Focus on the Family

Becoming a Parent

by Carol Heffernan

The nursery is decorated, the tiny clothes are washed and folded, the hospital bag is packed – and you're eager to begin your new life with your newest family member!

While nothing can quite prepare you for those first weeks of parenthood, there are many practical ways to help ease the transition. After all, taking care of your baby will be a round-the-clock job, and the only way to learn is through observation, education and experience.

Between the feedings and diaper changes, the sleepless nights and unexplained crying spells (Yours or your baby's!), fatigue and stress can quickly take a toll. So before you're officially a parent, take some time to "baby proof" your life.

The birth of a baby is, without a doubt, miraculous. Still, this major life change can rattle relationships, emotions and finances. How will you safeguard your marriage against the inevitable distractions, frustrations and busyness? How can you minimize the financial hit while meeting your child's needs? How do you listen to copious amounts of advice without becoming overwhelmed?

Take heart: We're here to offer wisdom and encouragement that'll help you survive and thrive during those early days of parenthood.