Bringing home a newborn can bring a whirlwind of activity and excitement along with lots of stress and fatigue as well. Within a few weeks of birth, your baby may begin to become more active, but we know there can be a backlash on your part. No matter what your level of experience is as a parent, here are 10 practical tips to keep your stress in check.
Take care of you
Make sure you eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and get some fresh air. You and your partner may want to consider planning a schedule that allows both of you to rest as well as care for the baby. Plan accordingly in such a way that you get to sleep when your baby sleeps. Resist counting caffeine as a food group or an alternative to sleep. Maintaining good habits will allow you to remain energetic while caring for your newborn.
Establish visiting rules
You might see friends and family come home to admire your newborn. If you have scheduled time for a visit, let them know which days will work best for you.
Make sure you insist the visitors wash their hands before holding or playing with the baby and encourage anyone sick to stay at home.
Allow your visitors to take care of your baby while you get some rest.
Even though it may be tempting to turn down offers of help from friends and family members, take them up as you deserve it. You may want to suggest holding the baby, folding the laundry, or running a few errands.
Go with the flow
Every day, allow some time for nursing sessions, naps, and crying spells. Prepare your gear before you leave and make sure you have time to change the diaper.
Don’t drown in emotions
It is very normal for you to go from cherishing your baby and adoring tiny fingers and toes to grieving your loss of independence and fretting about caring for your newborn all within an hour.
It’s likely that you and your partner are both tired and anxious, as well.
Stay connected by sharing what’s bothering you – such as a tight budget or trouble soothing your child. You might find that a shared laugh can improve your mood.
The challenges of being a parent never cease, no matter how well you do it. Consult your healthcare provider or a mental health professional if you’re depressed or having trouble adjusting to life with a newborn.
Parenting has its perks, but if you can learn to cope with the new stress you’ll get the best out of it.
It does not have to be all at once. Let dust bunnies lie where they are for now. Store baby pyjamas in the hamper or stack them in the closet until needed. Toast bread or serve cold cereal and peanut butter toast for breakfast or dinner when you’re too tired to cook a big meal.
Take a walk outside or do something that excites you. Despite the chaos, take a minute to appreciate the present as the newborn days won’t last long.