Being a new parent is completely overwhelming in so many ways. I feel like the ante-natal classes you sign up for really only focus on the birth. Once that part’s out of the way, what on earth do you do with this tiny human you’ve brought home?
I remember hubby and I feeling completely perplexed that we’d been allowed to stroll out of the hospital, carrying the baby, without any further instructions. What now?
Buy a book
Once you’re over the initial shock that the baby you’ve been carrying around for nine months is actually real, and you’ve regained some sense of rationality, you’ll probably think, “It’s okay, we’ll buy a book. All the answers will be in there.” But wow, there are so many parenting books out there to choose from. My mum had only one book by Penelope Leach when she had me. How do you know where to start? Some authors and books almost have cult followings, such is the loyalty with which devoted readers stick to their teachings.
One of my besties absolutely loves Gina Ford and used her methods religiously when bringing up her two boys. Gina teaches you to stick to a set routine for feeding/napping/sleeping day in and day out. It’s strict and rigid but works well for many. My friend’s little ones slept through early on which, let’s face it, is a great result. Others, such as Penelope Leach (who is still going strong today) offer a more child-led approach, where you work out what your baby needs and then build the routine around them.
Neither way is the “correct” approach. It depends what works for you and your baby, and the kind of lifestyle you’re leading or want to lead. Also, much of it depends on your personality and your natural style of parenting. You don’t know what kind of parent you’re going to be until it happens. But you find out pretty quick. Your natural way of being determines your parenting style and how you react to the many challenges along the way.
Top three recommendation
We've read quite a few parenting books over the past five years but we've found these three, in particular, super helpful: