When you become a parent, you and your partner will undergo changes that you might not have been able to foresee. No matter how prepared you are, there are always aspects of parenting that come as a surprise. Babies inevitably change the dynamic of a relationship, in both challenging and wonderful ways.
Sleep is perhaps the most obvious change that will take place in your relationship. Babies, especially newborns, require round the clock care, and the parents’ sleep schedule is therefore interrupted. Lack of sleep can cause irritability and make it difficult to concentrate. You may find yourself snapping at your partner or arguing over what would normally be small decisions.
One strategy for getting as much sleep as possible is for you and your partner to switch off. It may seem like a good bonding opportunity for both parents to be up with the baby at night, but trading responsibilities can give you more quality time together. Some parents have the mother breastfeed the baby during the night, and then have the father take care of the baby during the daytime so the mother can nap.
Intimacy will undoubtedly change between you and your partner, at least for a while. Many new mothers find that they aren’t as interested in being intimate, because it’s hard to balance feeling sexually attractive and feeling like a parent. The mother has also undergone natural, physical changes that may temporarily cause pain or cause her to feel self-conscious about her appearance.
Keep lines of communication open between you, so that each partner knows why the other isn’t interested in intimacy at that time. When you’re not physically intimate, you’ll want to plan quality time together, even if it is just for 20-minute intervals. Go for a walk, hold hands, or schedule a babysitter in order to see a movie. Physical intimacy will resume in time, and in the meantime, you can do other activities to feel connected.
Since babies take up so much time, you’ll probably find that your house gets a little messy, even if you normally keep it very clean. Especially with the sleep deprivation, couples find that they snap at each other about household responsibilities. New parents can set up a time to discuss household chores while the baby is sleeping. In order to resolve conflict and avoid shifting blame, come up with a list of chores and decide who is responsible for which. Ideally, this list should be realistic and allow for some flexibility. Post your list in a convenient location, like on the refrigerator.
It’s important to cut yourselves some slack while caring for a new baby. Praise yourself and your partner for accomplishments, both large and small.
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The decision to circumcise or not circumcise, your newborn can be a very difficult one. While all parents want the best for their children, it isn’t always easy to determine which choice will have the most positive impact on your child’s health and well-being.
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the penis’s foreskin, which is typically performed in the first few months of an infant’s life. Research suggests that there are potential health benefits associated with circumcision, but it also shows that the procedure is not without certain risks.
Benefits and Risks
In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) ruled that the potential benefits of circumcision slightly outweigh the associated risks. However, they found that the benefits are not significant enough for them to recommend circumcision for all newborns, stating that parents should feel free to make the decision they feel is best for their own children.
After a careful review of the available research, the AAP determined that circumcision was associated with a reduced risk of contracting the human papillomavirus (HPV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), genital herpes and syphilis. It also reduces the risk that sexual partners will contract cervical cancer, and reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections prior to age one.
The risk of minor complications from a circumcision is between one and three percent, and these complications may include infection or extra bleeding. The risk of more serious complications that require follow-up surgery is less than one percent.
One guaranteed downside of circumcision is that it hurts. The pain and soreness shouldn’t last more than a few days, and newborns won’t remember the pain, but many parents aren’t comfortable putting their child through that discomfort when it isn’t absolutely medically necessary.
Making Your Choice
In the end, your decision regarding circumcision is a personal one, and there is no right or wrong answer. Religion and culture may play a role (those of the Jewish and Islamic faiths traditionally opt for circumcision) as well as your family or personal history.
Some parents opt for circumcision simply because they want to make sure that their children fit in with their peers. However, the Centers for Disease Control reported in 2010 that the rate of circumcisions in hospitals have dropped to about one-third. So don’t feel pressured one way or the other by the fear that your kid will stand out—these days, there are plenty on both sides of the fence!
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Becoming a parent require a big change. Parents to be are often taunted with phrases like, “sleep while you can” and while these statements do contain some truth, there is no reason why your first year of parenting should not be enjoyed. Having a newborn baby will definitely require a lifestyle change. However, you baby’s infancy is such a short lived time and you will look back at this phase with fondness, one day.
New born babies are not used to big spaces. They have been confined to a small space for 9 months and getting used to large spaces will take some time. Swaddling your little one will do wonders. Babies love to be cuddled and swaddled. This helps them to sleep better and as a result, so will you. Babies often wake at night. For you this means that the chances of getting your 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep are slim. However, you should sleep when baby sleeps. So if baby sleeps for a few hours during the day, you should also try and get some sleep during this time, so that the waking at night doesn’t drain you out.
You must also understand the effect your crying baby will have on you. There are few parents that can handle the sound of their baby crying without feeling like their going insane. This is why the parent who has the most tolerance for baby’s cries should see to baby, while the other walks away and can return when baby has stopped crying to relieve the other parent. Pediatricians and psychologists both agree that you cannot spoil a baby. So carry your baby as often as he or she wants to be carried. Research suggests that babies who are carried cry less. In fact in cultures where babies are carried most of the time, colic is literally non-existent. Looking after a newborn baby is time consuming, so don’t try to focus too much on getting chores and other things around the house done, if your hands are full with baby.
