After waiting for 40 long, long weeks to meet your bundle of joy, the moment finally arrives, and at last, they’re here! You come home from the hospital, ready to start your new life as a parent, but now what? How do you navigate life with a newborn baby? Why do they cry all the time? Will you sleep ever again? These are perfectly reasonable questions that have been asked by parents across the world since the beginning of time.
Take A Breath
Your head may be spinning and the sound of your baby crying may be ringing in your ears, but the first thing that you need to do is stop. Stop and take a breath, inhale and exhale. Your sleep-deprived mind may have a million questions, but mostly they won’t be relevant right now. You see, the thing that you need to know about parenting a newborn is that all you need to do is take it moment by moment.
Feeling stressed isn’t good for you, and it isn’t good for your baby either. Focus on getting through each day; feed your baby, give them a nappy change, forget the rest and don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure.
Ignore Unhelpful Advice
There’s something about having a newborn baby that makes strangers offer you their opinions on everything parenting-related. Nine times out of ten, you should ignore this advice entirely. Firstly, unsolicited advice usually is outdated, and secondly, it puts new parents under unnecessary pressure and undermines your instincts.
Unsolicited advice is often well-intentioned, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right. You may have been told that you should leave your baby to cry, and that going to them each time will spoil them. In reality, a baby cannot become spoiled because you comfort them when they cry. Newborn babies have no hidden agenda, and they certainly aren’t trying to trick you into giving them attention.
The Fourth Trimester
The fourth trimester is a concept that has gained a lot of attention recently, mainly because it makes complete sense! Approaching the first 90 days of your child’s life as an adjustment from the womb to the world will make life easier for both of you. After spending 40 weeks inside of you, it is only natural that the sights, sounds, and smells of life outside of the womb come as a shock to a newborn baby.
Embracing the fourth trimester means ignoring those people that tell you that you are holding your baby too much and that you shouldn’t be feeding on demand. Carrying your baby around with you, and feeding them when they need to be fed will keep them comfortable and settled. This is your time to bond with your baby and to give them a gentle introduction to the world.
Parenting a newborn is so much easier when you take the pressure off yourself, respond to your baby’s needs, and realize that you are doing your best, and no one can ask for more than that.