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Advice for first-time parents... that you may not have heard yet

Kiindred

Kiindred

Brought to you by the Kiindred Editors. Our team are committed to researching and writing on all the things we know you will want to know about, at each stage of your pregnancy and parenthood journey.
Created on Apr 11, 2024 · 9 mins read
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One thing you can expect when you announce your pregnancy is a whole lot of advice.


From which products to buy, to what you should dress them in, and the “correct” sleeping method to use… it comes from a good place, but it can be downright exhausting to hear the same old tips time and time again. 

Oftentimes, the rinse-and-repeat parenting advice doesn’t speak to all the surprise sticky spots you fall into as a parent. So getting some fresh, albeit unconventional, pointers is not so much a want as it is a need. 

 

1. Baby wipes are your best friend


Amidst all the unpredictability of parenthood, there’s one thing you can expect your baby to be: messy. 

We can’t overemphasise the handiness of having baby wipes everywhere. The car, kitchen, living room, nursery, and definitely the hallway cupboard. Because you’ll be wiping more than your baby’s behind. They tend to move around like a tiny tornado, conjuring spills and stains wherever they go.  

The sooner you can jump into cleaning action, the better. Keep those baby wipes in your arsenal. 

Your best defense is the CUB Biodegradable Baby Wipes*, which come in a 480 pack so that you’ve always got one up your sleeve. Exclusive to Coles, they’re biodegradable and fragrance-free to ensure no mess can damage your baby’s skin (or the planet). 


2. You can’t compromise on sleep


There are plenty of sacrifices you’ll have to make (like bingeing crime docos into the AM or jumping into last minute social drinks), but a sleep schedule isn’t one of them. 

As much as we all like to throw around the “say goodbye to sleep!” line, getting a solid amount of rest isn’t something to become resigned about. Sleep deprivation can make you more irritable, stressed, unsafe, and put your relationships in a tricky spot.

Give a healthy sleep schedule your best shot by:

  • Napping when the baby naps 
  • Having boundaries for friends and family stopping by while you find a routine and catch up on your Zzs
  • If you have a partner sharing parenting duties, try taking turns checking in on the baby at night with “on” and “off” nights
  • Investing in sleep training for your little one
  • Reaching out for support so that you can get some sleep and alone time

Importantly, contact a medical professional if you’re really struggling with sleep. You don’t have to tough it up – parenthood is all about knowing how to look after yourself in order to care for your little one.


3. Be picky with the nappy (and keep a travel stash)


The right nappies play a big role in your family’s happiness and hygiene. They need to protect the skin, seal off any unsightly leaks, and offer both flexibility and security. That’s the secret to your baby being dry and comfy as they learn, grow, and discover more about the world around them. 

The CUB nappy range is dermatologically tested with advanced leakage protection and a 3D superabsorbent core that quickly draws liquid away from your baby’s skin. It features a stretchy waistband for a snug fit, triple elastic leg guards, and a wetness indicator line to tip you off on a full nappy. So, when the nappy dramas come around (which they will) your little one has the best defense. It’s also as comfy as it is protective, thanks to the super soft breathable cover that helps protect your cub’s delicate skin. 

Nappy change emergencies like to sneak up on you when it’s most inconvenient. Create a substantial stash of nappies for the car and your baby bag so that they’re ready to whip out wherever. 

4. Your baby thinks they’re literally one with you


This is a piece of context that has your baby making so much more sense. A newborn actually doesn’t realise that they’re a separate person. As far as they’re concerned, you and your baby are one and the same, which makes sense when you think about all that time they spent in your womb. 9 months spent being part of someone else. 

They’re starting any independence from scratch, because they completely identify with you. So all that your baby is focusing on is their immediate needs of love, food, and attention. 

But as they approach the 6 month milestone, they start to figure out that you’re a separate person and can actually leave them. Cue separation anxiety.

5. Baby nails grow fast


It’s one of those things that you never consider pre-parenthood – baby fingernails. Not only do they grow incredibly fast (we’re talking in the blink of an eye), they’re also super tricky to cut. Have you seen how tiny those fingers are?

