8 Crucial Skills Every New Parent Needs to Learn
Incorporating the challenges of parenthood into your everyday life is no small feat; though rewarding, parenting is notoriously difficult. Your worries may be stacked on top of each other as you think about raising a child in a large, busy city like Sydney. But we’re sure that you’re up to the task, and with a few key parenting skills at your disposal, you’ll be just about ready to take care of your little newcomer.
- How to feed your child as he/she moves up age groups. Of utmost concern is making sure your growing child is nourished properly. As per the advice of the World Health Organization, babies should be breastfed until about 6 months of age, whereupon they can slowly be introduced to solid food. Breastfeeding will be tough on mothers at first, but they can seek assistance from implements like a breast pump. Beyond the initial breastfeeding period, parents should know how to prepare milk formula, how to sterilize bottles, and how to serve food that is easy to chew and swallow as the child’s teeth grow out. So, to new parents: bring out all the appropriate implements and start getting good at addressing your child’s dietary needs.
- First aid for young children. For new parents, a specialized course for first aid training in Sydney could go a long way in raising a child. As the child’s primary guardians, you’re also tasked to be the first responders in case your child gets wounded, falls ill, or incurs other threats to their delicate physical health. Learn how to apply first aid especially to babies and toddlers—this will entail how to elicit responses, check for breathing and pulse, open airways, and apply appropriate treatment for cuts, bruises, prolonged fits of vomiting and diarrhea, and allergic reactions.
- Carrying a child properly. One of the first things both parents will need to practice is how to carry a child in their arms. The best position to carry a baby is by holding their head and keeping them close to your chest, with the support coming mostly from your palms. Other base points for support are the neck and the bottom. It’s also an option to use additional gear like a sling or a front-facing knapsack-style baby carrier. Once you develop the skill of carrying young children in your arms, you’re truly set to be a pro parent.
- Putting a child to sleep. Sleep is crucial to a child’s overall development, and it’s important to keep to a routine for nap time and bedtime. Some ways that you can get a very young child snoozing are: rocking them, burping them, and dimming the lights in their room. You should also resist the urge to intervene too quickly or to pick up a baby the second it cries. The sooner a child can learn to fall asleep by itself, the healthier it will be for them (and for the parents’ overall sanity).
- Entertaining a child in age-appropriate ways. Another highly important element in raising a child is playing with them regularly. Play develops a child’s fine motor, balance, and coordination skills, as well as brings out their natural curiosity and creativity. Learn to play with your child with the toys that are appropriate for their age group. Take the time as well to bond with them and create an emotional connection. We advise against the prolonged exposure of very young children to techs, such as smartphones, tablets, or television screens; these may hamper the full impulse control that they have yet to develop and/or set off behavioral addiction.
- Stimulating a young child’s learning. Children learn to engage with complex ideas, like language, at earlier age than you expect. A child under two years old may already have the capacity to think full thoughts and express themselves in short sentences. Help your child learn about words, images, colors, numbers, animals, and the like by practicing speech with them, reading stories, or using toys like an abacus. Learning can be fulfilling for both the child and the parent.
- Building discipline. Exercising discipline is perhaps one of the hardest skills for a parent to take on, but it is possible to institute ideas like child safety and boundaries at an earlier age. Parents should start with positive reinforcement on younger children, and they can do this with affirming language and gestures. Punishment should be used only sparingly and only for older children who have begun to grasp difficult ideas like what is right versus what is wrong.
- Stress management for yourself and your partner. Don’t forget that children are not the only part of this equation! You and your partner also deserve time to relax, have fun, and come back to the task of parenting with renewed focus. Get on the skill of being extra sensitive to your partner’s worries and level of exhaustion. Learn to make important calls on alternating tasks, allotting time with children, and setting aside time for a breather. Paying attention to stress management will make you better, more energized parents.
It may seem overwhelming sometimes, but you’ve got an entire community of Australian parents to support you. At such an early point in their lives, your children will look up to you as their heroes. Also, the skills and the sacrifices that come with becoming a parent will prove to be rewarded in themselves as your children grow and develop.