Congratulations! You’re a parent! You’ve had a safe delivery, learned to feed your new arrival, installed the car seat (no small feat), and made it home safely from the hospital. Now what?
As a pediatrician at The Iowa Clinic, I have the privilege of meeting many of my patients during the first week of their young lives. It’s a wild time of adjustment for both babies and their families – full of stress, joy, hormones, and sleep deprivation – often all in the same day.
Here are five things I think all new parents should know when bringing home baby:
1. It’s an adjustment for everyone.
The cycle of feeding, changing, soothing, and (hopefully) sleeping makes for an incredibly full schedule. Many moms have told me “other moms make it look so easy.” Try to remind yourself that adorable social media photos don’t reflect reality and there is no photo filter for “my baby has been crying for an hour.”
2. Put everyone to work!
Friends want to visit? Sign them up for laundry duty. Family in town? Have them run some errands. Guests overstaying their welcome? Use “the baby’s doctor said…” as a gentle way to nudge them toward the door. Don’t be afraid to own your schedule.
3. Don’t forget about you.
Take a shower, put on real person clothes, and try to go outside every day. It’s all about the little victories.
4. Let your baby “sort it out.”
You love your baby and she frequently needs you… but does she need you right this second? It’s natural to swoop up your child and console her for even the smallest squawk. I recommend taking a brief pause to read your baby’s signals — this allows her to self-soothe and “sort it out” all on her own.
5. Tiny humans don’t come with instruction manuals. The pediatricians at The Iowa Clinic are here to help.
Call your doctor’s office if you’re particularly concerned about breathing, fevers, or lethargy. I’d rather hear from parents ten times for what turns out to be normal baby stuff than for parents to sit at home and wonder if their child is okay. Making a list of questions to discuss with your pediatrician at your child’s next well visit can also be very helpful.
Having a child is one of the coolest things you’ll ever do. The days (and nights) go slowly, but the weeks and months fly by. Enjoy it!
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About the Author
Dr. Dan Pelzer is a board-certified general pediatrician accepting new patients at The Iowa Clinic West Des Moines and Ankeny locations. He is a native Iowan and received his medical education and residency training at the University of Iowa. He enjoys running, golf, and exploring Des Moines with his wife, Diana, and dog, Moose.
This sponsored post was brought to you by The Iowa Clinic.