From Strollers to Stationary – Making it Through the First Few Years of Parenthood
Becoming a parent is a game changer. Sleep becomes a luxury and everyday life changes in little ways as your child grows and develops. It’s impossible to prepare for everything that parenthood throws at you, but there are some essentials items you can get to make life a little bit easier.
Ask For Practical Gifts
When you baby is born, you are going to get enough presents to fill a room. In addition to this, your parent-friends will do their best to palm off all of the clothes, shoes, books and toys that their child has recently grown out of. So, it’s important to know what it is that you actually need and want. Asking people to buy you specific gifts can seem a bit rude but it will save your house a whole lot of clutter. Babies go through a lot of clothes, nappies and wraps, but that’s about all you’ll need for a while.
Prams and Strollers
Having a good pram will make your whole life easier. It’s worth investing in a quality pram that can convert to a stroller and that has strong, sturdy wheels that will get your baby around for years. Shop around and find the right stroller for you and your family, ensuring that the steering is smooth and easy to use.
Also, make sure that the handle bar is at a good height, or has an adjustable handle so that you and your partner can push it comfortably, regardless of height. It’s also a good idea to go for a stroller that isn’t too heavy; there are still a lot of train stations and other areas where you will need to carry the pram down stairs.
One of the joys of parenthood is passing down books to your child that you used to read, as well as discovering new books together. There are plenty of great children’s books on the market, and having a few on the shelf to read at bedtime creates a great routine to end the day that will also help your child begin to learn basic literacy skills such as reading a book from left to right.
Drawing comes naturally to children and is a great way for them to begin to express themselves and develop fine motor skills. Art also encourages their visual analysis of objects and gets them thinking about the shapes and sizes of things. Drawing and colouring-in will also teach your child to solve problems creatively.
For these reasons, and for the simple enjoyment that they get out of it, it’s important to encourage your child to draw, paint and play. Pick up a few scrapbooks, notepads and colouring-in books to keep your child’s creativity flowing.
Take A Break
Getting through the first few years of parenthood can be stressful. If your family can get by on a single income, then allowing a parent to stay home and look after your new baby for at least the first year, but even the first 3 years if possible will make your life that much easier. Once they are out of the baby phase, toddlers have a tendency to get sick and need days at home. Having flexible working arrangements for those first few years are a must. Or if you have family close by that are willing to help, make the most of them!
Parenthood brings with it a lot of changes and a need for flexibility. It’s going to be one of the most exciting times of your life watching your little one grow from a tiny baby into a little girl or boy.