You’re getting ready to welcome a new baby into your life and you’re so excited. Whether you’re adopting, fostering, or having a biological child, there’s so much to do and think about! It’s overwhelming, and many new parents start to panic.
Taking care of a baby is a lot of work, and if you’re not experienced with babysitting or other types of childcare, you’re in for a huge reality check.
That said, having a healthy and happy baby isn’t that hard. Remember, people have been raising children for as long as humanity has existed. Don’t overthink it.
We’re here for a few helpful tips for new parents. Keep reading to learn all about keeping your baby happy and healthy during their first year.
Winging It or Parenting Books?
Are you the type to over-buy parenting books, attend every available parenting class, and follow all of the parent bloggers that you can find? There are pros and cons to this.
On the bright side, you’ll be getting a wide range of perspectives on parenting. You’ll see the things that people have done right and wrong and you’ll prepare yourself ahead of time for your child.
On the other hand, there’s no such thing as a perfect parent, but the people writing these books or making these blogs don’t want you to know that. You can end up stressing yourself out with all of that bonus information.
It’s always helpful to ask for advice and there are some great parenting books out there, but try not to take them as gospel.
Forget About “Perfection”
Speaking of perfect parents, abandon the idea of perfection right now.
You don’t need the best baby products, the most expensive clothing, or the perfect infant education plan to raise a happy baby. What babies need most during their first year is love and attention.
You won’t raise a happy baby by focusing too much on yourself and your own perfection.
Talk to Your Baby
During the first year, your baby won’t be talking back to you. This is okay! That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t talk to them.
There are a few schools of thought on “how” you should talk to your baby. There’s no right or wrong answer, but it’s best to use a mix of different speech styles.
There’s nothing wrong with baby talk. This means that you’re using an elevated tone of voice, a higher pitch, and simplified language. This is exciting and engaging for infants who aren’t yet recognizing words (but that can sense emotional changes through your voice).
You should also use normal speech around your child. This can help your child with language acquisition earlier on.
Provide an Enriching Environment
When your baby is a newborn, enrichment doesn’t matter that much. As they progress through their first year though, it gets more and more important. Make sure that you provide an environment that’s exciting and enriching for your baby.
You don’t need the most expensive and high-tech toys, but you should have a variety of toys for your child to play with. Get sensory objects, like mats that crinkle and a variety of plush animal textures, for your baby to explore.
Your baby will learn faster and be more engaged with their environment when you make it interesting!
Bonding Is Key
Always make time to bond with your baby. This benefits both you and the baby, and it’s easy to do.
Many new parents bond during breastfeeding sessions, but this isn’t possible for everyone. This doesn’t mean that you can’t bond while feeding your baby, however.
Sometimes, as your baby grows, they’ll want to hold bottles on their own (and it’s important to let them do so to develop their motor skills). While your baby is still small, however, stay close to them and make eye contact while they eat.
Both parents should take some time for skin-to-skin contact with the baby. Hold the baby, play with the baby, and even read to the baby.
Keep Your Baby Comfy
A comfortable baby is a happy baby. If you want a peaceful home, make sure that you’re picking comfortable clothing and blankets for your child.
If you plan on swaddling, learn how to do it safely. Swaddles are great for newborn babies because they remind them of the womb. That said, you need to make sure that you aren’t hurting your baby in their swaddle.
Pick comfortable and breathable clothes for your baby. Whether you’re getting essentials or higher-end clothes from shops like Hanna Andersson, you want to make sure that the material is acceptable for your baby and the clothing is easy to move around in. Remember, the best baby clothes are the ones that you can afford and the ones that keep your baby comfy.
Babies will let you know when they’re not comfortable. Don’t ignore their cues.
Socialize Your Baby
If possible, try to socialize your baby while they’re still young. This can be with family members or even playdates with other babies.
While babies might not seem social, they love interacting with others. They’ll learn faster when they get to “communicate” with the world around them. They may learn to speak more quickly and they’ll be better at interpreting body language.
Socializing your baby early may also help you prevent the “stranger danger” stage of infancy where your baby is too scared to leave your arms.
You Can Raise a Healthy and Happy Baby
Raising a happy baby isn’t difficult. You don’t need all of the fancy bells and whistles that parent bloggers tell you about. You just need to love your baby and keep them comfortable while they grow up.
You’re going to be a great parent. Good luck!
For more helpful articles all about raising a family (and more), visit the rest of our site.
What's Your Reaction?
Hi, I am Betty Knight, Owner of this site! I am a 'nearing 30-year-old', happily married to 1 awesome man. We live in the beautiful tourist town of Franklin NY.