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Five Biggest Mistakes First-Time Parents Make (Including Myself!)

January 21, 2013

2365419676_ba5b28ea61Parenting is tough, and caring for a newborn baby assails you with challenges, surprises, and unexpected coping mechanisms you never would have dreamt of just months earlier. Every new parent has a regret or two about their methods of planning or their routine in those early days. Here are a few of the most common rookie mistakes. We’re pointing them out so that you can avoid them!

  1. Keeping your baby up won’t help her sleep. We’ve known a few parents who have figured that less hours spent napping during the day might lead to longer, more sound sleep at night. Actually, it’s the opposite. A baby who has napped during the day and feels rested and relaxed at night will sleep better at night. In fact, putting a baby to bed early increases her chance of sleeping for longer stretches, and may even increase the total hours she sleeps during that night.
  2. While it’s easy to go overboard when buying newborn onesies, sweaters, and diapers, refrain! Your baby will grow out of those teensy little onesies and miniature diapers in the blink of an eye, so make sure you have a supply of clothing and diapers in the next few sizes up to accommodate every growth spurt!
  3. Don’t wait too long to babyproof. In fact, some families we know babyproof their homes before their baby was born, even though they knew their baby wouldn’t be crawling for months. But when your baby starts moving around, you’ll wish you had babyproofed months earlier. Rushing to take care of securing your home with a crawler under foot is no picnic!
  4. Your baby may only have one or two teeth, but brushing them twice a day is important. Many new parents do not make oral hygiene a priority early on, but doing so is important, because it creates a ritual that your child will adopt as he gets older (and sprouts more teeth)!
  5. Don’t panic about hitting every milestone right on time. Yes, your sister’s baby might have started crawling at 5 months. Your neighbor’s child might have been walking and talking a month before her first birthday. But every baby hits different milestones at different times. If your baby is a late roller, crawler, walker, or talker, mention it to your pediatrician, but be patient. Your baby’s big day will come when she’s ready.

Readers, talk to us about your biggest mistakes, regrets, and mishaps in those early days! What would you have done differently? Hit us with your best advice!






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