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10 Things to Know Before Having a Baby

Expecting a baby? There’s so much advice for new parents out there that it can be hard to know where to start when preparing for your little bundle of joy. We want to make that easy for you! Below, we share some helpful new baby parenting tips from parents who’ve done it before. Check out their advice!

Don’t Listen to All of the Opinions

Dad holding infant. Photo by Instagram user @jeremy_tozer

Photo via @jeremy_tozer

First-time parents get a lot of advice from the people around them. Sometimes, that parenting advice comes from close family and friends. Other times, it’s from random people on the street or in the grocery store. Regardless, getting unsolicited parenting tips can be frustrating—no matter how well-meaning those tips are. That’s why one of the best things you can learn as a new parent is how to ignore opinions and simply listen to your gut. Go with what feels right for you and your family!

Get on a Schedule

It sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, sticking to a schedule can be difficult for new parents, especially when you’re exhausted, and you just want to do whatever’s easiest. But getting your newborn baby into a routine for feeding and sleeping can help your baby understand daily patterns. Make sure to be flexible, though, and remember that your baby will need some time to adjust to the schedule.

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Remember Parenting Is Difficult

Dad holding newborn baby at home. Photo by Instagram user @littlesleepies

Photo via @littlesleepies

Parenthood is a major life transition, and it’s hard work! Going from taking care of your needs first every day to suddenly having a baby that needs constant attention can be a shock for new moms and dads. And, of course, you’ll be tired. So, so tired. More tired than you’ve ever been! But just because raising a baby is hard doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends for help. And if you need more support, consider hiring a babysitter or a nanny part-time.

Let Them Be

Boy and girl newborn twins. Photo by Instagram user @_heidiannika_

Photo via @_heidiannika_

First-time parents often feel pressured to do everything right so that their child grows up to become a good person later in life. But this can sometimes turn into an attempt to mold children into who we think they should be. Let your child discover who they are. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t teach values, but it does mean that you should slow down and enjoy watching your child grow into their own person.

Expect Surprises

Baby with cake all over face and hands. Photo by Instagram user @sensorytotspot

Photo via @sensorytotspot

What can expecting parents expect after they have a baby? Surprises. Predictability and control go out the window once the baby arrives, so if you’re a control freak…get ready (or maybe don’t get ready). Your baby will find all kinds of ways to catch you off guard, and there’s really no way to prepare for it—except maybe to always have diapers, wipes, and extra pairs of baby clothes with you at all times!

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Make Room for Baby (But Not Too Much)

Mother lying in bed next to baby in bassinet. Photo by Instagram user @vicolsfamily

Photo via @vicolsfamily

Setting up a nursery before your little bundle of joy arrives can be a great experience for new parents. But it’s good to remember that you don’t need a big designer nursery filled with the best baby gadgets to make room for baby at home. Babies don’t need a lot of space for the first year or so, and many of those expensive baby items will just create more clutter. Especially if you live in a tiny apartment or a smaller house, stick to space-saving baby room ideas to create room for your new family addition.

Appreciate the Now

Mother and newborn sleeping together. Photo by Instagram user @kaleymunday

Photo via @kaleymunday

A good piece of life advice is to focus on the present and live in the moment. Never has that been more important than when you become a new mom or dad. No matter how difficult parenthood gets for first-time parents, it’s important to make an effort to appreciate every little moment of having a baby while they’re still a tiny newborn. They grow up so fast, and you can’t go back!

Be Grateful

Mom kissing top of newborn's head. Photo by Instagram user @embecphoto

Photo via @embecphoto

As a new parent, it can be hard to feel grateful sometimes. You’re going to be cranky from lack of sleep. You’re going to get grossed out by your little poop machine. You might even ask yourself “Why did I think this was a good idea?” in a moment of desperation. Whenever you start to feel this way, just look at your newborn’s beautiful little face. Look at the baby you’ve dreamed about having for a long time. Remember the love that you feel for them and the excitement that lies ahead for you as a parent.

Don’t Expect Perfection

Parents mess up. Parents lose patience. Parents cry. Even those new parents you see who seem to have it totally together? Yeah, they’re messing up, too. Reading 700 parenting books won’t prevent you from failing sometimes as a parent. Don’t be hard on yourself just because you’re not 100% perfect.

Enjoy the Love

Photo of couple walking with baby in stroller. Photo by Instagram user @kocarky_duha

Photo via @kocarky_duha

We all know and experience love, but only parents know the superhuman love a mother or father feels for their child. It’s a different love. A bigger love. A surprisingly huge, heart-exploding love. It’s what gets new parents through those tough times. Embrace the love!


Need to make room for your baby? Clear out clutter from your home and move items you want to keep to an Extra Space Storage facility! We have self storage locations throughout the U.S., and we can help you get the space you need at home before your little one arrives. Find a storage unit near you!