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Young parents smile at their happy baby

New parents are warned to expect the unexpected.

From ear infections to opinionated peers, you’re in for some adventures.

There are ways to prepare yourself for some of the trials and tribulations that come with new parenthood, and one of the best ones is to reach out to those who have gone through it already.

We asked our Facebook community members what they wished they knew before they became new parents. Here are 8 things Infantino parents wished someone had given them a heads up about, before they had to face it themselves. Hopefully, these save you a headache down the road!

1. Time Flies

“When they say it goes by so fast, they aren't kidding,” says Sara Wallet. “Enjoy every moment even if it isn't the best!”

While the long nights might seem to drag on in the beginning, most parents will tell you that before you know it, those days are nothing but nostalgic memories. Despite all the aches, pains, and exhaustion of new parenthood, the first few months with your baby are special and unlike any other time in your life. Reminding yourself of that can put some of the day-to-day stresses in perspective.

“Try not to sweat the small stuff and enjoy this special time with your baby!” advises Anna Marie Tucker. “Our son is already 6 months old and the time has really flown by!”

2. Everybody Has An Opinion

“I wish I knew people will always give you opinions, and they're not always the right one,” says Karina Escalante. 

People love sharing their views on parenting — whether they are parents or not. Take all advice with a grain of salt. If a tip sounds helpful, do some research to decide if you’d like to incorporate it into your parenting. If a piece of advice doesn’t sit right with you, leave it behind; it’s just one person’s perspective.

“Everyone is going to have their opinions on how to do things when it comes to raising children,” comments Brittany Suaste. “You do what you feel is best for your child!”

3. It’s OK to Do Your Own Thing

With so many unsolicited opinions, advice books, and parenting styles, there are many parents like Kristyn Oquendo who just wish they’d known “that doing your own thing is okay.”

It’s easy to get lost in the sea of new tips and trends, but parenting is personal. You may notice your preferred position for feeding is different from fellow parents, and that’s fine. Try not to get so wrapped up in thoughts about what you “should” or “shouldn’t” be doing that you lose sight of the goal: raising a healthy, happy child.

4. Don’t Compare

This one works on two levels: don’t compare yourself to other parents, and don’t compare your children to other children. Just like every parent is a unique individual, every child is different too.

“Every child grows and develops at their own pace,” says Geralynn Moore. “Try not to compare your child to others. They all have their own timeline.”

While some milestones like smiling and walking are key signs of development, don’t worry if your child is behind their peers by just a little. As an adult today, do you ever worry that as a toddler, you might have been the last of your age group to learn to walk? Your child likely won’t worry about it, either.

5. Ear Infections Happen

Sonjali Jain Modi reflects that she just wishes someone told her “about the ear infections!” 

Most new parents have heard of diaper rash and colic, but it’s important to be prepared for more than just that. Babies are susceptible to infections due to their developing immune systems, and in their first year they might get several colds and ear infections. This can be alarming, but it’s completely normal! 

Other common health issues include gastroesophageal reflux, RSV, constipation, diarrhea, and fever. Don’t panic — just care for your little one as their body learns to fight off sickness on its own.

6. Trust Your Gut

While your doctor is typically your best source for health-related information, if you truly think something is wrong, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.

“Just because several nurses and doctors say that your baby is ‘perfectly healthy’ doesn't mean they are,” says Cristan Johnson. “Go with your instincts.”

You know your own baby better than anyone. It never hurts to get more information — you will either find the source of the problem, or you will find better reassurance that everything is okay.

7. Ask For Help

Being a new parent can be overwhelming, and it’s essential to have a strong support system. Don’t be afraid to ask that support system for help when you need it; it’s what they’re there for! 

“I wish I would've known that it was OK not to have all the answers,” says L Lewis. “To ask for help is not wrong or stupid, and whatever you do, take care of yourself so that you can take the very best care of your baby.”

8. Have Fun!

It’s easy to get caught up in the developmental milestones, day-to-day care, and chaos of being a new parent. Yvette Rodriguez recommends that parents “don’t stress the small stuff!”

In many ways, becoming a parent offers you the chance to be a child again, experiencing everything for the first time with your own child. Don’t be afraid to relax and enjoy it.

In the words of Jennifer and Mike Reading,“have fun and enjoy the little things!”