Being a first-time parent, you’ve probably heard that there’s no right or wrong way to raise a child. Although it’s true to a certain level, it still pays to have a cheat sheet once in a while, especially if you’re bombarded with fears, anxiety, unsolicited advice, too much information, or even a frown from your in-laws.
The truth is, all parents make mistakes. Nobody went through something and became perfect at it overnight—experimenting and learning which method effectively takes time. For instance, some experts believe that being authoritative rather than dictatorial is a more successful approach in raising a self-reliant child with good self-esteem. Rather than being afraid of you, you’d want your child to respect, listen, and trust you. You want to be attentive but not too much to avoid helicopter parenting hanging. Nobody wants that.
The fact is that no one is perfect. When it comes to raising our bundles of joys, we all want the same – to be the best versions of ourselves in molding them to become better persons no matter how many contradicting opinions there are out there.
Thus, instead of running around like a headless chicken, it pays to understand the basic mistakes you should avoid as a first-time parent.
Neglecting Dental Hygiene
Several new parents neglect to consider their infant’s teeth and dental health care until it is too late. Note that it’s never too early to start instilling good dental hygiene practices and scheduling regular visits to your children’s favorite dentist.
It’s always best to seek advice from professionals. However, it’s also a good practice to keep some in your bag in case of an emergency. For example, once your baby’s teeth have sprouted, don’t feed them milk in bed. This increases the likelihood of acquiring cavities, most commonly referred to as infant bottle rot.
Worrying over nothing
As parents, we believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that our children do not cry. That is because we equate tears with the realization that we have done something or missed a step and need to correct it.
We’re too focused on correcting our alleged mistake that we forget that babies are wired to cry. It’s their nature. This is how they communicate. They can be fully fed and pampered and still wail as if you were severing their arm. Research also suggests that crying it out won’t have any adverse effects on your health.
However, this is not to say that you cannot console nor comfort them. If your child has been crying for more than an hour and has a rash, fever, stomach pain, and is vomiting, contact your physician right away.
Neglecting your marriage
Staying connected throughout the marriage is crucial and can be easily ignored when you first have a kid. Any flaws in that relationship will be amplified with the addition of a baby. And, though you must devote a great deal of time to the newborn, you must also preserve your relationship and ensure that you keep the excitement going. So make sure you’re not zoning out when you’re not with the baby to avoid this frequent parenting blunder.
Failing to detect a baby’s fever
During the first three months of a baby’s life, any temperature more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit rectally is considered an emergency. The only exception is if a fever develops within 24 hours of a newborn receiving their first batch of vaccinations.
Some parents administer medications to their child, thinking it’s just normal. However, this is a standard parenting error with this age range. The immune response of a newborn is not equipped to fight illness on its own. So seek immediate help once you detect something’s wrong.
Making everything a big deal
Exaggerated bodily reactions to their baby’s normal behaviors are common for first-time parents. But if you constantly make a big deal out of simple slips and common drools, your infant will instantly pick up this fear and anxiety.
New parents squander their baby’s whole first year of life by fretting about trivial things, whether their poop consistency is typical or if their food is enough, too little, or too much. Understand that this anxiety interferes with your ability to be spontaneous and prevents you from enjoying your infant’s first year of life. Find the right balance on when to let it go and when to stay on your radar.
Bear in mind that there is no one correct approach to raise a child. Make an effort, have faith in yourself, and savor the company of the tiny blessing in your life.