Congratulations, your very own bundle of joy has finally arrived in the world! Yet while one precious smile from your little one is enough to counteract a week full of crying, screaming and sleepless nights, the first few weeks of parenthood can still be an understandably stressful period. As a result, it’s not uncommon for new parents to develop or pick back up a series of bad habits that can be an unintentional danger to your baby.
That’s why today, we’re taking a closer look at 4 habits you simply must kick following the arrival of your new baby, offering some actionable advice on how and why along the way.
Resist the cigarettes
Though mothers will have hopefully kicked their smoking habit before pregnancy, the new high-pressure dynamics of parenthood means that, for many mothers and fathers, the temptation to pick up the cigarettes once more is tough to resist.
The dangers of smoking around a newborn (or any child for that matter) are extensive and well-documented. As such, avoid the use of cigarettes both in and around the home, as smoke containing extremely harmful toxins can linger for a lot longer than you may originally perceive. For when the temptation gets too much, consider making the switch to vaping – you’ll still get your hit of nicotine, but with far less dangerous emissions to accompany it.
Used it? Put it away!
We’re all a bit messy every now and again, but the fresh demands of parenthood require you to be on the ball 24/7. As a result, you’re going to need to kick your messy habits around the home in favour of a better organised, and subsequently safer home environment.
As a rule of thumb – if you’ve used it, put it away! Getting into this mindset early on will mean, eventually, this will become second nature – ensuring there’s nothing left lying around that could be of potential interest (and subsequent danger) to your baby. From medication in the bathroom to cutlery and glassware in the kitchen, there’s an array of everyday items that many not pose any danger to you, but can pose a great safety risk to your child. Developing this conscious mindset is therefore particularly crucial as your little one begins to crawl, as there’s no nook and cranny of your home that your little Christopher Columbus won’t try to explore!
Don’t think about dieting
For body-conscious mothers, it can be tempting to pick up the diet and exercise routine right away in order to shift those extra pounds picked up during pregnancy. However, our top tip is to focus on settling into motherhood before giving those extra pounds another second of thought.
Like it or not, pregnancy and weight gain go hand in hand. And while the contemporary mainstream media may relentlessly promote idealistic female body types, fad diets and workout trends, why not instead turn your focus to what really matters – motherhood? Ditch the obsessive calorie counting and countless unfulfilling meals, instead treasuring the timeless memories of your new ventures into motherhood. After all, we think you look beautiful just the way you are!
Don’t become digitally dependent
A 2018 study into the relationships between children and tech discovered a mammoth 25% of children under the age of 6 currently own a smartphone. Why? Because modern tech enables a quick and easy entertainment solution that keeps the kids distracted for hours.
Though it can be tempting to stick your kids in front of the TV, laptop or tablet while you get your daily chores done, we recommend resisting this whenever possible. Not only is there a large amount of content across popular social and video channels that you don’t want your child being exposed to, but there is also significant research into the correlation between digital dependency and the hindrance of a child’s educational development.
To develop the right mindset, consider going on a digital detox of your own, limiting yourself to the amount of time spent on your tech devices each day. There are mobile apps available in the assistance of this that allow you to limit the amount of screen time permitted per day, with the device turning off upon this time limit being surpassed. Not only will this encourage you to ensure your little ones are doing the same, but it means that both you and your child will spend more quality time together…away from the screens!
Bad habits can be easy to pick up, but by following our top tips, you can ensure you kick them in time to begin concentrating on what really matters – you and your child.