The First Years As A Parent
YOUR BABY’S FIRST YEAR
Being a mum (or dad) for the first time is exciting, but some people may also find it a bit scary. On the one hand, you are overwhelmed by the fact that you have successfully brought a little one to the world. Proper planning prior to the baby's arrival is essential. On the other hand, it is a bit frightening when you realize that you are responsible for their care and that it is up to you to ensure that they grow up in a pleasant environment. This is particularly the case in the first year after birth, and it is easy to get stressed out, especially for mothers. Here is a guide to what happens and how to handle the first year with your baby.
The baby is most delicate during the first three months after birth. It is very easy for them to be injured as well as catch infections or diseases. For this reason, they must be protected at all costs. From the tiny ones outfits to the nursery furniture you buy, you will need to consider their sensitivity at this stage.
As for feeding, the only thing a newborn can take in is the mother’s milk. Some of the crucial things to note about the baby’s feeding routine include:
- Initially, the baby feeds at least eight times every day. Their stomachs don’t hold a lot of volume which means that they have to feed regularly to stay full.
- The feeding periods should be at most three hours apart. They typically wake up when hungry and cry until they are fed. A hungry baby is a noisy baby.
- Babies sleep a lot during this period. They can nap up to eight times during the day.
- Babies can be allowed to sleep up to eight hours after the sixth week.
BETWEEN THE FOURTH AND SIXTH MONTHS
At this time the baby has gained some significant weight. You will notice that they have made improvements in many aspects including their communication, recognition as well as movement. Key things to note include:
- The baby will sleep less and play more. Most babies barely sleep more than three times a day. They, however, sleep for longer at night (up to twelve hours)
- Their digestion has improved, and the stomach volume has increased. This means that they feed less often, usually between four to six times a day.
- The baby is also teething at this stage, and this might affect their sleep.
BETWEEN THE SIXTH AND NINTH MONTHS
This is a period of rapid growth. Changes include:
- Your baby may be ready for weaning. You should, however, consult with the baby’s doctor before introducing any solid foods.
- Sleep becomes harder to come by as playing takes the lead in their daily routines. They may sleep just twice the whole day.
- Disciplining is necessary but only for guidance and correction, not to hurt.
BETWEEN THE TENTH AND TWELFTH MONTHS
At this stage, the baby will probably be very curious and mobile. This means that a lot of discipline will be required. There will be fewer naps with some babies sleeping only twice a day. When you travel with the baby, you will likely need a multi-functional diaper bag or baby bag for changing, baby products and spares.
Conclusively, the first year of being a parent is not as hard as it looks like. It only requires full attention, enough knowledge, and proper planning.