Congratulations on your newest little one! Becoming a parent is a big and exciting step, and it is also a touch overwhelming. So many changes all at once, in the best way possible, but it can be a steep learning curve as you figure out diapers, feeding, and sleep schedules.
Here are a few super important things every new parent should know:
- Every child is different: Every child is unique and will develop at their own pace. It's important to trust your instincts and not compare your child to others.
- Every parent is different: There is no “right” way to parent. There will be a lot of noise out there telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. There are four entirely different parenting styles, and everyone thinks their way is the “best” way. But at the end of the day, you get to choose what works for you and your family.
- You don’t have to have all the answers: There is no prep course on becoming a parent. You are learning while doing. Be kind to yourself when you hit something you don’t know. You can ask people you trust for advice, or search through the Earlybird resources to find answers. You aren’t alone.
- It's okay to make mistakes: Parenting is a learning process, and it's okay to make mistakes. The most important thing is to learn from them and try your best to do what's best for your child.
- Bonding is important: Bonding with your child is an important part of the parenting process. It helps to build a strong and positive relationship with your child and can have long-term benefits for their social-emotional development.
- It’s okay if bonding feels hard: Postpartum is a wild ride of emotions and physical healing. Even if you don’t feel like you are connecting with your child, every time you hold them, rock them to sleep, or talk to them you are bonding with them in the way they need. But don’t forget about yourself. If you are struggling, reach out to your doctor or another trusted professional for support.
- It's okay to ask for help: Parenting can be a challenging and overwhelming experience, and it's okay to ask for help. Don't be afraid to reach out to friends, family, or professionals for support and guidance.
- Trust your instincts: As a parent, you know your child better than anyone. Trust your instincts and do what feels right for your child.