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Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine

Message to New Parents

Becoming a parent is always a miracle, whether it is your first baby or fourth.  Just yesterday this little person was not even around and today you love him or her more than all these people you’ve known for years!

As a pediatrician I am privileged to witness the joys and struggles of new parents every day and I would like to share some of my thoughts and observations.

Newborns-(4).jpgSo, this is what your pediatrician would like you to do:

Commit

Parenting is a very hard job, but you signed up for it. Sleepless nights, ruined vacation plans, not being able to wear your favorite pair of jeans anymore because they don’t fit, and your favorite dress because there is spit-up all over it. All of it comes with the package. Raising children is a lifetime act of pure selflessness and devotion. Give all you have and don’t expect anything in return. The only goal is to raise happy, well adjusted, confident, generous and sensitive children. 

Take Good Care of Yourself

You have to be around for many years (colleges are very expensive now and so are the weddings) Take your vitamins, eat healthy, and make sure you are getting enough sleep, fresh air, and exercise.

Reach Out

This is not a time to be a superwoman or superman. Enlist parents, in-laws, older kids, all relatives, neighbors, and friends. There are very few things you cannot delegate- sleeping, eating, breastfeeding and going to the bathroom- and these are very important things. Everything else, such as cleaning, cooking, shopping, can be done by your voluntary or hired help.  Your next door 14 year old will be happy to get $5 an hour to help you with a load of laundry or baby bath. Surround yourself with positive people-believers. It’s not the time to continue toxic or abusive relationships. Your baby- whether inside you or outside is very sensitive, very in tune with your mood and with the mood of the people around. Try to avoid tensions, resolve conflicts in a positive, constructive, honest manner.

Come Prepared

It is simply not true that babies come without instructions. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides excellent instructions for parents. They publish series of books on how to take care of kids. “Taking care of your baby birth to five years” is the first of them. 

Useful internet sites:  

Using educational materials will help you make important decisions for your baby such as whether or not to store cord blood, use extended genetic screen in place of the regular one and so on. 

Enjoy. 

Having kids is an excuse to have fun in life which we as adults won’t have otherwise. With our kids we play, laugh and we feel like kids again. So relax, trust your instincts and common sense and have fun. Make sure you capture all these precious moments on tapes, film (or rather digital card), in your diary because they grow all too fast. 

Copyright © 2008 (Dr. Stein,  Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, PA)