You know that saying, hindsight is 20/20?
Well, it completely fits when it comes to parenting.
Every first-time parent has those things they look back on and shake their head about. Those things they just wish they could take back — like that ridiculously expensive, obnoxiously large wooden high chair that’s sitting in storage.
When one Winnie parent posed the question, “What are some mistakes you made with your first child?” veteran parents eagerly chimed in and shared their greatest lessons learned. It turns out many parents made the same common mistakes as newbies, and deeply regretted them. So here they are: the top 5 mistakes parents said they made as new parents.
5. Too much spoon feeding
Most parents figured out by the second or third child that they could save a lot of time by trying out baby-led weaning instead of spoon feeding their baby every meal. Baby-led weaning involves allowing your child to begin solid foods more naturally — skipping the pureed food stage and allowing them to self-feed from the very beginning of weaning, or close to it. Experts say that this method is beneficial for baby as it helps them fine tune motor skills and develop self-regulation so that they learn to stop eating when they’re full. It also means that you and baby can begin to enjoy food together as a family!
4. Didn’t prepare enough meals in advance
Those first few weeks with baby are going to be a whirlwind and cooking will be hard, but you will also be SO hungry — caring for a baby helps you work up quite an appetite! Build a freezer stockpile with some easy-to-heat meals so you always have something on hand, and stock up on some healthy, energy boosting snacks while you’re at it.
3. Never figured out sleep training
Many new parents agree that lack of sleep was one of the most challenging elements of having a new baby. Finding a remedy to that situation looks different for every family. If sleep training is your answer, you may want to get on it sooner rather than later (but wait until your pediatrician gives you the greenlight) so you and baby can catch some much needed zzz’s.
2. Picked a carseat that was too hard to install
Here’s the thing about car seats, they’re ALL safe. Technically. Every car seat rated by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) meets both federal safety standards and strict crash performance standards. Where the difference among them lies is in installation. Properly installing your car seat and ensuring your child is secured appropriately is the best way to keep your baby safe. Find a seat that is easy to install correctly with clear, easy to follow instructions and you will be headed in the right direction.
1. Introduced electronics too soon
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children don’t receive any screen time at all before age 2, but the reality of the world is that most children will be getting some well before that. In fact, one study recently found that some children are beginning to use mobile devices as early as 6 months old. The challenge for parents who are eager to set reasonable screen time limits is that once you introduce them, it can be hard to keep them away. As one Winnie parent notes,
At 18 months she can navigate youtube & watches tv 2–3 hours a day. I had no idea it would snowball like that & now it’s extra work to keep her from too much screen time.
Think about toys or books you can give your child to entertain them before handing over that tablet.
Check out the full list of mistakes new parents make on Winnie.