How To Be A Good Parent To A Newborn

Health Conflicts And Concerns

How to be a Better Parent in 2021

Most infants have fairly consistent appointments with their pediatrician, ensuring they are growing and developing as intended. This also means a doctors watchful eye will be able to note any signs of illness. Even so, it is typical for parents to fret about if and when their baby needs to be taken in for a sick visit.

The Mayo Clinic shares some common signs for when it may be wise to take the infant to see a doctor. These signs include:

  • The baby has a fever.
  • The baby shows a change in appetite or in behavior.
  • There is tenderness around the navel area or the penis.

Parents may also wish to contact their pediatrician about symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and rash, particularly if these symptoms last for longer than a day or two.

Getting To Know Your Little One

The first days and weeks of a newborn’s life are a time of great wonder and delight for most new parents. However, being responsible for this tiny creature can be scary, particularly if you’re not familiar with how a newborn looks and behaves.

If you feel anxious or uncertain about any part of caring for your baby, don’t hesitate to call your doctor, other health care professionals, or family or friends who have had experience caring for a newborn.

Newborn Care: The Ultimate Guide For New Parents And Families

There is no experience that compares with bringing home a newborn baby. The joy and exhilaration parents feel is profound. Its perfectly natural for there to be some trepidation as well, especially for first-time mothers and fathers. After all, no matter how much one plans and prepares for the arrival of a little one, there are always obstacles and challenges along the way.

These challenges might include financial hurdles, difficulty with breastfeeding and lost sleep. It is also very normal for new parents to experience bouts of anxiety or depression. And, because no two babies are the same, its impossible to know exactly how the early weeks and months of a childs life will unfold: The challenges one family faces may be very different from the ones another family faces.

The good news is that many parents and newborn-care practitioners who have gone before have compiled some best practices and general guidelines for navigating early infancy. These resources can equip new parents, grandparents and caregivers with the tools they need to address the challenges of having a baby.

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You Cant Spoil A Baby

When a newborn cries, theres a reason, and its usually hunger. Crying can also mean that your baby is uncomfortable maybe her diaper is wet or one of her fingernails is pushing into her skin. Or she might be crying because she wants to be close to you. A newborns cries are never a way to manipulate you or work you to get what she wants. Babies cant talk or ask for what they want politely. Their cry is baby language for I need something, please. Or, if its a pressing matter, I need something, PLEASE!

No matter how often you respond to your newborns cries, you will not spoil him. If you plan on eventually letting your baby cry it out to put himself to sleep, begin after the newborn phase.

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How to Be A Good Parent

Many of your babys early signs and signals are about the need for food and proper rest. Increasing the frequency of feedings or adding in some extra time for rest where appropriate can make a big difference in your babys ability to engage and interact when awake.

Without proper rest, a baby cannot be calm and alert and ready to engage with you. Babies sleep a lot , and their sleep signals will come more often than you might expect. Often, babies who are overtired can act hyper-alert and move frenetically. You might mistake this energy for an invitation to engage, but really, it is your babys way of saying that naptime should have been 30 minutes ago.

Hunger will also be the cause of many early cues from your baby. Schedules are helpful, but growth spurts and developmental changes may cause your babys needs to change every few weeks so it is helpful to pay close attention to their unique signs and signals.

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Caring For A Circumcised Penis

Following circumcision, it is important to keep the area as clean as possible. Gently clean with warm water do not use diaper wipes. Soapy water can be used if needed.

If there is a dressing on the incision, apply a new one whenever you change a diaper for the first day or two. Even after the dressing is no longer needed, put a dab of petroleum jelly on the penis or on the front of the diaper for 3 to 5 days. This can help avoid discomfort from rubbing and sticking to the diaper.

It usually takes between 7 to 10 days for a penis to heal. Initially the tip may appear slightly swollen and red and you may notice a small amount of blood on the diaper. You also may notice a slight yellow discharge or crust after a couple of days. This is part of the normal healing process.

If you notice any of the following problems, call your doctor right away:

  • persistent bleeding or blood on the diaper
  • increasing redness
  • other signs of infection, such as worsening swelling or discharge, or the presence of pus-filled blisters
  • not urinating normally within 12 hours after the circumcision

However, with quick intervention, almost all circumcision-related problems are easily treated.

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Be There For Your Kids

One tip for raising successful kids is to be there for your children. Children want their parents. They would rather have time and attention from their parents than toys and things.

We need to ensure that our personal life and work life are balanced, so that our children get the time that they need from us. If we are working 90 hours a week at the office, it is going to be difficult to be there for our kids. They want us to be there for their activities and for their everyday too, including helping with homework and eating meals together on a regular basis.

A study by Raby et al found that children who had sensitive maternal caregiving early in childhood were more likely to be successful mentally and were more socially competent as adults. This shows that it is crucial for children to have loving and sensitive interactions with their parents when they are young. It affects the childs development and how they turn out as adults. Young children who are provided with sensitive care, love, and attentions are more likely to be successful as adults.

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Reflect On Your Own Childhood

Many of us want to parent differently from our parents. Even those who had good upbringing and a happy childhood may want to change some aspects of how they were brought up.

But very often, when we open our mouths, we speak just like our parents did.

Reflecting on our own childhood is a step towards understanding why we parent the way we do. Make note of things youd like to change and think of how youd do it differently in a real scenario. Try to be mindful and change your behavior the next time those issues come up.

Dont give up if you dont succeed at first. It takes practice, lots of practice to consciously change ones child upbringing methods.

