Every couple longs for the first time they will hold their own baby on their hands and say all sweet things to it. It all starts the day the wife realizes that she expectant and the reality of being a mother and father dawns to the couple. To a couple the first born comes as a great bundle of joy where they celebrate and thank heavens for the ability to bear one. However, they then face a greater challenge of raising the first baby in the best way possible (Stoppard, 2009). This paper tackles the issue of first time parenting and how parents can be able to achieve the challenges and raise their child to be their pride.
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At the beginning it is overwhelming to have the first baby, until the parents realize that there is so much to learn in caring and appeasing the baby. In this the parents whether a couple or single have to care for the delicate baby and protect her from the any harm. During birth due to the sensitivity of the baby the child needs total care wit parents being taught how to hold and care for the baby (Davies, 2008). Parents especially mothers who have helped other mothers care for their children will have some experience but every child is special in his or her own way and thus will require special attention at times. The attention of both parents is required since they will contribute to the rearing of the child. The mother is needed more in the first years of the child's growth.
Lessons to care for the infant child will come in handy to ensure the child is safe and comfortable (Atkins, 2009). For example, holding the baby in comfortable positions such as laying the baby on the back and scooping him with two arms; one on the bottom and one on the top should be practiced. One can also lay him or her across one arm with the head at the crook of the elbow and the bottom in the hands then gently caress with the other hand; the baby can also be nestled on the neck with on hand supporting the head and neck and the other the bottom (Stoppard, 2009).
Handling the newborn is also demanding since there are always required procedures to handling the baby. The basics include washing your hands using a sanitizer regularly before handling the baby since the baby immunity is not yet strong enough. This will protect the infant from infections. The baby has also not developed a strong body structure and thus the parent must always support the head and neck of the baby when they are carrying them upright. The infant should also not be shaken whether in play or when the parent is frustrated (Atkins, 2009). In this case parent should always learn to control their emotions in such a way that they never physically or emotionally hurt the child.
The most important and pleasurable part of the child's life is when the parent must bond with the child. This will ensure there is a great connection between the parents and the child which will contribute much to the emotional growth of the child. Bonding is done through cradling the baby and gently stroking it in different patterns. The can also be massaged or swaddled to enhance bonding. In addition, parents can sing to the baby smoothly and softly as the baby sleeps along. This will significantly enhance communication between the parent and the baby which must be a critical part in building a lasting relationship.
The baby must also be fed properly to enhance physical growth; generally newborns feed every three to four hours while other may feed after two hours. Breastfeeding is the most vital part of the child's life and so the mother must be able to breastfeed the child in the first three months. Breast milk is also easier to digests than bottle milk and also safer for the gentle baby's stomach. The mother will have to learn all this since it is the first time and sometimes it may seem much and tiresome. The father should there to help and encourage the mother emotionally and support her in some of her duties.
The baby needs to attend the postnatal clinic regularly so that the child is examined and reexamined on any wrong thing (Atkins, 2009). They are also immunized from several diseases which will boost the immunity of the baby. Without the support of the husband the wife may find this a tall order and despair; this is why both parents are important to support each other. Above all adequate sleep is very important to the child and the parent should ensure they let the child have undisturbed rest for the hours recommended by the doctor during the postnatal clinics (Davies, 2008).
Bathing the baby is also important and the baby should have a sponge bath until the umbilical cord falls off, the circumcision is healed, and the naval completely heals. When bathing the baby use a soft clean wash cloth, mild baby soap clean towel, and warm water that is always tested not to burn the baby. The baby is definitely sensitive during the early age and remains so till he is much grown. This will require the parents to spend a lot of time and money in bringing up the child.
First time parents are definitely bestowed with a huge responsibility of raising a healthy and safe baby and when it is done collectively they will be able to succeed in that task. They must be ready to face sleepless nights as the baby requires care all day and night; and also be able to make out what the baby requires at all times. Giving care to a child is challenging when it is the first time since one is never sure of how much to give but the society and friends can help the couple to cope. The mother needs to invite a friend or experienced parent to guide her through as she takes care of the baby to minimize any chances of mistakes that can jeopardize the health or growth of the baby (Davies, 2008).
Whether they will have more children after the first remains to the couple but parenthood does not end while the child goes to school. This only opens up a new chapter of the life of parenting where the parent is now worried about what the child is doing. By this the bond created all along will make the parent convince the child to be responsible in choosing the right and wrongs as they come along (Atkins, 2009). The parent should always guide the child in every decision while observing him or her from any irresponsible behavior.
During all stages of early childhood, middle childhood and adolescence the parent has the greatest responsibility of guiding the child in the path that will make him responsible and beneficial to society. Responsible parenting is all about connecting, communicating and bonding with the child in his early life this will make it easier for the parent to shape the future of the child. Being a first time parent is quite challenging but there is always a first time to everything and so no couple should be afraid of this great and noble responsibility.