Life with a new baby can feel a bit chaotic because no-one has all the answers. Those early days, weeks and months can be full of challenges and emotion and it is so different for every parent. It can help to be kind to yourself, to keep your days simple, to give your baby time to adjust and take your time to get to know your baby.
Life with a new baby can be a bit easier if you can…
- Try to trust your instincts – cuddle, feed and carry your new baby to soothe and comfort. You will not be spoiling him, you will not be making a rod for your own back. You will be providing love, comfort and security, which your baby needs.
- Give yourself time to get to know your new baby and time to adjust to your new life with them. You both need time to get to know each other, so you can get used to how your baby is communicating with you through sounds, cries, movement and behaviour.
- Accept or ask for help. As part of life with a new baby you don’t need to feel that you need to do it all. If you need help or if you feel that you need a break for an hour or so – ask! You have not failed just because you need a hand.
- Support each other, if you are part of a couple. When you are both tired, it is easy to squabble and to compare how tired you are or how much work each other has to do. Communicate and talk and give yourself some time – life with a new baby means you are adapting to life as a family, or as a growing family if this isn’t your first baby.
- Try to get out of the house most days, even just for a little while. Enjoy a change of scene – even just going for a short walk will give you some fresh air and some exercise which can enhance feelings of wellbeing. It can also be helpful to seek out other mothers as well for support, shared experiences and some chat.
- Go with the flow. You are probably used to being in control of your day and a baby well and truly turns this upside down. On a great day you might feel like superwoman – you have met all your babies needs, you are dressed, you are also fed, you have cooked dinner and maybe done the washing and also fitted in a baby group too. On a-not-so-good day you might have a grumpy baby, who is hard to settle. You may have snacked on junk, couldn’t face the baby group, you could still be in your pj’s at 5pm and there’s no dinner planned or made. This is ok! Enjoy the good days and accept the not-so-good ones.
- Remember that your hormones are all over the place. Don’t forget you have just given birth, you may be feeling emotional, you may be sore and trying to get to grips with meeting the needs of a new human.
- Give yourself a break and remember how much effort it takes to look after a baby. In those early few weeks, it can feel like you are doing very little because you are used to achieving things every day but don’t underestimate just how much you are doing, most probably on very little sleep. You are providing your baby with food, comfort, love and security to allow your baby to grow, develop and thrive. All of this is essential and it changes every day. During those early weeks and months it’s easy to give yourself a hard time for not having all the answers but babies aren’t a problem to be solved, it’s all about time and meeting their needs.
You can also feel like you are on your own doing this, it can feel isolating so good support and mum groups can make all the difference.
Please do get in touch for some additional support and reassurance in those early days and weeks with your new baby.
Copyright: Janine Smith