Nature gives us nine months to grow a baby, but how much of that time do we use to prepare to become parents? – Something we will do for the rest of our lives!
Preparing to become a parent completely changes the outcomes for you and your soon-to-arrive baby. You can start as soon as you know you’re pregnant.
When you apply for a new job, the chances are you’ve had some form of training in the area you’re planning on working in. If you apply to look after a rescue dog or cat, quite often someone comes out and assesses your home and ensures you know how to look after them properly.
But what happens when we decide to have a baby?
We find someone lovely, decide to take it further, get pregnant and then focus on the labour, the birth, the feeding and the sleep.
Very little thought, if any is given to how to support the baby’s development and their changing needs as they grow. We kind of just wing it and hope it will all turn out, right?
Often that leaves us feeling uncertain, out of control and a little bit anxious and underconfident.
BUT preparing to parent can change all of that; it doesn’t take much and it will leave you able to support your baby to reach their full potential confident in the knowledge that you are doing an amazing job!
What is prepared parenting?
- It’s having conversations with the people who will be helping you to bring up your child before the baby is born. Talking often and early opens up lines of conversation that will be so important once the baby arrives.
- It’s thinking about what you need to learn now that will help you support your growing child’s development and being aware that this is a continually changing journey and you need to adapt and learn along the way with your child.
- It’s about understanding that you have a massive impact on the outcomes of your baby. It’s through the experiences, such as the play you do each day, that you give your baby in these early days that they learn. The richness of those activities really does impact what they learn and how they develop.
- It’s about helping you feel confident that you’re doing the best for your child at the stage that they are at, whatever stage that might be.
Who is prepared parenting for and why do it?
- It’s for anyone at any stage in their parenting really, but like most things, the sooner you start, the easier it is!
- So don’t wait until your baby is here to start having conversations with those who will be key to helping to raise your little person.
- Don’t wait until they start school to think about their learning. Your baby is learning from before they are born – there is an amazing window of opportunity from conception to two where your baby is literally a learning machine, and making the most of this time really does set your baby up for success for life.
How being prepared will help your child and their development
When you spend a little time thinking about your parenting; how you want to do it, what your role is, why you are doing it that way, how you are going to work together to support your child, you’ll feel so much more prepared and in control.
You’ll understand your child’s development stages which will help you understand more about their needs at each stage.
Without these things in place, so much of parenting is a guessing game. That leads you to spending a lot of time wondering if you’re doing the right thing, if you’re good enough and if you’re being successful.
When you feel like that, you end up feeling a failure and feeling judged, questioning yourself all the time, which quite frankly feels rubbish!
When should I start thinking about my parenting?
Now! It’s never too early and it’s never too late! Start NOW! The only mistake you can make really is not doing it!
So where do you start with preparing to parent?
- Start by thinking for yourself about who you want to be as a parent.
- Think about how you want to be.
- Think about why you want to be like that.
- Find out more about your child’s needs and development stages and what you can do to ensure they get the most out of each stage – it’s in understanding what you can do to support them and encourage them along the way that you will best help them reach their full potential. It will also help ensure you build a relationship that lasts a lifetime with them.
- Start having open conversations with your partner and others who will be helping to support you as you bring up your baby.
- Download the Oliiki app and learn more about how the activities you do on a daily basis will impact your baby’s learning and outcomes (and I promise you the impact is HUGE!). The Oliiki app guides you through all of this from the first day of conception right through until your baby is two.
The Oliiki app shows you the impact you can have on your baby every day
If you want more support in preparing to parent, I shall be running a Preparing to Parent workshop at the end of April. Send me a message here
The Oliiki app shows you the impact you can have on your baby every day through really simple activities that you might already be doing but haven’t realised were so impactful for your baby. That knowledge helps you move from winging the parenting thing to being confident and certain you are doing the very best for your baby every day, and that is a fabulous feeling!
If you just want to get started now, download the Oliiki app! and start doing meaningful things to help your baby’s development even before they’re born.
This guest blog post was written by Clare Stead, creator of the Oliiki app, and was originally published on her website: 6 Easy ways to prepare for parenting as a first-time mum or dad.
For more information on Clare and the Oliiki app, visit www.oliiki.com.