Whether you’re pregnant and thinking of how you’re going to deliver your baby or someone who is looking to adopt, there are plenty of options for becoming a parent nowadays. Maybe you don’t want the assistance of pain medication. Maybe you want to give birth at home. Maybe you want to adopt or maybe you decide surrogacy is the best option for you.

With so much attention given to different processes, it’s easy to overlook what happens next. 

But, that’s what really matters. 

Once you bring your baby home, no matter if birthed or adopted, it’s what you do as a parent that will make a difference in their lives and development. So, what does that mean, and what should you be focusing on? 

Start Creating Rituals and RoutinesBaby laying down on a rug looking at the camera

Babies thrive on routine, and they’ll pick up on things very early on. 

While your little one probably won’t sleep through the night for a while, it’s a good idea to try to get them on some kind of schedule right away. Not only will it provide them with a sense of comfort and security, but it will make your life easier, too. 

Their routine doesn’t have to be rigid. Some days, they won’t nap at the same time as usual. Other days, you might be out and about and can’t feed them at exactly the same time. Allow for some flexibility, but try to keep a basic outline when it comes to a daily schedule. 

Attachment and Bonding

If you’ve read any parenting books or blogs up to this point, you probably have a basic idea of different types of attachment styles. 

But, it’s important to find a method that works for you while making your baby feel safe and loved. Don’t worry so much about labeling styles. Instead, focus on things like cuddling your baby, responding to crying, and holding them. 

Make sure you look into your baby’s eyes as you talk and sing to them. They may not understand what you’re saying, but it will help to strengthen your bond and improve your connection immediately. Talk to them as often as possible, as though you were having a conversation with anyone else. 

Take Time for Yourself

As the old saying goes, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” 

As a new parent, it’s easy to think you have to spend every waking moment tending to your child’s needs, and you can’t take any time for yourself. But, that way of thinking isn’t sustainable. 

It’s important to let others take the reins at times, so you can practice self-care on a daily basis. Even if you chose to adopt and did not go through the physical labor of birth. Your emotional and mental state still matters and you still have an important job as a parent.

This could mean something as simple as taking a nap, enjoying a long bath, or finding time to exercise or meditate. Whatever you decide, it should be something solely for you, not anyone else. 

Making your overall wellness a priority isn’t “taking away” from your child. It’s a way of making sure you can give them the time, attention, and energy they need by recharging yourself. 

You should feel as comfortable and safe as possible when it comes to how you decide to have a baby. But, what you do when you get home with that little one and how you nurture that development is where things really begin. 

Keep these general ideas in mind, and you might see that your priorities shift. 

If you’re interested in learning more about why what you do as a parent matters, or you want to know more about how what you do can impact your child, feel free to contact me to set up an appointment. 

Click here to learn more about Parent Counseling or Adoption Counseling.