The Perfect Check-list for First Time Parents to make parenting easy as pie

First time parents, this is all the check-list you need to take care of a new-born baby!

Parenting can be overwhelming and daunting for first-timers. But as they say, it gets easy and relaxing as you move along. The main reason being as your child grows so do you. And parenting is a full-time job with no leaves or paychecks, there is no running away from it too because let’s face it, you signed up for this for a lifetime. A tiny wriggly mass of 7 pounds which is unable to communicate but somehow perfectly capable of emotions is really a miracle. To be honest, when I had my son I was completely clueless on what to do, I was all the time thinking that I am failing and probably I could have waited longer to have a baby.

Pregnant lady and husband
A picture by Kelly Sikkema

But as it turns out I was going to feel like this at any age because it has more to do with hormones and post-partum stress rather than the age or the baby. My parents were also as helpless and clueless as me because they were in that age bracket where you got to have a good night’s sleep and have certain time-offs / resting period or else they end up crankier than the baby itself.

I realized like any job there is a learning curve to this job as well and with all the reading and internet and YouTube tutorials, I understood that with time and patience I am going to learn everything like any other Mom in this world does. But I wanted to prepare myself fully so that I don’t resent myself later.

Now the job was tough because your client cannot communicate, he has a lot of needs but no action plan. So I adapted a method which has helped me a lot through the first year of my baby growing.

I believe that first year of a baby is very tough on any parent and almost all the kids show more or less same sets of behavior , they go through same phases, rolling over , crawling, trying to sit up , walking with aid and then walking at last. For some kids they might miss 1-2 steps but on an average it almost remains same for every kid.

And not just in walking, from cooing to babbling, from exploring their fingers to grabbing things, from discovering their senses to utilizing them, from exploring their surroundings to trusting one/two people they constantly see around themselves, from analyzing their own strengths to hunger pangs and many more – all these explorations and discoveries happen after the first year of the birth.

So this article is about my adaptation method which has come in very handy for me and might be useful for first time parents especially mothers. So let’s get started:

  • New-borns can only communicate through crying so first and foremost you have to mentally prepare yourself for all the noise your baby is going to make. I remember I used to get so overwhelmed with all the crying that I have cried a lot of times with all the hormones and sleep-deprivation kicking in. So mentally prepare yourself for all the crying and cooing.

New-borns can only communicate through crying so first and foremost you have to mentally prepare yourself for all the noise your baby is going to make.

I remember I used to get so over-whelmed with all the crying that I have cried a lot of times with all the hormones and sleep-deprivation kicking in. So mentally prepare yourself for all the crying and cooing.

Mother and baby
A picture by Laura Furhman

Keep a mental check-list of their feeding and diaper changes. My mother (and some other relatives)used to find it very hilarious that I had to literally keep a note of when I have fed my child and when do I need to feed him again , also changing diaper in every 3-4 hours depending on how quickly it gets soiled. Firstly don’t feel ashamed to do it. Many elders will tell you that children are not raised on time-tables and notepads but let me tell you something – If you are anything like me and you haven’t taken care of anyone in your life let alone be babies then please please keep a checklist. The reason being we are new to this and not just your kid you also have to set the routine or rhythm for your day.

Take it from me, your life transforms drastically as soon as a baby arrives. And it might be a lot easier for you if you have a set routine for the day, a checklist which you use as a guide to refer when you are incapable to understand as to why your child is screaming on top of his voice.

Every doctor and nurse would advise you to burp the kid as soon as the feeding is over. Similarly only with practice you will be able to set the routine or rhythm for the day and trust me it gets a lot easier if you have one single routine for at least 4-5 months and then you can change it as per your child’s needs and demands(also as their sleep cycle develops).

New Born Baby
A picture by Ciprian Sam

For example I used to take a note of when my child was last fed and wait 2-3 hours before I feed him again, so in the interim if he cries I know that he must not be hungry because I have just fed him. (Even though a lot of times they just want to be taken into arms and breastfed because that calms them the most).

