know it. A newborn generally needs to be fed every two hours so ensure you’re stocked up on that feel good me time.
#6 Get social
Becoming a parent for the first time makes it harder to have a social life in the early days. Get out and see friends before your due date. You will find you may be insular for the next three months. Well, I was anyway.
New research says mothers suffer from loneliness with a newborn child. Take some time to try and arrange a social visitor once a week to come to your home.
Being a mother is a life long privilege that we have. One I am personally blessed with.
I love this video of becoming a parent for the second time it is so true!
Becoming a parent for the second time compares to the first:
I hope this article helped you slightly prepare for parenthood. It is not something we can fully prepare for but hang in there it will be the best experience in your life.