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Teens are increasingly becoming susceptible to the development of an eating disorder. The pressure to be thin is massive due to their constant exposure to ideal images in the media. It’s a difficult time for young people and parents need to be there to support them. Observe your teens for the following signs of eating disorders:
Dramatic Weight Loss
If you see them drastically losing weight, then look more closely into their eating habits. There is a difference between healthy weight loss and an unhealthy one brought about by a crash diet. Radical fluctuations are also a red flag. They may get thinner quickly but then gain back all that the lost and possibly more, repeating in an endless cycle.
Obsession with Weight
Another sign is an obsession with weight which may be manifested by frequent use of the bathroom scale. They may constantly talk about food and the labels containing nutrition information. Being aware of their nutrient and calorie intake is commendable but they can go overboard. It is especially alarming if they are always on the lookout for new types of diets and trying them out.
Excessive Fluid Intake
Some people try to limit their calories by drinking large quantities of fluid. This makes them feel full quickly thus reducing their craving for food. Although the body has high tolerance for fluid intake, drinking too much too fast can lead to hyponatremia which is a dangerous state of electrolyte imbalance. The fluids must have ample nutrients like sodium and potassium as well.
Watch closely if your teens are starting to avoid meal times as well as other situations that involve food. This may be an indication of an underlying eating disorder that’s causing them to withdraw from communal activities. Aside from being unhealthy for their physical well-being, it is also detrimental to their social life.
Self-induced Vomiting or Substance Abuse
In extreme cases, teens resort to vomiting to get rid of the food they ate and prevent weight gain. Others try to control their weight through laxatives and diuretics. There are also plenty of diet pills on the market. Talk to your child if you see these behaviors.
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Fatherhood comes with a lot of responsibilities and most men are frightened out of their wits. This is especially so when one is a new dad. It doesn’t matter how excited one is for their new baby — chances are that the experience scares them. Here are some of the fears that new dads experience when expecting a baby.
Will I Perform My Dad Duties Well?
All new dads are clueless when expecting a baby, which is totally okay. Any dedicated dad can take care of their new baby. If they are not too sure about a certain area of fatherhood, all they have to do is ask the mother whose instincts kick in the minute they get pregnant or have a baby. Practicing how to take care of the pregnant wife or new baby will do the trick.
Will I be Able to Take Care of my Family Once the Baby Arrives?
Do some research on how much it will cost to raise a baby and then figure out how much you’ll need to set aside. Making a baby budget will help you set up a game plan and give you relief.
Will Everything I do Be centered Around the New Baby?
While a baby will alter your life in various ways, you’ll come to realize that there are a lot of activities you can go on with your baby. Besides, some of your friends will be more than willing to step in and help out where and when necessary.
Will I be Forced to Give up My Social Life When the Baby Arrives?
A baby will definitely alter your schedule. But that doesn’t mean that your entire life will be baby-centric. You and your partner can take turns taking care of the baby. For instance, you could take care of the baby on some weekdays and have the weekend to yourself.
Will I be Having Enough Sleep?
This issue can be equally handled by both parents. You and your partner can alternate shifts, where one takes care of the baby during the nights while the other rests.
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Sometimes, you let your child get away with things that they should not. For example, you may let them keep the loose money they collected from the drawer, let them get away with not doing their chores or sometimes let them have it their way even though you know it is entirely wrong. This may lead to development of an entitled child if not checked. Well, instead of letting your child grow up thinking it is fine to do some things, here are parenting tips that may help you in being the best parent.
Help them learn how to deal with disagreements with their friends. If you get in the way all the time a battle erupts, the child may not learn how to deal with problems when they arise in future. Therefore, teach them how they can deal with certain situations effectively by themselves. As a parent, you can tell when your child is doing well or not. You also have the ability to tell when things are getting out of hand and your assistance is needed. In such situations, handle the situation with care to enhance amicability in the next course of action.
You are the first authority that your child looks up to. You are therefore at a position to create the rules of the house. You are also at a position to reward good deeds and point out areas that need improvement. To avoid raising entitled kids, practice your authority consistently. Do not let them get away with some actions just because you are not in the mood to deal with the child. If a child does something wrong, give them a deserving punishment and make them understand why it is wrong to act so.
Parents have the tendency to compare children. However, children are of different abilities and characters and they should not be compared. Using one child as a benchmark for the other may prove problematic since the child who is always compared to the other may have self-esteem issues. Remember the child needs to develop his or her own character and comparing them may not help matters.
Love your child unconditionally but do not let their actions deter you from taking disciplinary actions when need be. Ensure that the child understands what is wrong or right form the earliest time possible. Ensure you cater for all the child’s needs to avoid issues later on in life. Give them attention, help them in understanding complex issues in life and ensure their basic needs are catered for properly.
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