Bringing your infant home can be one of the most stressful, exciting, and happy times in your life. However, new parents may quickly find themselves feeling uncertain about how they should start their new lives as parents. While this is a responsibility with seemingly endless challenges, there are ways to avoid some of the issues most commonly encountered by parents with infants.
Be Mindful When Letting Others Visit Your Infant
It is likely that friends and family members will be extremely excited to see your infant. While these individuals may have good intentions, a constant stream of visitors can be extremely overwhelming to your infant. Additionally, this can expose the infant to a variety of bacteria. For these reasons, you will want to keep visits short and limit their frequency. Furthermore, anyone that wants to visit the infant should thoroughly wash their hands to avoid spreading bacteria.
Manage Your Own Health
Most of your attention will be directed to your new infant. However, you will have your own health needs that will need to be addressed. New parents often fail to adequately care for themselves, which can lead to illness, excessive fatigue, and depression. While it may take an effort to balance your need for exercise, proper nutrition, and rest, it is essential for your long-term well-being.
Always Keep Check-Up Appointments for Your Infant
New parents are often somewhat surprised by the number of doctor visits that their infant will need. Unfortunately, some parents will fail to keep these appointments and only take their child to the doctor when a problem is apparent. However, these routine check-ups allow the doctor to effectively monitor your child's development. By catching abnormalities, disease, and other issues early, corrective action can prevent more serious problems.
Establish Balanced Roles with Your Partner
It is a reality that much of the care needs for a child may fall on one of the parents. This can lead to stress, difficulties with career advancement, and a strain on the relationship. Additionally, this lack of interaction can inhibit the development of the relationship between the infant and the other parent. Luckily, it may not be as difficult to balance these responsibilities. For example, parents can take turns changing diapers, feeding and cleaning the baby. In addition to sharing responsibilities that directly concern the infant, household responsibilities should also be shared. This is particularly applicable when one parent is tending to the child as it will prevent the parent from being distracted by other responsibilities while tending to the child. If both parents are working, it is a good idea to enroll your child in an infant care program. This will allow both of you to balance your work responsibilities with your responsibilities at home.