Your life might be turned upside down, a whirlwind of activity and excitement but also stressful and exhausting when caring for your new born 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether you're a first-time parent or a seasoned pro, try these practical solutions to keep stress under control.
1. Take care of yourself
For exhausted mothers, the old clichéd notion of sleeping while the baby sleeps may seem impractical. If this is the case, take advantage of the time when your baby is sleeping to rest and relax. Put on your favourite TV show, take a hot bath, or cosy up in bed with a good book. When the baby wakes up, you'll be much more prepared to tackle the following step.
Daytime self-care should include nourishing, healthy food and light activity such as walking or yoga. Try to get as much rest as you can. Self-care isn't a luxury; it's a necessity. It will actually enhance your mental health at a time when it is all too easy to forget about yourself. This is also critical for your child's health.
2. Soothe Your New born
When your baby cries, pat their back in a heartbeat-like pattern to soothe them. This allows your baby to burp more easily, as well as calm down if they are crying out of insecurity. If that doesn't work, use one or more of Dr. Harvey Karp's five calming techniques: swaddling, shushing, holding her on her side, swinging her, or allowing her to suck. It may be necessary to use all five!
Related: 7 Tips To Soothe A Crying Baby
3. Get Your Baby to Latch
If you're having trouble with latching during breastfeeding, you can use breast shields to help. Don’t worry if you need to use the shields for a month before your baby is able to latch without them.
Suggested: How To Breastfeed A New born
4. Keep Your Baby Awake During Feedings
Rub your baby's cheek to encourage them to eat more quickly. All your baby needs is a light stroke with your fingertip on their cheek, and during those sleepless nights, this simple method is a lifesaver! When newborns eat until they're satisfied before going to sleep, they sleep for longer periods of time between feedings. And that means you'll both be more relaxed!
5. Help Your Baby Bond with Dad
Ensure that your baby has plenty of time alone with Daddy. His touch and speech are distinct from yours, which will help you bond and offer you a break. It also allows the baby to become accustomed to being with someone other than you. It can be difficult the first few times. As long as your baby is fed and properly rested, you'll have at least one or two hours until you're needed again. Then leave Dad and the baby to their own devices.
If you stay close by, make sure the baby cannot see or hear you, and avoid the impulse to walk into the room and "fix" things if she begins to cry. Allowing this time will teach your little one that there are other ways to solve a problem.
6. Let Your Baby Lead The Way
Being a first-time parent may be stressful, especially when everyone wants to weigh in and what they're saying doesn't feel right. You don’t always need to follow a strict routine, which your family and friends may suggest. Instead, learn to ignore it and focus on your baby instead. You will find that your baby (and you) will be a lot happier and healthier if you allow them to inform you when they are hungry or weary, rather than someone else.
7. Baby's First Bath
You'll be allowed to give your baby a proper bath after the umbilical cord stump falls off (usually by week 3). Place a warm washcloth over your baby's tummy during the bath to keep them warm, comfortable, and less prone to cry. It can mean the difference between a happy and unhappy water baby. Also, if your house is cold, turn up the heat a little before taking a bath so that the cold air won't be as harsh afterwards.
8. Swaddle your baby for better sleep
Your baby has been accustomed to the cramped conditions of the womb for months, so the shift from the fetal position to lying flat on their back isn't easy. You can keep your baby's arms from flapping and waking them up by wrapping them in a blanket. Your baby will be more likely to sleep for extended periods of time if you recreate the snugness of the womb.
Related: How To Swaddle Your Baby
One of the most difficult aspects of caring for a new born is managing gas and digestion. We know that nothing could ever replace the loving arms of a parent. But we’re pretty sure we’ve created the next best thing, for when those arms just need a little rest.
The babocush will give your baby the feeling of being back in the womb, whilst gently and effectively relieving gas, colic and reflux discomfort. And one thing we know for sure is that when your baby is happy, so are you!
10. Establish visiting rules
Friends and family members may appear out of nowhere to congratulate you on your new arrival. Let them know which days are suitable for a visit and how much time you have. Visitors should wash their hands before holding the baby, and anyone who is sick should stay away. Allow trusted visitors to look after your baby while you catch some rest. Take advantage of offers of assistance from friends and family. Whether it’s holding the baby, folding the laundry, or running a few errands – whatever will be most beneficial to you.
And most importantly, you got this mama! Enjoy the precious moments with your new born while you can.