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Top Tips for First-Time Parents

babies in a bathtub

Becoming parents for the first time and bringing your baby home can be scary and exciting all in one. Some things will help make this easier to manage and help with your nerves as you navigate this new journey. Keep reading for tips that will help you as a first-timer.

Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help

As a first-time parent, not knowing what to do or being unsure of your child's needs that first year can be overwhelming. You will find that you are missing sleep, irritable, and unsure of the next step some days. Reach out to family members, friends, and community members that you are close with to get some advice about what may be going on with your baby. Let the family come over and babysit for a few hours while you leave the house and see a different environment.

Go to the Doctor's Appointments

While it might seem like a lot for both parents to take off work and go to the doctor, it is good for your child's doctor to get to know both parents. Make sure, especially during the early visits that you go to all of them and do not miss them. If, at any point, the family is sick and unable to make a scheduled appointment, make sure you contact the doctor's office and reschedule.

Dental Care Is Important

When you first bring your baby home, you don't have to worry about tracking down a dentist right away, but after a year, it is a good idea to get them into a pediatric dentist and start good habits right away. According to the CDC, over 50% of adolescents between 12 and 19 have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth. With the right dental care early on, you can prevent cavities and secure good dental hygiene for your baby.

Embrace Preschool

Some parents are nervous about turning their children loose in preschool due to the amount of germ exposure and, for some, behavior concerns. However, having your child engaged in preschool has many benefits. These children can interact with others, which is especially important for children staying at home up to this point. They develop social skills and learn to interact with others through emotions. Preschool can have a lasting effect on children and even help build their foundation for where they go in life. According to NPR, kids who attend preschool are 8% more likely to attend college than those who don't.

Teach Your Children Responsibility

While it may be that many homes have two working parents, there are still some families with one parent staying home. In families where the parents have separated or divorced, you can almost expect both parents to be working all the time while limiting the amount of time at home with the parents while still showing responsibility to those children. According to Legal Jobs, 74% of custodial fathers work full-time.

Another way to show responsibility to your child is to make them commit to groups like recreational sports. Let them decide the sport they want to play, but they must commit once they are signed up. Even if they decide a sport isn't for them, they must understand they have a commitment and a responsibility to the team to keep at it until the season is over. At that time, they can pursue other interests and choose a sport more aligned with their goals. Letting them quit a team will teach them that quitting things in life and avoiding responsibility is okay.

Everything's Going To Be Okay

Before you tackle any of these tips as a first-time parent, make sure you take a deep breath. You are not the first couple to undergo being parents for the first time, and you will have questions as they get older. Take advantage of the help you can get, and be a good role model for responsibility and commitment. The rest will come and you will successfully raise sweet babies into good people.