What to Expect with a Newborn

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It is really exciting to become a parent.  I remember the first time I held my son in my arms, and I couldn’t believe that I was a parent.  As exciting as it is, it is also daunting.  Whether we have read up on what to expect or not, there is next to nothing that can prepare you for what it is really like to be a parent.  Just like when we look at people’s social media posts, and everyone seems like the Brady Bunch, here too, things are far more challenging than you may anticipate.  Here are a list of some of the things new parents should be aware of:

  1. What Newborns Do –  Newborns either sleep, make, eat, or cry.  I remember finding out that a newborn doesn’t smile until a few months in; that’s crazy.  Of course there is a loving relationship and bond with you and your child, but it is a one-way relationship of total giving to them.  As I just had my second child just over a month ago, I often think about just how helpless infants are, and how they literally can’t do anything on their own.  I always wished there was someone who would invent something that translated a baby cry to tell the parents what is bothering them (I am cool with 5% if you take the idea).
  2. They Sleep, You Don’t – Even though it’s true that a newborn baby sleeps a lot, they do wake up every three hours (from the start of their feeding) to eat again.  It’s not an issue when it’s two in the afternoon and the next feeding is at five, but when it’s the middle of the night and you just fell asleep about forty-five minutes ago, it takes a toll on you.  The  best advice is to sleep when they sleep.
  3. New Chores – Before having a child you have a few household chores you and your partner do.  Once a baby comes into the mix, new chores are added, and pre-existing chores are compounded.  You now have to shop for diapers, formula (if relevant), bottles, etc. Chores such as laundry are no longer one wash, as a baby’s clothing requires special detergent and therefore get its own wash.  Prior to a baby you made your schedule, now, your life revolves around theirs.
  4. Expenses – Kids are expensive.  It gives me a headache just calculating how much money it will cost from birth through college, I literally don’t know how I can afford to pay that much money. Within the first few months you are paying for a stroller, crib, car seat, and clothing at the very least.  As they grow up, the expenses become much larger, and can be very overwhelming.  Although it probably isn’t mentally healthy to worry about something eighteen years from now, it is good to think ahead, and have a plan for budgeting your money.

There are of course many more things that can be discussed, and there are hundreds of books and articles you can find to help guide you through this new and exciting journey.  Although it is overwhelming, it is the most rewarding thing in the entire world.

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