Despite the plethora of baby books, how-to videos, and information on Google, no one can fully prepare for becoming a parent. Every child is unique, which presents unique parenting situations you must tackle along the way.
While experienced moms and dads love to share words of wisdom with up-and-coming parents, there are a lot of things they fail to divulge for one reason or another. That is, until now. Keep reading to discover a few things others may have neglected to tell you about becoming a parent.
You Really Don’t Need All that Stuff
You can spend thousands buying all the equipment and supplies you think you’ll need for your new baby. The reality is, you probably don’t need 75 percent of it. One thing you should have, though, is a steam sterilizer for baby bottles. Little ones have under-developed immune systems when they are born, which makes them susceptible to germs and bacteria. Sterilizing your baby’s bottles will help keep him healthy in his first few months of life.
Be Prepared to Not Be Prepared
You probably have a pretty good idea of the type of parent you’ll be. Once the baby comes, however, all that planning is likely to go by the wayside. One tiny piece of advice that’s really helpful at this time is “be prepared to not be prepared.” Flexibility is essential to being a good parent because kids are anything but predictable.
Having Nice Things Becomes a Thing of the Past (for a while, anyway)
If you’ve always been a tad materialistic, have a baby or two. Having nice possessions will rapidly become a thing of the past once kids enter the picture. White walls attract artwork and good sweaters are magnets for spit-up and all kinds of unidentifiable stains. New parents learn quickly to live with belongings that show obvious signs of wear and tear.
Sleep Deprivation is a Real Thing
You don’t have to be a parent to know that babies cause sleep deprivation. It isn’t until you become a parent yourself, however, that you learn just how significant sleep deprivation can be.
According to a study conducted by the University of Warwick, the birth of a baby drastically affects the sleep duration and satisfaction of a new mother for up to three months. Beyond that, having a child can continue to disrupt parents’ sleep for up to six years. The takeaway: sleep as you knew it before having kids is going to be a rarity.
You’ll Become an Expert in Children’s Music and TV
You might have missed an entire season of your favorite show, but you’ll know every word to your child’s favorite song. You’ll also know what time and on what channel their top TV shows come on, that’s for sure.
Just don’t be surprised when your non-parenting friends don’t want to discuss the latest plot twist on SpongeBob SquarePants or look at you weird when you begin singing “Baby Shark.”
At the end of the day, parenting is hard work and there’s really no way to fully prepare for everything it entails. No matter how much you plan for the type of parent you’ll be, you’ll probably end up improvising most of the time to make sure your child is healthy and happy every step of the way.
Experienced parents in your life may have already shared their wisdom with you, but hopefully, the information above will help, too. After all, you can never know too much about being a parent.