What parents wish they knew before having kids
Parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual.
Instead, it’s a process of growing alongside your child and learning what works and what doesn’t. Ask any veteran parent what they wish they knew before having kids and they’ll spout off a laundry list of things they’ve learned along their journey.
We’re ParentEducate.com, the place where parents go to learn valuable infant and toddler care information to make navigating parenthood easier.
We recently sat down with our parent friends to learn what advice they’d give to new parents (that they wish they knew when they first had kids).
- Take Care of Yourself.
“Take care of yourself too. Yes, your sweet baby will have many needs; but you can’t pour from an empty cup. You need to prioritize rest (when you can), fuel your body with food that will give you energy, move your body, and ask your partner for a break when you need it.” - Callie S., Greenville, SC
Veteran parents know the importance of setting aside time for self-care. Whether it’s a moment of mindfulness (you can find tips on how to have your child join in on your mindfulness practice with the Mindfullness I: An Introduction course) or a much-needed snack break, schedule time in your day to focus on your needs as a parent.
- Size-Up the Right Fit.
“If you’re stuck on what sizes to buy, always buy clothes/shoes a size up. It's better to have the item be too big than too small. You're not going to believe how fast they grow. Chances are they will fit in a month." - Angie B., Baltimore, MD
"There's a lot that goes into selecting the proper car seat for kids. Once you finally decide on the right one, then you have to wrestle with installing it and know how to make sure your kid is secured properly." - Adam F., Montgomery, AL
Whether it’s clothing or car seats, children’s sizes are a world of their own. Remember your kiddo is likely going to grow quickly (so bigger might be better). For more serious sizing questions, including what size car seat is best, we recommend our Transportation Safety course.
- Parenting is an Adventure.
"I wish I knew that nothing is off-limits as a chew toy and I would find myself speaking as if my son were a dog. Stop. Sit. Stay. Don't chew that... etc." - Rachelle H., Atlanta, GA
Parenting is not as easy as some sitcoms make it out to be. It’s a winding journey full of plot twists and surprises. You’ll quickly find out that anything in your home can be used as a toy (we suggest taking our Indoor Safety course) and that some bugs look like tasty snacks (we have an Outdoor Safety course, too).
- You’re Going to Go Through Changes, Too.
“I wish I knew my shoe size would change and would never return." - Rachelle H., Atlanta, GA
Your child isn’t the only person that’s going to go through changes during your parenting journey. Aside from the physical changes, your daily routine will also start to change. Before long, you’ll find it hard to remember what life was like before you became a parent – and you’ll be oh so grateful you did.
- Change is the Only Constant.
"As your kid grows up, your parenting approach has to change to meet the needs of the stage they are in." - Ulrica A., Atlanta, GA
“Change is constant. No matter what stage you’re in, whether it’s a wonderful one where there are cuddles galore or an awful one where there are screams galore, it will change soon. Enjoy all of the moments for what they are, because you may be looking back and wishing you could hold them all of the time when during that stage you were over it.” - Callie S., Greenville, SC
No two years of your parenting journey are going to be the same, especially as your child starts to grow. Be ready to adapt your parenting techniques accordingly (we’ve made that easy with courses specific to each age group).
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