Being a new parent is an exciting experience but can be nerve wracking too.

Being a new parent is an exciting experience, but can be truly nerve wracking too.

As first-time parents, there’s a lot of unsolicited advice that comes your way on every possible topic. As well as hearing lots of things from lots of people, while I was pregnant my husband and I read several baby books to try to get ready for what lay ahead. The only real constant seemed to be that we should prepare to be sleep-deprived and busy once the baby arrived, with little time for ourselves. By the time our nine months was over we felt as ready as we could ever be, expecting any problems that arose to be related to what we’d been forewarned about.

But then, at different stages of our baby’s development, we were surprised to encounter some problems we’d never been told about. Some baby books offered little or no advice on some topics; others gave conflicting information.

In our desperation we turned to trusty Google. What we found - as we frantically searched for answers on every issue, sometimes at four o’clock in the morning - was that all our questions were quite common. On blogs and forums around the world, many other parents had revealed that they too had suffered through the same things during their baby’s first year. The good news was that they’d come out the other side intact, and with plenty of wisdom to share.

In the interest of helping other new parents, here are five major challenges to be aware of. Click through to read the articles… and don’t say you weren’t warned!