Despite spending countless hours looking up everything there is to know about parenthood, it’s not easy to completely get rid of the anxiety coiling inside you. Even parents who have already had a kid are still a bundle of nerves when expecting a new one. No planning or advice can ever prepare parents as soon as their child comes into the world. Because at the end of the day, every child is different, which could challenge any well-thought preparation right from the get-go.
However, those who bore a child for nine months may agree that childbirth is the most challenging experience in any parent’s lifetime. Any arrangements made for that moment might not prepare the parent for what might happen during childbirth. Hence, first-time parents are probably left feeling lost and stressed out once the reality of the situation sets in.
Since most advice only mentions what parents should expect during their child’s first month or year, here’s what awaits new parents during their little one’s first night.
- Adjusting Would Be Challenging
On your first night as a parent, adjusting would be challenging. For one, since they just recently left their parent’s bodies, babies have unstable circadian rhythms. Because there’s no night or day inside their parent, their biological processes might seem haphazard for unknowing parents. Considering it’ll take time for them to finally synchronize with the usual 24-hour cycle, some of the things parents must expect are their babies fighting sleep and their irregular feeding time.
For mothers still recovering from childbirth, it might be annoying if someone from the hospital keeps waking you up and asking whether or not you’ve fed your baby already. As for your partner, since they’re there to keep you company, they’re bound to share the same frustrations. Because ideally, each feeding session must be stretched between a couple of hours at max.
Furthermore, aside from keeping track of feeding, parents should also note their baby’s diaper changes. This is because what the baby releases in their diaper is a crucial indicator of how they’re doing. This is why hospital staff encourages new parents to note how many dirty diapers they’re changing, especially in their first month.
- Everyone Is Exhausted
Carrying a growing human being inside you is no joke—what more if you’re supposed to push it out? The closer the due date gets, the more frequent the contractions are until they reach their peak. Once that happens, you’re now undergoing labor, which is the longest stage of childbirth.
While some are lucky to only reach a few hours, others tend to experience it at its fullest extent for 24 hours—maybe more. Within that duration, all sorts of things can happen: you may have a breech baby, which means the lower half of their body is pointed at the exit, and the birthing parent is at risk of severe blood loss and other medical complications.
While the mother’s occupied with giving birth, all their partner can do is support them and try to stay strong, despite how terrifying and anxiety-inducing everything is. Even after delivering the baby, the mother and the child are still susceptible to complications. That said, the anxiety doesn’t end after the labor. From all of that, it’s easy to say that childbirth is an exhausting endeavor for everyone.
- Everything Is Overwhelming
As much as you’ve read up on how difficult it is to take care of a newborn, it’s still much harder once you’re finally doing it. Between feeding, changing diapers, and soothing them to sleep, first-time parents won’t get much sleep anytime soon.
It’s an understatement to say that these first days would be rough for new parents. Their patience will be tested, emotions are all over the place, and on top of that, having an irregular sleeping schedule won’t be any help. With everything hitting them one after another, their physical and mental states may be affected and overwhelmed.
Keep your expectations realistic. Although many parents have shared how ‘magical’ it is to have children, understand that the journey ahead is not full of sunshine or rainbows. Being a parent will push you to the limits. Thus, it’s up to you to make the necessary adjustments to your new lifestyle. All that matters is you give every ounce of love to your child.
Parenthood is an all-around job. After all, you can’t expect anything less when raising young ones into promising adults. However, as exciting as it is to think about the foreseeable future, it’s better to take it one step at a time and find out what you must expect from your first night of being a parent.