By Sue Tiffin
Published April 27 2017
Ah the joys of becoming parents. Here it is Ingrams. You’ve imagined it maybe even planned for it.
You’ve got that baby in your hands and you’re home and now…well now what?
To get you through the sleepless nights here’s some advice:
When it comes to your baby do not research a thing
Sometimes the world at our fingertips comes to the detriment of parents who find themselves burdened with information overload. It might seem handy to have access to the Internet and its worldly knowledge at 2 a.m. But waiting until the morning to call a doctor about a niggling worry is less stressful than the modern alternative of Googling a freckle and finding mysterious ailments aplenty online until the sun rises. (Also doing that totally goes against the age-old advice of “sleep when the baby sleeps.”)
Forget apps – ask your own parents
Life was different back in the day. Your elders have always told you that but you’ll really get to see the generation gap when they take one look at a carseat and back away in frustration. Some of our parents had Dr. Spock but that was kind of it. Parents today have apps that monitor where a child should be at each developmental stage from birth (or even beforehand in case you can’t tell when your fetus is the size of a watermelon).
You might not always agree with your parents – they who the story goes lived at a time when women celebrated the birth of a baby with a cigarette or beer at the hospital – but sometimes the sagest wisdom comes from people who have been there done that. And besides they did a pretty good job didn’t they? (They will now remind you of this daily).
Even if you don’t ask their advice remember to let them cherish their role as grandparents – the next best thing to your baby is seeing your parents fall head over heels for him/her.
Reach out for help
It really does take a village. Human children are dependent on their parents for significantly longer than any other animal. You’ll see in this little town that people will get to know your child as much as they already know you. When you really need them they’ll be there. Build a support network filled with friends and family and trusted caregivers so that they can step in sometimes and allow you time for other interests in life too. Bonus – your child will get the opportunity to learn from others too.
Is your kid watching too much TV? Not enough? Getting too much exercise? Not enough? Too much sugar? Not enough?
Who knows? You likely will because it will either feel comfortable and work for your family or it won’t. What works for one family doesn’t necessarily work for another. Trust your instincts. You’ll find out in 18 years or so if you were right.
Love your kid
That’s really it. It will come naturally. Maybe not at 3 a.m. each and every night/morning for weeks on end but give it some time and the love you have for that wee being will be all that’s necessary. You’ll still make mistakes and learn as you go and have regrets and always wonder if what you’re doing is right but if you love that babe so much that they feel it that really will be enough.
The best advice might be to ignore all unsolicited advice. But there’s only so much fun in that – so we’re opening it up to our readers – do you have sound advice for Baby Ingram’s parents? Maybe a story of what parenting was like in your time? Share it with email@example.com and we’ll share it with Haliburton County’s latest parents. After they’ve had some sleep that is.