So by this method the issue of predicting as to why the child is crying might lessen a bit though not completely go away.

  • My son was a completely breast-fed baby and probably that is why my son has never come down with a fever or sickness. Breast-milk is just not a food for a new-born; it has a lot more capabilities. So much that today research says that mother’s body is capable of making two different kinds of breast-milk for two different babies(siblings) , that is customizing the milk as per the baby’s needs. So if a baby has a high temperature or an infection the milk that the mother produces automatically send in pathogens and anti-bodies which can build up the immune system of the baby to fight it out on its own without the need of external medicines.

If that isn’t a miracle I don’t know what is!!!

Breast-milk is really a wonder not only for kids but also for mother in burning calories or extra pregnancy fat. All I heard from my mom-group friend’s whenever they visited hospital for their new-born’s fever/ cold was that the doctor always, literally always, asked them to continue breastfeeding the child again and again(increase the quantity of milk basically) and the child will be alright. Most importantly it also helps in colicky and poopy issues which can turn into night mare some days.

I have written a blog on the amazing benefits of breast milk and how to take care of a newborn in this blog, please do check it out.

Save Money on Parenting :

You might think what got into me!!

Here I was talking about parenting a minute ago and now am going all financial on you. LOL. It’s still relevant.

Tell you what, we are those kinds of parents who always thought of mindful buying or minimalistic approach while buying things for our baby whether it is clothes or toys or baby gadgets. (Yeah!! once the baby arrives all of this approach goes out of the window and something called as “cute-shopping” starts, that’s when you just buy something just because it looks cute)

So first year we absolutely had very less expenses because of all the gifts from the baby-shower or baptism or “generous-relatives”. Basically what am trying to say is you can save more in the  first year because a baby doesn’t play much with toys , he / she isn’t much interested in a drum or car, perhaps a rattle or a baby teether would be sufficient. A good brand swing is always a good investment or perhaps you could DIY by watching some of YouTube videos because it helps them (also you) to sleep.

Newborn baby
Newborn Baby

So my advice, don’t buy a lot of clothes- you will be getting a lot of gifts as clothing anyway and children outgrow them fast.

Don’t buy a lot of toys – not until they are 1 or above they would be interested in it.

A good parenting Guide :

When we are pregnant we tend to read so much and speak to our moms, other moms, other pregnant moms on what and how should things to be done or taken care of.

So much so that sometimes it gets too confusing and frustrating. I am not blaming the ones who advised me because they are looking out for me which is all a pregnant lady or a first time mom needs but sometimes you tend to get a lot of different opinions on a single matter and it must have perfectly worked for them but you wonder what you must do!

So to ease things for my all parenting queries especially health queries I went to a cousin of ours who also happens to be a doctor but that was not one of the main reasons I chose her and not my mom or MIL or others. First of all, she was just a phone call away, she is always, literally always, ready to help and of course the vast knowledge she carried. Eventually, when I moved back to UAE I found my own Mom’s group and it so calming to know that the problems you have are very much common and you are not struggling alone.

To sum it up, as a first time parent you need to accept the reality that you will constantly be covered in vomit, poop or dirt (at least first year) and with all the crying and cooing around doesn’t make it easy – so mentally be prepared for that.

Keep a routine of how many times you have fed and changed the baby, with time and patience you will start losing the timer and notepad and will be able to mentally record it.

Breastfed babies are a lot less fussy so it is a lot less stressful.

First year of your baby doesn’t require a lot of toys or luxuries, just be with your baby – that’s all he wants.

Find your constant or rock. Your pediatrician might or might not be that because they generally give one solution to all (knowing a patient takes time and effort). Instead, you know your baby better – you have to become your baby’s doctor/nurse eventually so why not start early.

Hope you liked the article, please do comment and let me know.

Signing off!

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