Whenever you doubt that you’re a good mum, focus on these eight parenting rules, says DR RICHARD C. WOOLFSON.
When you were pregnant, you attended antenatal classes to prepare yourself for your new role as a mum. You’ve spoken non-stop with experienced mothers, read “how-to” guides and spent hours watching video tutorials on Youtube. But now you’ve brought home your tiny bundle from the hospital, you are immersed in the reality of parenting. The first few weeks are such a challenging time, you can’t recall those precious baby-care tips you learnt… well, certainly not in your sleep-deprived state.
We’ve made it easy for you: just remember these eight don’ts and dos.
WORRY ABOUT SPOILING YOUR NEWBORN Give him lots of attention, stimulation, cuddles and kisses. In these early months, he needs you to help him thrive, grow and develop. You can think about establishing a balance later on.
THINK THERE IS ALWAYS A BETTER WAY Of course, every parent has a different opinion about all aspects of baby care. For instance, your neighbour picks her kid up when the first tear falls, while you leave yours to cry. But that doesn’t mean she’s right and you’re wrong.
DO IT ALL BY YOURSELF Bringing up a baby is hard work, no matter how well prepared you thought you were. That’s why you should accept help when it’s offered, instead of trying to prove that you can manage it all. Take up offers of support from friends and family when you can.
TRY TO DO TOO MUCH IN A DAY The reality is that looking after a newborn is thoroughly demanding, both physically and mentally. So give yourself reasonable and attainable targets each day, even if you think other mums do much more than you.
TRY TO ESTABLISH A ROUTINE By the end of the second month, he will respond positively to some form of order and structure to his day. For instance, having his milk feeds and nap times at roughly the same time each day.
BE READY TO ADAPT From birth to one year, your baby changes from month to month, week to week and even from day to day. That’s why you need to be flexible with your parenting style and even routine, because what worked last week might not work now.
CELEBRATE MILESTONES It’s very easy to get so caught up in the constant drama of caring for a young child that you lose sight of the amazing moments, such as his first smile at you or when he first slept for an hour longer than you expected.
HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF Your baby adores you and thinks you are the best parent in the whole world. And he is right! Who cares that, for example, you had a bad day with him yesterday? Today is going to be much better and you are both going to enjoy each other.