Being a parent can be among the most rewarding things you will ever experience in life. However, it comes with its share of challenges too. Parents have to deal with things like outfitting a nursery and adjusting to late-night feeding schedules. There's no doubt that these things can take a toll on you in the early days. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to better equip yourself for parenthood.
Here, we'll give you three of our own most important tips for first-time parents in Singapore.
Take a First Aid Course
The first thing you should know about kids is that they get into accidents.
It happens even if they’re at home. You can put together the most baby-proofed baby nursery in Singapore and they’ll still get into trouble.
Babies bump their heads while playing or crawling, toddlers nick themselves on corners, and children trip over nothing at all.
And all of that can be very stressful for a concerned parent. To prepare yourself for that, consider taking first aid classes.
Get lessons on treating cuts and scrapes, dealing with knocks to the head, and delivering CPR. While you may not be able to stand in for a true medical professional, this should at least equip you to deal with the many small issues your little ones may face through the years. It can also help you feel a little more in control when accidents do happen.
Fortunately, there are a lot of good places in Singapore for first aid classes. Examples include the Singapore First Aid Training Centre and the Singapore Emergency Responder Academy.
The latter in particular has a programme for parents hoping to learn first aid for newborns and young children. You and your spouse can even take it while you’re still going through your pregnancy.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
A lot of new parents make the mistake of putting undue pressure on themselves and their children.
They imagine following strict baby training regimes where everything follows the clock and their children never learn to take an occasional sweet as a bribe to behave.
But babies aren't machines and neither are you.
Don't expect everything to go perfectly, or your plans to be foolproof.
Don't expect the baby to fit seamlessly into your life, because a baby is a major change to your family, which means it requires a major change to your world.
Expect messiness, mistakes, a fair bit of crying, and a lot of frustration. And remind yourself that all of this is okay. Focus on what's important instead of getting caught up in small details.
For instance, so what if your baby's shirt has a small stain on it from formula? What matters is that he's comfortable, healthy, and fed. In the same vein, don't agonise over feeding schedules. If your baby happens to be hungry at a different time from usual, just see to it.
Or, if your baby has finally gone to sleep and you want to take a nap but have some small chores to do, forget the chores unless they're urgent. Get some rest now while you can and worry about them later.
Having a sense of proportion about your tasks is important when parenting as it helps you conserve your strength, both mental and physical.
Teach yourself this as early as possible. You can even practise it while you’re still preparing for the baby during your pregnancy. You’ll run into your share of disappointments even during this period, you see… and you can teach yourself then that each one isn’t the end of the world.
For example, say you’re shopping for items to put in your baby nursery and you can’t find the precise item you want. If it won’t affect anything functionally and will only make a difference in something like aesthetics, then maybe it’s best to go ahead and choose a replacement.
Invest in Multipurpose Nursery Furniture
This is something more first-time parents should definitely do!
A lot of them don't know how swiftly babies grow, so they're often caught off guard by how often they need to change some things.
They don't expect babies to need a new crib once they reach toddlerhood, for instance, and assume their babies can just continue using the same crib as before.
Or they don't realise that high chairs often need to be changed at different parts of the baby's development.
Some of this is down to sizing: some items just aren't rated to hold a toddler as well as they do a younger child, for instance. It may also be down to things like whether or not the item was designed to provide the specific support necessary for a particular age, e.g. support for a baby that can't hold itself up yet. This can lead to quite a fair bit of expenses over time.
But there is a solution: multifunctional furniture for your nursery!
One of our favourite types of multifunctional furniture is the convertible crib.
If you go to our online baby store, you’ll see that there are convertible cribs now that come with conversion kits. The kits let you turn them from baby beds to toddler beds and eventually, even to day beds. They even have adjustable mattress heights for further versatility.
Multifunctional High Chairs
As another example, you can also find items like Hauck's Alpha+ High Chair now. This is also something we stock in our online baby store. This convertible chair can be used at pretty much every stage of life. It can even be converted for use by an adult!
Essentially, you can get a chair that you and your baby can use for a lifetime.
Dresser Drawer Sets
Finally, there are also items like Babyletto's Hudson Three-drawer Dresser.
For one thing, this can be used even beyond the nursery, given its looks. It comes with a removable changing tray too, so you don't have to buy that separately. Items like this and the others we mentioned can also help reduce the cost of fitting out your nursery.
Get Further Advice on Preparation
Now we know that you're probably still a little anxious about becoming a new parent even with these tips. We'd like to help you where we can.
For more advice, you can try checking out our other articles on our blog. Aside from that, you can reach out to us if you need advice on your first baby gear shopping trips or finding more multifunctional furniture for your baby nursery.
Feel free to contact us at any time for assistance! At Hatchery, we're all about making parents' lives easier and babies' lives more comfortable.