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5 Things That New Parents Should Know

Aug 17, 2007
Being a new parent can be pretty scary sometimes. You have this brand new little life that is completely dependent upon you. It helps to read books and articles, but until you can experience it first hand, there is no way to even imagine the awesome experience of parenthood.

Babies are tougher than they look. There is an old saying the "babies bounce" and it is a reference to the toughness and resilience of babies. Babies get dropped, they fall (A LOT) and they have accidents. This is not saying that if your baby is in an accident or you drop him or her that you should not get it checked out, but just know that they are a lot tougher than they look. They were built that way.

Crying is a natural form of communication. No, as much as it may appear so, your baby is not trying to make you crazy. However, crying is the only that he or she knows how to say, "Hey! I'm hungry!" or "Hey! I'm wet!" You will soon learn to tell the difference between the differences in your baby's cries. Sometimes, though, they just need to "let it out" and may cry for no apparent reason. It is nerve wracking, I won't lie to you, but it does eventually end.

Growth spurts are normal. Babies will go through periodic growth spurts and they will feed just about around the clock. You notice this most if you are breastfeeding and if so, that first growth spurt will make even the staunchest breast feeder reconsider her choice. The good news is that a growth spurt usually lasts about 24 hours, but that 24 hours can feel like a week. During a growth spurt, the baby will want to feed about every 15 minutes. Yes, it is normal and yes, it does end.

You will make mistakes. Yes, you will make mistakes and things will happen. You may drop your baby (see number 1) or you may feed him or her something that causes colic. You have many years to make lots of mistakes. Get used to it now and don't be too hard on yourself. Many people jokingly call the first child the "practice baby." It is funny, but in a sense it is true. After the first, the second is easier and you make fewer mistakes. The third is even better. But each child is different and you will make different mistakes on each one. Learn from them, recover and, most of all, learn to laugh.

Your baby loves your voice. Your baby's favorite sound is the sound of your voice. Your baby also loves to look at your face. When nursing, even if bottle feeding, hold your baby close and look at him or her. During play, keep your face within their eyesight range. Talk to your baby, sing, read the stock reports. It doesn't matter what you say, just that you say it. Soon, your baby will be cooing back at you, kicking those little feet, looking intensely into your eyes. This means that your baby is "talking" back to you. Enjoy this special time.
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