The Top 5 Things Every New Parent Needs
Jogging stroller with bluetooth compatibility- Check!
Special bottle to emulate mothers breast- Check!
Swaddle with limited edition Llama print- Double Check!
You’ve probably read a million articles that tell you exactly what you need to survive as a new parent. Perhaps the articles have even left you thinking, “What exactly do I need and how do I know?”
What if we told you that what you really need to start your parenting journey off doesn’t have a price tag, nor can it be bought it stores??
Enter the top 5 things you will need to survive parenting:
Sight: Your eyes are a tool which, no pun intended can be overlooked when it comes to taking care of your wiggly, very hungry infant. We can see when they are in discomfort and can assess how to make them less fussy. Our eyes see when their little hands relax at the breast/bottle showing that they’ve had enough to eat. Take a look at the dirty diaper, does it look like it should?
Hearing: “Did you just hear the baby rustle, honey?” Your hearing helps you decode exactly what kind of cry your dealing with. Hearing a rumble from the bottom of the onesie that can sometimes sound bigger than it is, tells your ears that it’s time to change a diaper. Do you hear them gulping too much when they eat? Let’s seek information on how to help with that. More importantly who are you listening to when it comes to support? Do they align with what feels right for you?
Taste: Ok, this sounds a little weird. Flight attendants tell us that parents traveling with small children need to put their oxygen masks on first, then assist the child. Same applies in parenting. Nourishing your body with food that tastes good can be tremendous for fourth trimester survival. Drink all of the coffee. All of it. Tastes good right?
Smell: Ever walked around your house sniffing out an ungodly smell? Welcome to parenting- that spoiled sippy cup of milk will have you on a witch hunt. Your nose will lead you to the yeast that shows up in the chubby little crevices of your baby’s neck. Time for a bath, little baby. Studies show that newborn babies have a distinct smell for the first six of their lives. That smell does something to the rewards center of the brain, resulting in a happiness while caring for a newborn. Smell all the babies!
Touch: This sense comes hardwired in every human. It’s how we communicate nonverbally. Touch is one of the senses that gets us through labor by releasing Oxytocin, the love hormone. Holding your baby in your arms provides security and warmth. We can use our hands to massage gas bubbles from a grumpy tummy, and apply lotion after a warm bath. New babies thrive when they are given loving touch, providing them the opportunity to develop mentally and improve their motor skills. You cannot spoil your baby by holding them too much.
Rest assured that even if you don’t get that noise machine that plays ocean sounds from the Amalfi coast to soothe your baby, you have your 5 senses to care for your infant in those beginning weeks of parenthood.
Cre’shea Hilton is a Labor and Postpartum Doula. She also educates families through her business- Mothering Wild.