Becoming a new parent can be overwhelming and it is tempting to try and do everything all at once. Here are some tips for your new role:
- Focus on what is happening right in this moment. Deal with that moment and the rest will follow.
- Accept help in whatever form it comes. Having someone else to keep an eye on the baby whilst you have a nap, bringing some shopping round, preparing a meal or helping out generally around the house can help to bring a bit of breathing space.
- Prioritise your own self-care needs. Don’t rush to put together a list of things to do when the baby is sleeping for example. Instead, use this time to have something to eat, rest yourself or take a bath.
- Accept that, for both parents, there are likely to be feelings of anxiety, panic or of feeling generally overwhelmed. Aim to work together as a team and be receptive to each other’s needs rather than being in competition with each other.
- Don’t worry about forming bad habits. For now, do what feels right at the time and go with the flow. You can address any issues at a later date when you feel the time is right.
- Don’t Google too much! An excess of information can be confusing, so go with what feels right for you.
- Try and have some time to be with other parents so you can get some support and share what you are currently experiencing. Having some social time is good for your baby too.
- Be realistic with what you can achieve. Some things can wait, so let them wait.
- Remember your baby is not looking for perfection. You are going to make mistakes and make choices that don’t necessarily give you the outcome you were hoping for. Gradually, in time, you will understand each other’s needs but it takes time. Mostly, your baby just needs love, safety, security, sleep and feeding.
- If your baby is unsettled, try sling wearing. The closeness it brings your baby can help create a feeling of security, warmth and tightness as they would be in the womb. Get outside and the fresh air can help everyone feel better.
- Keep a 1-line journal. Each day, note one thing that happened. Maybe this is something that you saw your baby do; something you achieved; or just a general note about the day. This can be a nice memory to keep.
For those really rough days, just know that generally things will be okay and “this too shall pass”.
If you would like some new baby help then you might like to have a chat with Julie to see how she can support you.