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tybrad

Advice for a NEW PARENT?

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Dear lds.net members,

 

My wife is due with our first child this month (February 2015) and we are super excited! We are having a baby girl! I thought I would ask all those who have experience if they could share some advice on this thread.

 

Please share your thoughts about habits, traditions, best practices, stories, or special activities you have done that have helped you with your first child.

 

Sincerely,

-Tybrad

 

 

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Congratulations!

 

I have one important advice:

The family dynamic should not shift to make the baby the center of the universe.  Rather, the baby should fall into her place in the family dynamic.

 

Another important one:

One of the biggest enemy of new parents is lack of sleep.  It does really terrible things to your state of mind.  So, set up a schedule so that you and your wife can tag-team into baby-care shifts.  For example - say you work from 7-5... You leave the house at 6AM, the wife gets to care for the baby until you come home at 6PM... have dinner finished by 7PM and your family can be in bed by 8PM...if the baby cooperates.  If not, you get to be the one to get up and see to the baby's needs while the wife take an uninterrupted slumber for 5 straight hours.  By 1AM, you go get your uninterrupted sleep while your wife does all the waking up and caring for the baby the rest of the night...

Or something to that effect.   You have to have at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep - for the both of you.

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Congratulations! How exciting for you.

Be a support for your wife when she's down and out post pregnancy. It will happen but severity is different for everyone. Whatever your wife has decided regarding natural birthing and breast feeding, let her know it's okay when things don't pan out exactly as planned, as there's lots of pressure on new mums to do this or that. Give your wife some time to breakaway from baby for herself. Let her soak in a bath or get out of the house for awhile. If she's breads feeding, she can pump ahead of time, and you can feed baby.

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Congratulations!

 

I have one important advice:

The family dynamic should not shift to make the baby the center of the universe.  Rather, the baby should fall into her place in the family dynamic.

 

tybrad, you are going to get a variety of advice here, so it's up to you to pick the best advice that fits your family.

 

With that said, I will totally disagree with anatess' statement above.

 

I think for the first year of baby's life that baby should indeed be made the centre of the universe. Babies are born self-centred, its necessary for survival. For that first year you make baby the boss, meaning, whatever baby wants, baby gets. For example, if baby wants hugs at 3am, baby gets hugs at 3am. If baby wants to play instead of sleep, baby plays, etc. And then after baby turns one, you spend the next year, teaching baby that mom and dad are the boss, and that's perfect timing for the "terrible twos". 

 

It worked great for my kids.

 

Good luck and most importantly have fun with your new baby.

 

M. 

Edited by Maureen

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The greatest tool you have as a parent is the gift of the Holy Ghost. There are as many ways to raise children as there are children, and each child is different. Do the things that keep you worthy of the Spirit's presence and pray often, and you'll be just fine. 

 

Stay close to your wife. Keep your marriage a priority. Untended gardens grow weeds.

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tybrad, you are going to get a variety of advice here, so it's up to you to pick the best advice that fits your family.

 

With that said, I will totally disagree with anatess' statement above.

 

I think for the first year of baby's life that baby should indeed be made the centre of the universe. Babies are born self-centred, its necessary for survival. For that first year you make baby the boss, meaning, whatever baby wants, baby gets. For example, if baby wants hugs at 3am, baby gets hugs at 3am. If baby wants to play instead of sleep, baby plays, etc. And then after baby turns one, you spend the next year, teaching baby that mom and dad are the boss, and that's perfect timing for the "terrible twos". 

 

It worked great for my kids.

 

Good luck and most importantly have fun with your new baby.

 

M. 

 

 

Maureen, I'm not sure we are completely understanding each other.  There is needed nurture for a baby - of course, you can't skimp on those just because it's your bedtime.  When the baby is hungry she needs to be fed, when the baby is awake, she needs to be stimulated, when the baby is crying, she needs something.  That's not what I'm talking about.

 

Center of the Universe = We can't travel - baby might not like it.  We can't play music - baby might be disturbed.  We can't have a date - baby needs mommy.  Mommy is having major lactation problems but mommy has to breastfeed baby - baby formula might cause baby to grow up dumb.  We have to send mommy's beloved dog to the shelter because it might harm baby.  Oh no - the Parent magazine says baby only recognizes black, red, and white colors - have to repaint the entire house black, red, and white.  We can't go to the mall in the sedan, we have to take the van - baby's diaper bag won't fit in the trunk.

 

Okay, so some of these are majorly exaggerated, but you get the gist.

 

P.S. - to put this in perspective, I'll give an example from my own personal story - my husband is a big NFL fan.  We almost cancelled our wedding because his football team almost lost their Monday Night Football game - we had our day-before-the-wedding-party at the stadium watching the game... So then, first baby is born... we took the baby to his very first football game at 5 weeks old... husband and I wanted to watch the game, pediatrician okay'd it - nursed the baby right there on the stadium seat at the half-time show... baby slept through all the touchdown fireworks and fighter jet fly-bys... the only bad thing about the event was that some other sleeping baby got splashed on the big screen instead of mine.  Hah hah.  My sister, of course, thought it was child abuse.

