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Eight Tips For First-Time Parents

first time parents

Stephanie Lynne Photography and Films

Eight Tips For First-Time Parents

You’re expecting! How exciting! Becoming a first-time parent can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience. You may be filled with a mixture of emotions and feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. I remember when I first saw those 2 pink lines I was in shock, excited, terrified, all of the above. I wasn’t sure what to do or what to expect. The idea of me being “Mom” was overwhelming. I knew I would love this baby unconditionally, but I knew there would be lots of ups and downs. As a newborn photographer, I meet with new parents all the time. Some of them seem like they are already experienced pros and others were more relatable to my experience, absolutely clueless. haha. I listed out some simple tips that can help make the transition to parenthood a little smoother. Here are eight tips for first-time parents:

Trust Your Instincts as a Mom or Dad

Maybe you have already noticed, but as a new parent, you may be bombarded with conflicting advice from family members, friends, and even strangers. While it’s good to seek advice, it’s important to remember that you know your baby best! I can’t stress that enough. What worked for someone else may not work for you, and that is OK! Only you know what is best for you and your baby. I co-slept with 2 out of 4 of my kids. I had so many people tell me that I am “ruining” my baby. Or, worse, they would say, aren’t you afraid you might kill your baby? It’s hard not to let these opinions and “advise” get to your head. All that to say, trust your instincts and do what feels right for you and your baby. Mom-shaming is real, and although some people mean well, others seem to just be downright judgmental toward your decisions. Here I am listing out tips for first-time parents, but I promise you are doing your best. You do You!

Parenting is Hard – Get Some Sleep

This one is almost comical. Everyone says “sleep when the baby sleeps.” That’s impossible. Sometimes when the baby was sleeping I would just stare for hours. And check to make sure they are still breathing (believe me, it’s a thing). But seriously, obviously one of the biggest challenges for new parents is getting enough sleep. While it’s important to attend to your baby’s needs, it’s also important to take care of yourself. Lack of sleep can affect your mood and make it harder to cope with the demands of parenthood. I remember after having our first I cried for several days, not because I was sad. But, I was crying out of pure exhaustion. I tried to prepare myself for the lack of sleep, but I couldn’t comprehend how little sleep that really meant. It’s ironic when I was a teenager or in my early 20s I would stay up most of the night and function on little sleep, but when you have a new baby it seems just impossible.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed as a new parent. However, if you’re experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety, it’s important to seek help. Talk to your healthcare provider about how you’re feeling, and consider joining a support group for new parents. Remember, taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your baby’s health. I’ll be the first to admit that after having my fourth child my mental health took a sharp turn for the worse, and it took so long to admit I needed help. I am so glad I eventually got the help needed.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help in Parenting

This is one I struggled with big time. I was afraid to ask for help. Everyone would say, “if you need anything, let me know.” But, I never would. What I needed was someone to say, I will be there at this time, on this day, to help. All that to say, no one expects you to do everything on your own as a new parent. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. Whether it’s cooking a meal, watching the baby for a few hours so you can take a nap, or simply offering words of encouragement, support from others can make a big difference.

Expect The Unexpected

If you watch the show Big Brother, you will get this saying. But, it’s totally relatable to parenting. Babies can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. Keep a well-stocked diaper bag with essentials such as diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes. It’s also a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand for minor injuries. Remember, accidents can happen at any time, so it’s better to be prepared than caught off guard. I remember with my first, he was only maybe 2 months, I was dying to get out of the house, so I took a trip with him to Target (I think, I honestly can’t remember, I was tired) and he was screaming the whole time and then spit up all over me and my clothes. Of course, I had the diaper bag packed full of stuff for him and a change of clothes for him, but I did not expect to need a change of clothes for me. Lesson learned I guess.

Take Time For Yourself

While it’s important to focus on your baby’s needs, it’s also important to take time for yourself. Whether it’s going for a walk, taking a long bath, or simply reading a book, make time for activities that you enjoy. Taking care of yourself will help you recharge and be a better parent to your baby.

Stay Organized

As a new parent, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks that need to be done. Staying organized can help reduce stress and make it easier to manage daily tasks. Keep a calendar to track important appointments, make to-do lists, and consider using a baby tracking app to monitor feeding and sleeping schedules. But, with all of that said, don’t overwhelm yourself with the feeding and sleeping schedules. Go back to trusting your instincts.

Cherish The Moment

Out of all the tips for first-time parents, I think this is the most important, but also the hardest. As clich√© as it may sound, time really does fly by when you have a baby. Take the time to cherish the special moments and milestones, and don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t go according to plan. Remember, every baby is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. Enjoy the journey, and don’t forget to celebrate the small victories along the way. I remember celebrating our first kids’ first birthday. I felt like I was not only celebrating him turning one, but celebrating us for surviving the first year of parenthood.

Becoming a First Time Parent Can Be Exciting and Overwhelming

In conclusion, becoming a first-time parent can be both exciting and overwhelming. I hope you enjoyed reading some of these tips for first-time parents. By trusting your instincts, taking care of your mental health, and staying organized, you can make the transition to parenthood a little smoother. Remember to take time for yourself, ask for help when needed, and cherish the special moments with your baby. Finally, don’t forget to be kind to yourself and give yourself grace. Parenthood is a learning process, and it’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them.

Remember, you are not alone on this journey. It truly takes a village. Parenthood is a beautiful and rewarding experience, as a Colorado Springs newborn photographer I have loved meeting so many parents and have loved capturing their early days of parenthood.

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Hi, I’m Stephanie

I’m your Colorado Springs Photographer. We probably have a lot in common. Besides being a photographer, I am an Air Force wife and mother to 4 children and 2 dogs. I am not a morning person and have a bad habit of staying up way too late. I start each morning with a cup of coffee and I think the outcome of my day solely depends on if I am able to finish that cup before it gets cold.

Stephanie Lynne

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