There’s nothing that can flip the script of your life like having a baby. Welcome to the late nights, diaper changes, light sleeping, and baby formula. While having a baby can be overwhelming, nothing beats the highs of being a parent.
So if you are a new parent wondering what to do, relax. This article is for you.
Use All the Help You Can Get
You should have at the back of your mind that there’s always something you need help with when you have a baby. While we understand your need for independence, and your ability to micromanage the tiniest detail, you have to accept that you need help with babies and parenting.
When your neighbours, friends, colleagues, or family members offer to help or pitch in, it’s in your best interest to oblige them. There’s a caveat, though, that while it is good to accept help, ensure you aren’t imposing on anyone, and it doesn’t violate the rules you live by.
There are a million things to do when you have a baby, and taking people up on their offer to help will give you the chance to attend to something else. You also get an opportunity to have a much-needed sleep.
If You Are Co-Parenting, Look Out for Your Partner
One mistake many parents make is that they divert their affection from their partners to their newborns. While this transference usually happens unconsciously, it still harms your relationship with your partner. Your baby is a part of you, something you made or adopted with your partner. Their presence shouldn’t cause a reduction in the affection you show to your partner.
Understanding that you and your partner are in the child-rearing business together and their feelings are as important as that of the baby, allows you to balance your affection for the baby with that of your partner.
Your heart is large enough to love your partner and your baby simultaneously. Side-lining your baby because of your partner could cause friction between you and animosity between your partner and the baby.
You might not have time to do everything you used to do before the baby, but fix the time for fun activities between you and your partner. It could be a date, a walk in the park, or just talking about fun times. Letting them know nothing has changed despite the addition will help you raise your baby better.
Get Support from Other New Parents
As a parent, nothing reassures you more than knowing that someone is going through the same things you are going through. Actively seek out support groups of fellow new parents, and discuss the troubles you seem to be going through.
While a doctor might be a medical expert, there’s some relief in discussing with a fellow mother or father how your baby seems to know how to time their tantrums when you are just drifting off to sleep or the difficulty in getting them to feed.
With new parents, you can share your successes, failures, and funny episodes without being judged because they are also going through the same thing.
When you are down and need encouragement and reassurance that you aren’t a failure or need someone to pat you on the back and tell you did a great job, look no further than your network of fellow new parents.
Actively search for a support group in your locality, and attend their meetings.
Seek Knowledge: Ask Questions
As a new parent, almost everything that has to do with your child is a unique experience. Therefore, until you are sure you have everything under control, never hesitate to ask questions.
We don’t think there’s a silly question about enquiring about your child’s wellbeing.
Seek the counsel of people who have raised children (your parents, siblings, or older friends would do nicely), search the internet, or ask your doctor when you aren’t sure about something.
Your child is a precious gift, and you should never be ashamed about seeking clarification about anything that has to do with raising your baby.
Sleep Whenever You Can
One of the biggest lies in the world is that sleeping like a baby means you sleep peacefully through the night. As a parent, you will hardly get any sleep when your baby is bawling in the nursery. Babies are the lightest sleepers, and one way to deal with this problem is to alternate who will attend to the baby between you.
Snatch sleep whenever you can. The best thing to do in situations like this is to time your sleep pattern with your baby. Whether they know it or not, your baby needs you to be fully alert, so you aren’t at your best when you are sleep deprived. So no matter how little it is, try to sleep when the opportunity arises.
There are several relaxation techniques you can employ to help you feel relaxed after a short night, but nothing beats grabbing sleep when the opportunity arises.
Enjoy The Moments
It is easy to get overwhelmed and feel like a failure as a new parent. It often seems like you have suddenly lost the ability to do anything right. One way to combat that hopeless feeling is by enjoying the times when things go right.
Like when for no reason at all, your baby gives you that radiant smile that melts your heart. When things seem to be going wrong, remember when things went right and take solace from them. These moments are the ones that form lasting memories, so learn to enjoy and cherish them.
Get a photo album or special photo frames to have a record of these moments.
Be Easy On Yourself
As humans, we all make mistakes, and as a parent, you will make your fair share of errors. When these times happen, don’t be hard on yourself. Learn from your mistakes, and move on. The key is not to repeat those same mistakes. Being hard on yourself is like digging a hole you might never get out of.