If you’re a new parent, you’re probably finding yourself overwhelmed by the massive responsibility that your bundle of joy is unleashing on you. My first was born two years ago, and to be frank I wouldn’t have made it through if I didn’t have a few more experienced parents passing on their wisdom and baby tips to me. In keeping with the philosophy of “pay it forward,” I’m here to share some of those invaluable baby tips with you, dear reader, to make the adventure of parenthood a little less strenuous.
Baby Tip One
is one that many new parents often forget: take time for yourself. Yes, I am well aware that you want to slather as much love and attention on your new addition as you can before they grow old and surly, but too much parent time will start to wear you down. You are most likely surrounded by friends and family who desperately want to help you out in this time, and although it’s hard, you have to let them. Downtime will let you recharge your batteries and you’ll give better care to your infant.
Baby Tip Two
is also a mental one – don’t worry if things are “normal.” Every baby develops at their own pace, and giving yourself an extra dose of anxiety obsessing over each and every step along the way isn’t going to do you or your young one any good. Unless your child has diagnosed developmental disabilities, which will be obvious as their pediatrician examines them, they will crawl, walk, talk, and all of that other good stuff just like everybody else. On the flip side, if your kid starts doing any of that stuff earlier than “normal,” keep cool about it – it doesn’t mean you have a genius on your hands – but it might!
Baby Tip Three
is about toys. Yes, your kid is probably going to want some. But here’s a little secret – most kids are happy with a small number of simple toys that let them exercise their creativity and imagination. Overpriced plastic monstrosities that are dependent on batteries will just end up cluttering your floors as your kid exhausts the play potential and moves on. Don’t get suckered in by flashy marketing and parenting magazines.
My fourth baby tip is about vaccination. There is a lot of pseudo-science out there right now trying to infer a connection between autism and the MMR vaccine. However, this connection is entirely the result of one study conducted by an English researcher who received over $800,000 from a group of lawyers trying to sue pharmaceutical companies. Dozens of other studies from all over the world have proven no causation. Vaccines are absolutely important for preserving not only the health of your baby, but also the other babies in your community. Don’t shirk your social responsibilities because of bogus “science.”
And the last on my list of baby tips is also controversial – cosleep. Sleeping with your baby fosters a sense of closeness and connection that is almost impossible to get any other way. It also lets you spend eight more hours a day with your young one, and you’ll cherish that time as they grow. Good luck, and happy parenting.