Childhood is a time of many firsts. Funnily enough, though, so is parenting! It’s incredibly likely that every new experience you’ll be faced with is also going to be a momentous occasion for your baby. From their first day at school to their first international flight, here’s a sure-fire gameplan to dealing with these pivotal (and terrifying) firsts!
First car trip
This one is likely to be a very early first, if not the first first. But babies grow quickly, so investing in some convertible car seats is a must from the get-go. Finding a quality car seat that can grow alongside your child will be an immense weight off of your shoulders over your first three to four years as a parent. Travelling with kids is certainly a craft that can be tricky to master if you don’t have the right resources. It’s worthwhile making sure that your child grows familiar and comfortable with being in their car seats, so it helps to have a few consistent seats that they can claim as their own. And babies who travel well are rearing to get out in the world! In fact, it’s becoming increasingly popular to use car seats for international travel now too, with many parents advocating for the ease and comfort that travelling with your car seat can provide for both you and your baby!
First day of school
There may be some nerves, maybe some frustration, and there will definitely be some hustle and bustle in the morning. The best that you can do is inspire positivity and enthusiasm in your little learner. This means keeping a level head the morning of, as well as answering all of your child’s questions about what they should expect of this day, and expressing your own excitement – even if you start the day with too much stress and not enough sleep. But even before the first day of school, you can take steps to ensure that your child is highly anticipating this exciting first!
Encourage some discussion between older siblings, cousins, and other bigger kids who can recall what their first day was like. And to get them really excited, get some help writing all their names on their belongings, and potentially even with prepping a colourful lunch in their new ‘big kid’ lunchbox. And finally, be sure to grab your camera and start that once-in-a-lifetime ‘first day of school’ photoshoot!
It’s a natural rite of passage for toddlers to attempt to dress themselves. Independence is a quality that all children are inherently drawn towards because it walks hand-in-hand with growing up! But there will come a day where your child will no longer be ‘attempting’, rather they’ll be officially independent dressers. And as a parent, your natural reaction will be to criticise and alter their initial choices. You’ll persuade them to colour co-ordinate and try and teach them not to clash patterns, and potentially even sway them towards particular styles.
Rest-assured this is something that all parents will do at one point or another no matter how hard they try otherwise, especially if a dressy event is on the horizon! But, black tie shindigs aside, it’s important that your child is also encouraged to be creative with their clothes, discover their own style, and discover this very tangible realm of self-expression. Not only is your encouragement and support a great confidence booster, but it’ll also provide your child with a strong sense of self.
There is a myriad of scary firsts that are best tackled with open and honest parenting. Chances are that if you communicate to your child that every single one of their firsts is just as new and exciting for you as it is for them, you’ll be able to share the joys of these new experiences and hopefully within that joy, all of life’s scariness will fade away.