No one can claim that the world of parenting is an easy one to navigate. You will do and experience so many things for the first time — and that can be overwhelming! You will explore the nooks and crannies of baby care and childrearing, sometimes blindly, and you will make mistakes… perhaps lots of them.
The fact that you’re dealing with another life — a helpless newborn baby, to be more specific — just makes parenting sound even more daunting and scarier.
Well, that’s the way parenting is. It’s all trial and error because what might work for your favorite baby book’s author might not work for you. What your best friend’s child loves might be hated by yours. Eventually, as you get to know your baby better, you will become more confident and more certain in your parenting decisions.
But even if we can all agree that every parenting journey is different, you can definitely learn from the most common mistakes first-time moms make and how to avoid making them! Here are 8 mistakes you can avoid.
1. Buying too many baby stuff
A common mistake many new parents make is relying on baby stuff for parenting success. While there are legitimate baby essentials that it’s hard to do without, learn how to identify these from baby stuff masquerading as necessities but are actually unnecessary. Buying everything that catches your fancy will only result in a cluttered home and an overwhelming feeling.
Also, having a newborn baby, who needs frequent diaper changes, constant feeding, among others, is already expensive. Save money by only buying the true baby essentials!
2. Taking in too much parenting advice
When you’re a first-time parent, it is natural to seek advice from sources like books, classes, and people you know like your mom and friends. Pieces of advice are, indeed, necessary, especially if they are coming from experienced parents who have been through what you are about to go through.
However, don’t overwhelm yourself by reading too many books or attending too many classes. By doing this, it’s very likely that you will encounter clashing advice that will only confuse you rather than educate you! Learn how to trust your instincts and only follow advice that you feel good about.
3. Keeping your baby’s environment too clean
It’s a natural reaction to disinfect everything in sight — and not in sight, if we’re being honest — once your baby arrives. And we won’t keep you from doing that! But you don’t have to tire yourself out cleaning your home and scrubbing everyday, getting rid of all the germs that are possibly living there.
Because the truth is being exposed to some germs will not harm your baby. Instead, this will even help build their immune system!
4. Not asking for help
Another common mistake many new parents make is thinking they have to do 100% of the childrearing by themselves. This mistake is the leading cause of new parent burnout! It is okay to ask for help from neighbors, from family, and from friends. It doesn’t mean that you’re incapable of parenting.
Also, if you’re a first time mom, don’t make the mistake of not letting your husband be hands-on with caring for your baby. Take turns and divide the work equally!
5. Comparing yourself against others
Milestones are there as a general guide to help you measure the progress of your baby. One common mistake new moms and dads make is using these milestones as a means to compare their babies against other babies. Similarly, it is not helpful to compare yourself against how other parents might be doing.
If your baby has reached a milestone early, celebrate but don’t judge other babies. On the other hand, don’t fret if other babies have already reached a milestone and your baby is taking their sweet time. Babies have different timelines!
6. Setting unrealistic expectations on yourself
Aside from caring too much about your baby’s “performance,” you should also refrain from caring too much about yours. No one will be judging you for your cluttered home or your quickly made dinners because, especially during the newborn stage, your most important priority should be your and your baby’s health and wellness.
Also, don’t be ashamed to refuse to see visitors for a while or turn down invitations from friends if you’re simply unable to make it. They will understand.
7. Neglecting your partner
It is completely understandable to devote most of your time to your baby especially during their newborn stage. Your newborn baby has a lot of needs and demands, and it’s only proper that you do your best to meet them. But don’t forget about your partner, with whom you’re sharing the joys and duties of being new parents.
Like what we mentioned above, let your partner do their part of the parenting work. At the same time, remember to relish this experience — its ups and downs — with your significant other.
8. Neglecting yourself
Finally, remember to take care of yourself and spend time just doing what you enjoy and love! You’re your own person, and it doesn’t suddenly stop being that way when you become a parent. Now that you’re a mom, it’s doubly essential to know how to take care of yourself so that you can also take care of your family.
Don’t feel guilty about needing to take a break every now and then. Take a breather if you’re being too stressed or fatigued, and come back to your baby feeling recharged and re-energized. A calmer and more relaxed spirit does wonders, trust us!