Show Up Prepared To Babysit

Being A Good Parent | Parents

Of course, the kids you’re babysitting probably have all of their own crafts, toys, and activities for you to use. But a good babysitter doesn’t rely on that and brings enough stuff to keep kids occupied for their entire shift. You should be able to show up with your babysitter bag and be able to entertain kids in an empty room for a few hours.

Even though they have their own toys, bringing along your items will help keep things fresh for them. Stock up on games, books, arts and crafts, and other stuff that kids love. Once you have one bag of toys and activities set up, you can bring it along to every babysitting job. Then you’ll always have something to bring out if kids complain they’re getting bored.

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Know What You’re Comfortable With

A good babysitter knows where their limits are, and what’s too much for them to handle. Be sure to ask lots of questions when talking to parents to find out the ages of their children, if they have any disabilities, or if there are any other complications that might make your job more challenging.

It’s okay to pass on a babysitting job if you don’t think you’re the right fit, or you aren’t sure if you’ll be able to meet the family’s needs. Having the ability to say no if you aren’t ready to change diapers or watch three kids under the age of 4 at once shows a definite level of maturity and responsibility.

A Secure Attachment Bond Is Good For You Too

Nature has programmed mothers as well as their infants to have a falling in love experience through secure attachment. The joy you experience as you connect with your infant goes a long way to relieve fatigue from lack of sleep and the stress of learning how to care for your baby. The bonding process releases endorphins in your body that motivate you, give you energy, and make you feel happy. Creating a secure attachment with your infant may take a little effort, but the rewards are huge for both of you.

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Know The Ages Of Kids You’re Babysitting

Parents usually will tell you the age of their kids, but be sure to ask in advance if they havent let you know themselves. It’s particularly important to know the age of younger kids you’re watching, so you can prepare with appropriate toys and books, etc. Toddlers and babies require a lot more attention and different activities than school-aged children. So you really need to know the age of the kids you’ll be working with to plan your time with them appropriately.

Are you going to be babysitting a toddler for the first time? My article, How to Babysit a Toddler , can help you out. I also recommend this article for complete beginners First Time Babysitting .

Challenges In Parents That Can Affect Secure Attachment

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Parents who themselves did not experience a secure attachment bond when they were infants may have trouble emotionally connecting with their babies. Other challenges that can get in the way of your ability to bond with your baby include:

  • Depression, anxiety, or other emotional problems.
  • Drug or alcohol problems.

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Praise Effort Over Achievement

Having grit is a better predictor of success than IQ, according to Harvard researcher Angela Duckworth, who wrote the best-seller Grit. One of the best ways to help children develop grit is to praise their efforts and not their achievements. If you praise their efforts, then when they fail, they can still identify the good in the situation and not feel like a complete failure.

Children need to be praised. They develop their self-worth and confidence when they can achieve success, even in small things in life such as learning to tie their shoes or learning to ride a bike. They can pick themselves back up from failure as they are learning these activities when they have someone encouraging them along the way and praising their efforts.

If a parent is putting them down and telling them they are such a failure and loser every time they fall off their bike, then they are going to feel defeated and feel like the loser you are telling them that they are.

If you tell your child that he or she is dumb repeatedly, eventually they will believe you and take it to heart. Some kids take it to heart and believe it the first time it is said to them. Words can damage just as much, if not more, than physical abuse.

Grow Along With Your Children

Children grow and evolve, just like us. Its important to grow with them and adjust the way you discipline and talk to them.

For example, if your 4-year-old misbehaves by bending the truth or whining, you may ignore their antics and stay calm with regards to the lying. This is common for this age group.

If youre dealing with an 8-year-old, your child understands the difference between right and wrong and looks to you for guidance.

Meanwhile, teens need to be addressed in another way. That is a difficult and challenging age group one that deserves great care and attention. You cannot talk to your 16-year-old as if they were still 9!

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Get As Much Sleep As Possible

If parenting is a big balloon of joy, exhaustion is the pin that pops it! Your sleep success can make or break a mood. After 30 years in pediatric practice, I have seen over and over again how sleep deprivation can reduce a mom or dad to tears. It makes you feel alone, incompetent, edgy and causes serious accidents and sickness. The 5 Ss are a simple tool to help boost baby sleepand so is SNOO, our smart sleeper the safest, most effective baby bed ever made!

Feeling And Thinking Work Hand In Hand For Caregiving

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Together, the emotion-processing and mentalizing networks are also associated with multitasking and better emotion regulation. In other words, parents brains are remodeled to protect, attune with, and plan for, their infants.

Mothers arent the only ones whose brains are remodeled. The brains of fathers, too, light up in ways that nonparents brains dont. Feldman and her colleagues found that while the emotion-processing network is most active in the biological mothers she studied, it is the mentalizing networks that are more active in the brains of fathers who are co-parenting with moms. And the more the fathers engaged in the caregiving tasks , the more oxytocin they produced, and the stronger the activation was in the mentalizing areas of the brain.

Interestingly, in gay dads who were primary caregivershalf of Feldmans subjectsboth the emotion and mentalizing systems were highly activated.

In other words, parenting is a flexible process: Pregnancy might prepare a mothers brain for parenting, but the brains of dads and other adultsadoptive parents, and moreare changed by simply engaging in the very acts of caregiving.

Sahil, Kellys husband, is open about the new feelings hes having as a dad. Winnie is a curious, cheerful little person, and watching him develop and experience the world for the first time brings me endless amusement and joy. With Winnie, Ive found new depths of loveit feels like a very biologically driven emotion.

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