Edited by anatess

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anatess, I didn't say stop living when baby comes along. By all means, still do normal activities. What I mean is, if baby has a need, no matter what the need is at no matter what time, baby's needs are met. Some people are of the philosophy to let baby cry it out. I do not agree with that philosophy. I'm of the philosophy to never let baby cry it out. Baby is crying, baby is boss, you do everything in your power to make baby happy. That is what I'm talking about.

 

M.

Edited by Maureen

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OP, just don't let your wife best herself up with everything seems to hit the fan :) Let her vent, cry, and like I said, breakaway from baby once in awhile. Mama needs to be as healthy, physically and emotionally, as she can be but it's tough with a newborn.

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anatess, I didn't say stop living when baby comes along. By all means, still do normal activities. What I mean is, if baby has a need, no matter what the need is at no matter what time, baby's needs are met. Some people are of the philosophy to let baby cry it out. I do not agree with that philosophy. I'm of the philosophy to never let baby cry it out. Baby is crying, baby is boss, you do everything in your power to make baby happy. That is what I'm talking about.

 

M.

 

Letting baby cry or not is not a Center of the Universe issue.

 

Just because I let my baby cry doesn't mean I am not doing what it takes to make baby happy... or, that I didn't let my baby cry my baby's happiness is met.  Those things point to different parenting styles.

 

Center of the Universe is probably best illustrated in raising of puppies.  When raising puppies, making puppies the center of the universe is going to not only give you a problem dog, but also a compromised pack.  A puppy needs to fall in line with the pack's traditions.

 

But, I guess that will only make sense to dog trainers.

 

I'll go see if I can find an article to illustrate my point better.

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My perception is that anatess and Maureen are talking about two different parts of the same elephant.

 

After her explanation of the baby crying.. . I'm not so sure...  

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Okay, here's a close one that showed up after googling "new parents center of the universe"... but it doesn't really hit what I'm trying to say:

http://www.livescience.com/21420-moms-intensive-parenting-happiness.html

 

This is saying more about the well-being of the mother... depression, etc. caused by the imbalance of having the family (most likely the mother) revolve around the baby instead of the baby falling into her place with the established family.  (Remember, the nurture needs of a newborn is different from a 3 year old which is also different from a 13 year old - nurture, of course, needs to be met... the method by which these are met are different for every parenting style).

 

But this thing goes well beyond the health of the mother.  This impacts the stability of the marriage and the family as a whole because it is more of a mindset than it is an action.

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Here's another advice from experience:

 

A lot of parenting is instinctive, common sense, and a lot of praying for the guidance of the Holy Ghost.  Things such as magazines, FB, parent clubs, even mothers, mother-in-laws and pediatricians, etc., have a way of making you feel guilty and lacking as a parent.  Listen and ponder their advice but be confident that YOU know what is best for your baby (especially with your righteous Priesthood dominion) even if it runs contrary to what they all say.  Some will say, she's 5 months old and she still doesn't know how to say mama?  She needs to see a speech therapist!  You let her watch 2 hours of TV?  She's going to blow up a school when she grows up!  Okay, okay, exaggerated, but, you get the gist...

Edited by anatess

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Dear lds.net members,

 

My wife is due with our first child this month (February 2015) and we are super excited! We are having a baby girl! I thought I would ask all those who have experience if they could share some advice on this thread.

 

Please share your thoughts about habits, traditions, best practices, stories, or special activities you have done that have helped you with your first child.

 

Sincerely,

-Tybrad

 

 

Congrats!

 

Babies really do turn your world upside down.  Be prepared for some unexpected turns!

 

1)  I'm sure you've been warned about post-pardum depression.  This is a real thing, and your wife will need rest after the baby is born.  As my friend who's a labor and delivery nurse says: "the body spends 9 months building up all the hormonal changes.  And then undoes it in two weeks: it's a wild ride".

 

2)  Schedules and routines are your friend!  Having a bed/naptime routine will be especially helpful for letting baby know it's time to sleep and making sleep training so much easier.

 

3)  As you've probably noticed: you can find parenting advice to any tune you want.  But the most important tune to listen to is the Holy Ghost.

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I'm a new mom myself. If she plans to breastfeed, I highly recommend you both learn as much as possible. It was much more challenging than I expected, and it had nothing to do with latch, but supply. I thought I'd have this abundant amount and he would eat away- I didn't know it was all about supply and demand. Kellymom.com is an excellent source. Only less than 2 percent of women actually have low supply issues. Also check out troublesometots.com for baby sleep advice.

Guilt, as well as constant fear and worrying, will be new in your life. My advice would be to not be so hard on yourselves. Letting the baby cry for a few minutes will not damage her for life. Not giving her your constant attention 24/7 does not make you a bad parent. If the baby gets formula, she will still be perfect and healthy. Let the small things go, and enjoy every part of being a parent.

Have a close relationship with God and pray often. Those baby blues are hard on a new, exhausted mamma. She needs to sleep whenever she can, and don't be afraid to ask for help. Call someone to come help if you feel too tired.

Just know you will do a great job. Follow your instincts and uplift one another. Realize each of you may have different methods when it comes to taking care of her, so it's important to trust each other.

Congratulations! You will experience a kind of love so incredible, it won't even make sense. It is truly a blessing. Being a parent is the most amazing gift from Heavenly Father.

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