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Dr. Michael C. Bartfield, M.D., F.A.C.OG.
Unlike a new appliance or car, babies aren’t born with a user’s manual. From conception, the unique combination of each individual’s DNA affects every body system. Even experienced parents will have to take a great deal of time learning things like interpreting their baby’s cries, how the baby prefers to be positioned, figuring out the baby’s sleep schedule, and even how much and which type of food the baby prefers.
Whether parents are full-time caregivers for their baby or work outside of the home, adding a new variable to the family forces a new workflow upon most. Simple chores like running to the store for groceries or getting to work in the morning may require a significant extra amount of time while parents work a baby into the mix.
Learning what (and how much) to pack in the car for even simple, small trips can be frustrating early on. Many parents will need to find safe and affordable daycare for the baby during the first year. Parents must be ready to have their regular days interrupted at any time for the various, minor illnesses (colds, ear infections, etc.) that babies may get, often requiring pediatrician appointments and time away from work. With all the new responsibilities (and interrupted sleep) during a baby’s first year, many couples will need to focus on their relationships and not allow previously healthy coupling to be derailed.
As the parents of two teenagers, my wife and I often discuss the uniqueness of the first year each of our sons had. It is a time of wonder for babies, when each day in the early months can be filled with brand-new experiences. The wonderment occurs for parents, as well, as they watch for, record, and share a newborn’s milestones. We have piles of printed pictures (our boys arrived before the age of digital imaging) that we go through periodically, retelling the cute and funny stories that surround them. Sometimes the nostalgia creates laughter – and sometimes it evokes tears. With our oldest getting ready to leave for his freshman year of college, the discussions of our memories from his first 18 years have become more regular, hence the tears…he’s still our baby.
If there is anything I can offer as advice for your baby’s first year, it would be: Enjoy your newborn! Get to know the individual that your baby is! Spoil your newborn! Love your newborn! You and your baby only get your first year together once!
The views expressed herein are solely the views of Dr. Michael C. Bartfield, M.D., F.A.C.OG. and do not necessarily reflect the views of TherapeuticsMD, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This information is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a qualified healthcare provider for medical advice.