Are you a new parent?
If so, welcome to the club! This is a magical time for you to experience what it means to love a little person unconditionally, and while it has so many amazing and fantastic moments, this journey of parenthood also has a few tough challenges ahead. For new parents there’s a lot of adjustment to be made, but being prepared makes all the difference, so here are 5 common new-parent challenges and how to overcome them, so that you feel on top of all your mummy or daddy duties.
This is a biggie! ‘Say goodbye to a full night’s sleep’ is what most of your friends and relatives will probably have said to you jokingly or in passing as soon as you announced your bundle of joy arrived, but the truth is lack of sleep is no laughing matter. Your body and health can suffer over time by having less sleep than you need, so it’s still vitally important to get rest whenever you can – but not an easy task to manage when your baby refuses to sleep when you do. To overcome this challenge, try to get your baby into a bedtime routine pretty early on to help them relax and drift off – you’ll find some helpful tips in our recent blog post on how to get your baby to relax and settle.
Sleep deprivation is one of the most common challenges new parents encounter. The lack of rest can take a toll on your physical and mental well-being, making it crucial to find ways to ensure you get sufficient rest.
Establishing a bedtime routine for your baby can greatly aid in promoting better sleep. Start early by creating a calming and consistent pre-sleep ritual that signals it's time for your little one to wind down. This could include activities like a warm bath, singing gentle lullabies, or reading a bedtime story. Consistency is key, as it helps signal to your baby that it's time to sleep.
Sharing nighttime responsibilities with your partner can be immensely helpful. Taking turns with night feeds and soothing the baby back to sleep will not only ease the burden but also allow both parents to get some quality rest.
Not eating properly
Are you guilty of grabbing a snack on the go, rather than having proper meals throughout the day? If you do this you will most certainly run yourself down more quickly, and risk getting sick. When you need to look after someone else, you have to look after yourself first. One of the common new parent challenges is finding the time to prepare a meal when your hands are full with a new born, which is one of the reasons why we invented the Babocush. It’s a safe, comfortable infant cushion, that helps your baby relax and settle peacefully, leaving you a few minutes to whip up dinner.
As a new parent, it's easy to neglect your own nutritional needs while focusing entirely on caring for your baby. However, maintaining a healthy diet and practising self-care are essential for your well-being, as they directly impact your ability to care for your child effectively.
Meal preparation can be challenging, with a newborn demanding your attention. Consider planning and cooking meals in advance when you have some spare time. Enlist the help of family and friends or explore meal delivery services that offer nutritious options for busy parents.
Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish—it's necessary. Embrace small moments of self-care, such as short walks, meditation, or a few minutes of reading, to recharge and rejuvenate.
Guilt, and aiming for perfection
In this social media obsessed world, many new parents compare their lives to the mummy bloggers online who seem to have picture perfect lives – hundreds of photos showing not a single toy out of place, pristine kitchen surfaces, mummy and baby co-ordinating outfits - stop! These photos do not reflect real life, and feeling guilty about being less than perfect is going to get you nowhere. All that matters is that your baby is loved, cared for and that you enjoy your time together. Who cares if there’s dribbles on your shoulder, or a heap of washing in the corner? This is real and it’s just part of juggling parenthood with a new baby.
Embrace the imperfections and messiness of life with a newborn. Understand that it's natural to make mistakes and learn from them. Avoid putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to be a perfect parent. Instead, focus on the joy of bonding with your baby and creating beautiful memories together.
Balancing everything with returning to work
If you’re planning a return to work soon, you might be stressed about thinking how you will cope with the added workload, tiredness and keeping a bond with your baby with so much time apart during the day. To overcome some of these stresses, both you and your partner should share in the household chores, so that you both get separate time to bond with the baby when not at work. It’s also only fair to take it in turns to do night feeds if your baby still isn’t sleeping through the night.
Returning to work after having a baby can be emotionally challenging for many parents. The fear of missing out on precious moments with your child and the added workload can be overwhelming.
Open communication with your employer about your needs as a new parent can be immensely helpful. Discuss the possibility of flexible work hours or remote work options to strike a balance between your professional and personal life.
Furthermore, sharing household responsibilities and baby duties with your partner ensures that both of you get ample bonding time with your little one, even if you are both working outside the home.
Spending quality time together as a family
As a new parent, it can feel like a whirlwind of nappy changing, feeding, cleaning up, and crying for the first few weeks, but if you already have a toddler in the house it’s important to try and make time together as a family. There are some useful tips on how to juggle this in our blog post – how to spend equal time with all your children.
The early days of parenthood can feel chaotic, particularly if you already have a toddler in the house. It's crucial to make time for quality family moments despite the daily challenges.
Create a family schedule that includes designated bonding time with each child. This could be as simple as reading a book together, going for a walk, or playing a game. Involving your older child in caring for the baby can also strengthen their bond and make them feel included.
As your baby grows, engaging in activities that promote family togetherness, such as family dinners or outings, becomes more manageable. Remember, it's the little moments of connection that build strong family bonds.
In conclusion, the journey of new parenthood is a rollercoaster ride filled with love, joy, and challenges. By recognizing and addressing common hurdles like sleep deprivation, self-care, guilt, work-life balance and family time, you can navigate this phase with confidence. Remember that every parent faces a unique set of challenges, and it's okay to seek support and advice when needed. Cherish the moments, celebrate the triumphs, and embrace the imperfections - for it is in these experiences that you will find the true essence of parenthood. Welcome to the adventure of a lifetime!