Brace yourself - this is probably the most exciting time in your life.
You’re expecting your first child, and you are filled with joy, expectations, dreams, plans, and, if we’re being honest, probably a few worries, too. All of that is completely normal, and everyone feels that way when they’re expecting their first bundle of joy. So hold onto those feelings because they’re almost as precious as that little baby itself.
When you’re a working parent, you not only have to think about the new baby, but you’ve also got a lot of work concerns. So even if you’ve already scheduled your time off and prepared everything, you know there’s still going to be something that pops up at the last minute.
Being ready for “surprises” is half the battle, so you’re already doing a good job. We’ve come up with some handy tips that will help you prepare even more. You’ve got this.
First Time Parenting Tips
You’ll get advice from just about everyone. We’re not here to hop on that bandwagon, but we do have a few tips to help you get ready and navigate this next chapter of your life.
- Time for you. Don’t forget that you still matter, and self-care is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. Now, maybe more than ever is the time to make self-care a priority. It’s going to be really tempting to pour all of you into your little one, then pull whatever time you can out of your day for work and go to bed without ever taking care of yourself. Avoid doing this at all costs. You deserve care, too.
- Instinct is amazing. You’ll be surprised at how good your instincts are and the things you know without even thinking about it. So trust this and appreciate it. It’s truly a gift that comes with parenthood and your bond with your child.
- Accept help. Your friends and family are going to want to spend time with the new baby – let them. Take advantage of their help and grab a quick nap, run some errands, get a little work done. Whatever help people offer, accept it gratefully.
- Prioritize. Stop trying to do everything for everyone all the time. Instead, create a bubble and focus on the things that matter now. Later you’ll find time for other things.
- Work from home. One thing the pandemic did was to open up WFH to a broader audience than ever before. It also convinced many employers that their employees could be trusted to do their jobs. Some even do it better from home. Maybe this is an option for you, even if it’s just one day a week.
- Quality time. This is the time to start being present in the moment finally. Learn to appreciate each moment for what it is and let go of outside thoughts, worries, and fears. Turn all of your time into quality moments.
- Patience and flexibility. When you have kids, your life needs a lot of patience and flexibility. The sooner you can begin to embrace these traits, the better.
How to Find a Daycare for First-Time Parents
One of the best tips a working parent can get is to find a daycare that they trust and love. How do you do that when you’ve never done it before? This is an important step, and you want to be more than confident in your choice, so we have a few tips to help.
- Practical considerations. Make a list of all of the basics you want/need in a daycare. Their hours, location, price, waiting lists, meals provided, etc. These will be the first criteria you use to pick a daycare.
- Ask around. You’ve undoubtedly started to collect a lot of information from friends who have recently had little ones. Use your resources to start asking about daycare options.
- Research. The internet is a beautiful thing. Go online and check out what options are near you, look for referrals, look for negative reviews. Dive deep into individual daycare websites to discover what their policies are, their approach, and get a feel for the environment.
- Visit. There’s nothing quite like an actual visit to see the lay of the land and let those parenting instincts take over. Does the place make you feel happy and comforted? How about the people, do you like them right away? While you’re there, please don’t feel bad about asking to see their credentials and certifications.
- Parent interaction. Another aspect often overlooked when first seeking a daycare is what level of interaction and participation the parents have. Are you interested in coming in and helping or being a part of the activities? How do you feel about other parents doing the same? It’s something to consider.
Tips for Beginning Daycare
Once you’ve found a daycare and you’re ready to entrust them with your little one, these tips can make that transition easier. And yes, it’s going to be more complex than you imagined.
- Embrace the emotions. Let yourself cry; it’s okay. Have all of those feelings and just let it happen. Emotions are a part of life, be they good, bad, ugly, or miraculously beautiful.
- Ease into it. Why put so much pressure on the first day of daycare. Why not ease your tiny human (and yourself) into it. Ask if you can go with your child and be there for an hour. Maybe the next day, you leave your baby there alone for an hour. Perhaps the following day it’s two hours. Give yourself room to do what’s comfortable for you.
- Establish a routine. Even on the days your little one isn’t going to daycare, keeping the same sleep and meal schedules can make everything run more smoothly. When they’re programmed to eat and sleep at certain times, a shakeup in that schedule can throw the entire day off. For the best results, communicate with the daycare to find out their schedule and adapt yours to it before the first day.
- Supplies and Labels. Your daycare will undoubtedly have a list of supplies you’re expected to bring for your little one. Every daycare varies so you’ll have to get their specific list. While you’re gathering those items, begin labeling them. Label everything with Name Bubbles daycare packs. You’ll quickly learn that things disappear and get lost regularly when you have children. And replacing everything is expensive. Labels are the best solution around.
Our daycare packs include the Daycare Labels Pack, which has name labels for bottles, clothing, food containers and more. If you need to write a lot of information on your bottles, try our baby bottle write-on labels. They’re made out of the same dishwasher safe material as all our labels, with the added benefit of extra space for your instructional writing needs.
Thank you again for joining us for another edition of The Weekly Bubble! We’ll talk to you next week!