Newborn parenting is not for sissies, but you can do it!
Newborn babies…They’re so small, so helpless, so seemingly harmless. Yet there is nothing like a new baby to absolutely turn your life upside down. You wonder how you got into this mess and if you’ll ever survive it. But take a look around you. All those people you see walking around? They were newborns once too. Their parents (we assume) made it, and you will too.
Here are a few tips from the pros on getting through this miraculous, challenging, sleep-depriving stage of your life with a newborn:
- Keep a little perspective, this isn’t forever. Though sometimes each day will feel like an eternity, the truth is, babies are only newborns for a very short span of their lives. Do whatever you can to look for the little joys that this time period holds, and savor them. Surround yourself with people who think that your little one drooling and spitting up is the greatest thing ever—their excitement is contagious! In no time your new baby won’t be so new anymore, and you’ll be tearing up over those mini socks.
- Realize that this isn’t always the “most fun” stage of having kids and being a parent. Many moms will unabashedly state that they don’t love the newborn stage, while other moms would keep having more kids just so they could experience it over and over again. Children get progressively fun and interesting as they develop their little personalities, so if you aren’t over the moon about this little monkey that eats, sleeps, cries and poops—and not much else—don’t worry about it. It doesn’t mean you aren’t in love with your child; the best is yet to come.
- Raising a newborn isn’t a competitive event. While moms tend to feel a lot of judgment around their newborn parenting, the truth is, you’re not being graded. You have all the resources you need to be a great mom, so you have our permission to confidently stand on your own decisions. Not a fan of co-sleeping? Don’t do it. Can’t get the breastfeeding thing down? Neither can a lot of women. Reach out for help if you need it and want it. Otherwise, go with your gut and own your style. Even if that style is mainly “survival mode.”
- If depression hits, don’t wait. Yes, all moms get the blues, but for some, the condition goes beyond a few days of “down in the dumps and disenchanted.” If you’re struggling to function and you suspect postpartum depression (or your partner suspects it), you are not alone and help is available. Sleeplessness and the stress of this new life event only make it worse. There is nothing wrong with you as a mother and it won’t last forever. Reach out now.
- Help is out there. Her name is Doula. The most important thing we like to remind new moms is that there really is help available for newborn care. Family support is priceless, but they’re usually more eager to snatch the baby and let you do the laundry than the other way around. That’s where your doula comes in. Her mission is for you to heal, bond and feel confident in your momhood. And she’ll even throw in a load of laundry. Her specialty is newborn care, but more importantly new mom care. And that’s what you need more than anything.
For more information about how a doula can help your new family, contact Welcome Baby Care today!