Your newborn may need their nails trimmed at least once or twice a week. Yep, at least. It comes down to a child’s metabolic rate being higher than a grown-up’s , so their skin cells renew faster. 

There are special baby nail clippers you can use, or some parents prefer simply using emery boards. Either way, you might need another pair of hands to hold their wriggling fingers still.

6. You don’t need to make a happy baby happier


The parenting curse of “not-enoughness” can make you feel like you always need to do more. More for their happiness, more for their growth, more for your relationship with them. 

But if your baby is happy giggling at a wooden spoon, don’t feel like you need to intervene. Gradually, they’ll become more and more independent. That might mean that they’re able to entertain themselves happily. 

So take the weight off your shoulders and let them enjoy whatever’s got them smiling and having fun.

7. Expensive doesn’t always mean better


We all want to give our kiddos the world, but that doesn’t always mean emptying out your wallet. 

Research which features really matter, and you’ll be surprised with how affordable some quality options actually are. Ditch the fancy labels, step off the hype train, and dig into what your family really needs. 

Reliability, safety, and comfort – that’s the good stuff. 

Trends come and go, so invest in products for what they have to offer instead of the brand name. This won’t be the first time you’ll need to fight the pressures of other parents. But prioritise your family’s needs, and you’re set.

8. Your baby also needs a skincare routine


Nope, we’re not talking fancy moisturisers trending at Mecca. Your baby’s skin just needs some (very gentle) TLC, since it’s still developing in their first few months of life. The skin’s thinner and more fragile, making it more prone to flaking and irritation. 

Your baby might get something called “cradle cap”, which involves crusty patches or greasy scales on their scalp. It doesn’t warrant alarm bells, being painless and temporary, but a light moisturiser or cream helps to soften the skin. 

On a daily basis, bathe your baby in warm water and moisturise them from top to bottom at least once. This will give their skin the nourishing care it needs.

Use products that are gentle on your baby’s skin, like the aforementioned CUB wipes. Being fragrance, alcohol, and paraben free (plus dermatologically tested), you can trust that it treats delicate skin with care. 

9. Don’t be surprised when their umbilical cord randomly drops off


Add this to the growing list of things only a parent can get their head around. 

You won’t know when, where, or even why, but at some point in the first few weeks your baby’s umbilical cord stump will fall off. And you’ll probably freak out. 

Take heart in the fact that this is normal and expected.

As unceremonious as it may seem, you can just throw it in the bin. The aftermath of your baby’s belly button might be a bit mucky, feature a red mark, or feel sticky. It’s a bit gross, but totally harmless and pain-free. You can clean the area by dabbing it with a cotton bud and some warm water. 

10. Enjoy your family’s journey


There will be many, many times as a parent that you get the urge to compare. 

Feelings of inadequacy and insecurity are assumed as part and parcel of parenthood, but they don’t have to be. 

Your choices are yours, no matter what advice comes your way. Trust your gut and follow the path that brings joy to your family.

FAQs


  • How do you navigate the amount of advice from various sources when preparing for your baby?
    First up, know that it’s natural to feel totally overwhelmed. Start by leaning onto trusted sources and people who’ve walked your walk. You should also prioritise advice that aligns with your values and lifestyle to filter out what doesn’t apply to your world.  Seek support from experienced parents or join parenting groups to get relatable insights and reassurance.
  • What are some common myths about being a first-time parent?
    No doubt you’ll be hit with all sorts of misconceptions about parenthood as others try to tell you what’s what. Like the notion that spoiling your baby with too much affection can lead to behavioural problems later on. When in fact, responsive caregiving and meeting a baby’s comfort and security needs creates healthy attatchment and emotional development.
  • How can parents balance their own care with looking after their baby?
    Establishing priorities is an important step in recognising that your wellbeing is crucial to being the best parent you can be. Understand that taking care of yourself enables you to better care for your baby. Set realistic expectations for yourself, recognising that some days may be more challenging than others, and it’s okay to ask for help or take breaks when needed.

Create a support system to take some things off your hands, and build self-care routines into your daily routine – even if it’s just your favourite hobby or enjoying a cup of tea.

 *CUB 99% water wipes are biodegradable. Tested according to ASTM  D5511 to biodegrade in standard landfill condition. 

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