WHAT WE DID RIGHT IN OUR 1ST YEAR OF PARENTING


 

 

Have Other Family Members Care For
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We’ll never forget our first month being newly parents. If only newborns came with an instruction manual. Actually, forget that thought cause even then it wouldn’t be much help as newborns are unpredictable AF! It was like working overtime in manual labour, exhausting. Luckily, we asked my mum to stay over for the first 3 days (at home) after my delivery to assist with care for Nova while we adjust to our new lifestyle. Not only did she help us with Nova, but also cooked for us so we didn’t have to worry about organising food. It felt good to rest knowing that someone else was taking care of Nova. So if you can get assistance from your family, take it because it’ll help lift the load. 

 

Soothing 
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 Nova became occasionally colicky during the early months of birth & the only way to settle her was with baby white noise. Of course we could rock her in our arms, but honestly we didn’t want to risk having to spend god knows how long doing that so we ditched that method immediately. We looked this one up online & used it every time Nova was colicky. Who knew that this would be such an effective way to soothe a crying infant! We also played classical music for babies in the background during daytime naps cause we found that she tend to sleep longer with it on vs without. Swaddling was also a really effective technique to promote sleep so we did that for awhile too.

 

 

 

Non-Picky Eater Training
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It’s ever so natural for bubs to become picky eaters, but there are ways to help them grow out of it. There was a short time where Nova was very selective with food, luckily she now eats absolutely everything we offer to her. Here’s what we’ve done & are still doing.

We always try to keep meal length reasonable by no longer than 20mins. Minimise distractions during feeding times by removing screen time, toys &/or other entertainment products to center the focus on meal time. Straight after every daytime meal we let Nova have her screen time or play outside like a “reward” to make her fall into the routine of eat before play. We’ve introduced a variety of food to Nova & have allowed her to explore food by letting her get messy. For every new food, we would place them on her high chair table to encourage independent eating. Most of time she would just play with her food before taking the first bite & we enjoying watching her really. I think it’s good to let bub be creative & have “fun” during meal times so that they can have positive associations to the food offered. Nova doesn’t love everything she tries & that’s the reality. We’ve learnt to let her reject food instead of force feeding. Though she hasn’t really shown signs of rejecting anything we’ve offered yet. She has this thing where she’s more likely to reject foods that she doesn’t like only when we’re out. She’ll still end up finishing her meal if offered at home, it just takes her longer than usual. Whatever it may be, we just accept it now rather than force it.

 

 

Screen Time
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So far Nova is not dependent on screen time or other entertainment devices. Even when she’s fussy in public, we don’t resort to  devices for screen time to prevent unhealthy habits. She currently has around 2hrs of screen time on a daily or sometimes even less depending on our schedule. Screen time use to be much less before all this isolation around covid19. Even though we can’t take her out freely as we did before, we still have the freedom to roam around since we live on a farm which is why we’ve been trying to stick to this routine. We take Nova outside for walks, while we do gardening or just enjoy some sun rays to keep her physically active & it helps with minimising her screen time. 

We’ve been allowing Nova to watch educational videos on Youtube on the big screen only. We always watch videos ourselves first to check that content is kid friendly as we want to avoid having her view or listen to any content that may be harmful or irrelevant while we still can. You’ll be surprised with how many “kid friendly” shows available these days that encourage unhealthy & aggressive behaviours in children so it’s best you double check it because kids learn fast.

 

 

Not Over Spending on Entertainment Products & Toys
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 I think parents give very little thought when it comes to buying entertainment products & toys for their bub because you want to spoil them right. But lets think twice here. Babies grow fast & thus become easily disinterested with anything if not everything presented to them which means you’ll be left with mountains of pre-loved plastic if you don’t learn to discipline yourself from unnecessary purchases. Daniel & I set the rule to not pile up on toys long before Nova’s arrival & that hasn’t changed. We focus on quality over quantity which is why we put very little effort in the toy department. Majority of the toys that Nova owns are gifted from fam/friends. I personally think that bub will enjoy playing with their toys more if there’s less of it. Kids are easily overwhelmed with choice so they may end up not playing with anything at all if they’re unsure of what to play with.

 

Support Each Other
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Raising babies may be the hardest thing that many of us have ever done am I right? It can be real stressful & can really test the relationship you have with your partner. I think it’s so easy to raise our voices, criticize opinions & tear each other to bits. What we don’t realise is just how simple it is to continue to be there for each other because this phase is just another part of the life you’re living-together. Daniel was incredibly supportive & I’m not even sugar coating this. For the first month his routine after work would be dinner, shower then straight to bed & up before 11pm to take over night shift for me before going work again in the morning. Adjusting in the first month was crazy because babies don’t simply just “eat & sleep”. We were both exhausted, but we were clear on dividing responsibilities & didn’t shift duties onto each other & I think that was the key. The support system needs to continue once you have a baby otherwise I can’t imagine how it’ll look later down the track. You must have had great history with your partner by this point so being there for each other during tough times should come easily. Not to mention, the presence of your newborn should ignite the love you have for each other so take a minute to look at your other half & show them the appreciation they deserve because your love created a human!

 

 

Finding Balance
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Now that I’ve experienced it for myself I understand the challenges faced by parents in this modern age where finding that balance between work & family is not that simple. It’s common to sacrifice your career for your family, but if you can do both then why the hell not? Having a baby is a huge deal & it sure takes a great amount of effort to keep it together, but it doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your work life in order to build a family. You just got to make time to create a balance for your new lifestyle. Tough, yes. Impossible, no. It’s all manageable if commitment & dedication is consistent. It involves practising a whole lot of management & organisational skills in order to deal with everything on the plate. Believe me ladies when I say that you can do anything now that you have survive giving birth to a child LOl

It was hard for me to accept the fact that had become a “stay at home mum”, especially after just reviving my blogger life. Being a blogger means you get to work from home which I have been doing for sometime now so I should be use to this nature right? Nope. Of course, I knew that our lives would change significantly once Nova arrive in the sense that we won’t be able to freely do things or go out anymore, but I didn’t want that thought to consume me. Despite being sleep deprived during that first month postpartum I stuck to my routine before Nova. Although, I wasn’t able to attend events at the time I knew I could still produce content so I continued to accept collaborations. My first collaboration straight out of delivery was with PrettyLittleThing. Juggling between breastfeeding & sleep vs organising shoot times, location, working around Daniel who also works full time & create content overall was a little tougher than before but manageable. Again, if you can do both then why the hell not.

 


 

 

 

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