For the past nine months, you’ve been preparing for the arrival of your newborn. From taking care of your health and visiting the doctor to designing a nursery and developing a birthing plan, you did everything in your power to ensure your child’s welcome would be a happy one. While you’re pleased that they’re finally here, you’ve asked enough questions and read enough books to know that once you bring the baby home, your life will change forever.
All new parents learn quickly that no matter how much you’ve planned and prepared for the arrival of a baby, nothing is foolproof. Honestly, most plans go out the window as you try to learn how to balance your needs with your child’s. From mom going through physical and hormonal changes to sleep deprivation and developing new routines, the first few months of parenthood isn’t as easy as it sounds. Fortunately, there are things new parents can do to make the transition smoother for everyone.
Self-Care Must Remain A Priority
Here’s an essential tip that most new parents overlook - prioritize self-care. It’s a non-negotiable practice that will ensure you can be there for your baby. If you’re physically or emotionally overwhelmed, your baby can sense this making the transition more challenging. Not to mention, if you’re not your best self, you can’t provide for your children.
Though it may seem impossible, it is essential to find time in your day to prioritize your health and wellness. Try to get as much sleep as you can, find ways to incorporate exercise in your routine, eat well-balanced meals, and take care of your hygiene and appearance. New parents should also consider small ways to do things they enjoy. Whether you sign up for a coffee subscription to enjoy a rich cup of Joe before you start your day or read a book for a few minutes before bed, you need that downtime to recenter.
Get to Know Your Baby
Whether you know it or not, your bundle of joy already has its own personality, routines, and habits. Paying attention to these things makes it easier for you to develop a balanced home life. For instance, if your baby tends to sleep more in the mornings, you’d know when you should get sleep or complete household chores. Similarly, if your little one is hungry every 2-4 hours, then you can ensure that you’re not preoccupied during feeding time.
Before developing a strict schedule or routine for your family, take some time to get to know your baby. Take note of when they eat, sleep, and need stimulation. Pay attention to the pitches in their cries when they want something. Figure out what makes them smile and what keeps them calm. The better you know your baby, the easier it becomes to navigate your daily routines.
There’s nothing wrong with needing assistance after having a baby. You’re still trying to heal physically and emotionally while figuring out how to develop your family structure. Enlisting the help of others gives you the space you need to adjust. Talk with your parents, in-laws, siblings, or friends about helping out with the baby, housework, and other responsibilities you may have. You’ll be surprised how awesome it is to have someone come over so that you can take a nap or a complete shower.
Help doesn’t have to come in the form of family and friends. You could also consider things like hiring a housekeeper, night nurse, dog walker, or other home service providers a few days a week to give yourself a break.
From the moment you found out you were pregnant, you dreamed of bringing your baby home and starting your new life as a family. Yet, the homecoming is often nothing like you envisioned. Before you allow stress to overwhelm you, take a few deep breaths, and consider the advice provided above. By doing these three things, getting through the next few months is a lot more comfortable to manage.