Holding your baby for the first time changes your life in more ways than you can imagine. You are surrounded by a surge of emotions among which a strong sense of anxiety takes the center stage, especially for first-time parents.
One glance of that tiny tot that you cuddle conveniently in your arms, a being so tender and fragile that you are afraid to hold too tight, a smile, a babble so innocent it just moves your heart. That’s when you know for sure that you want everything to be just perfect. You know you have to get it right.
There is no taking away that parenting is the most rewarding experience of a lifetime. First-time parenting, however, is also the most trying. Especially when considering the present times of uncertainty and fear, parenting in the pandemic has wreaked havoc in the minds and hearts of first-time parents.
Your Covid Baby-Care Bible
How do I protect my baby? Can friends and family come over? What about his shots? What if he falls ill? What foods can I give him? Will I remain sane at the end of this?
Well, these are just a few of the thousand concerns racing through every new parent’s mind at this time. Don’t worry, we have you covered. We bring you the ten commandments to keeping yourselves, your home, and your baby comforted newborn baby clothes and cared for in these times.
- Plan pediatric visits intelligently: Infants need to see the pediatrician more often to ensure they grow well and meet their milestones. However, you want to minimize these visits or plan them better. Most doctors are available and willing to conduct meetings virtually. This allows them to see your baby and check size and growth and protects your little one from exposure in the bargain. It is also a great way to stay connected, see your doctor, and address all your concerns.
- Understand vaccinations: Your baby will need a series of inoculations in the first year. Unfortunately, you will need to take your infant to a clinic for them. While some of them cannot be delayed, you can certainly plan the others more carefully. Ask, for instance, which of them can be pushed a little or which you can club together to avoid making multiple trips. Your pediatrician should help set up a schedule and plan timelines around vaccinating your child.
- Stay safe when outdoors: There is no better way to be safe than to be indoors. However, everyone needs a patch of sunshine and a whiff of fresh air. Ensure you pick a time where there are fewer people outside and look for relatively isolated spots. It is best to avoid taking your baby out but ensure the stroller and all you are carrying are sanitized before and after your trip when you make one. Your baby can avoid trips to the market, grocery store, or pharmacy at this stage. Remember that these are places where there is maximum contact with people and surfaces. wash the newborn baby clothes after coming from outside.
- Plan your life and needs better: Now is the time when you need to make planning a priority. Stock items like diapers, creams, wipes, and formula. Plan your purchases so that you don’t have to make emergency trips to the supermarket – not just for baby products but your own too. It could be really difficult to make time to go to the supermarket with your baby’s routine, and more so if there is no one to watch your baby at home. The online market has made it convenient to purchase almost anything and have it delivered to your doorstep. Make the most of it!
- Get others involved: No one ever said you had to make this journey alone. Get your partner to pitch in with planning, preparing, and stocking the house. They can also be invaluable in helping with the baby. This is also the time to get help from extended family and your friends. Many hands always make light work, and you can lessen your load if you get a more hands-on deck.
- Make yourself a priority: Many parents write off their first few years and believe it must be sacrificed for the baby. While childcare will end up consuming a lot of your time, it needn’t consume you. Remember that it takes a healthy parent to raise a healthy and happy child. Allow yourself rest, relaxation, and some rejuvenation, in whatever form you need it. You will notice that you will come back feeling like a better parent.
- Help others: The greatest learning for us at this time is that we need more support. Ensure you can be there to help and support other similar parents in whatever way you can. Share tricks, recipes, games, and plans with them to help their journey. You will find that being an enabler in another's life makes a huge difference to your own.
- Maximize baby time: With so many families working from home today, parents have so much more access and time with their babies! Ensure you plan your days so that your baby can be around you more, block off ‘baby and me’ time exclusively for yourselves, and make your baby’s schedule work in tandem with your routines. You will notice how the extra cuddle after lunch and mid-afternoon kisses can uplift you tremendously! Not to mention the money saved on daycare!
- Form groups: Support groups can be a wealth of encouragement and information. These cohorts are also great to help you know that you are not alone. Reach out to parenting groups or form your own.
- Back off a little: Sometimes, the problem isn’t because we are unstructured, but because we have too much of it. There are days your plans won’t work, routines will turn on their heads, and you will have no energy to complete the daily to-do list. Just breathe, and go with the flow. Micromanaging and stressing didn’t help anyone.
You can ace the parenting game – with or without the pandemic– if you understand that the key is not to be a perfect parent but an intelligent one. And now, you have not one but ten ways to keep you ahead of the game.