Tips for staying sane with your new baby
Looking after your new baby, especially when it is your first, can feel like a daunting experience and even the most confident of people can feel unsure and lost and thinking things like: How do I feed it? It needs feeding HOW often? Why is it crying? Why won’t it go to sleep? How do I get it to sleep? Will I break it? are all completely normal.
We are all different and we all have our own unique circumstances but here are a few tips to remember for your own sanity…
- Your baby has very basic needs – to be warm and fed and to feel comfortable, safe and loved. So, in addition to food, they need cuddles, attention and interaction to develop and grow.
- Your baby will communicate with you when one of these needs is to be met – you won’t necessarily know what they need but at least they are communicating!
- At times, sometimes most of the time, you will feel tired, frustrated and unsure of what to do for the best – get used to it, it’s part of being a parent. You won’t always get it right and some days will be bad ones – right it off, eat chocolate and start again the next day.
- Babies are unique and they develop at their own pace. Comparing them is never good and, chances are it will make you feel like you are a crap mum who is somehow failing her baby. YOU ARE NOT – focus on your baby and go with the flow. Some days they will be predictable and easy to work out, on other days they will be unsettled and hard to soothe.
- Get out of the house, meet other mums and babies and if you need some extra help and support – ask for it.
- It is ok to have a messy house – you are not superwoman and sometimes you just have to make do.
- Listen to your instincts and do what is right for your family unit. Most parenting decisions are very personal – bottle or breast feeding, co-sleeping, carrying baby in a sling, using a dummy, routines – and all you can do is do what works for you.
- If you feel like you are struggling and you are feeling low, try to be honest about it. It could be postnatal depression or you could be that you just need a chance to talk about it – you might need some extra support and some time to yourself to rest or just be on your own.