No matter how prepared you are, being a first-time mum often requires learning things the hard way. It can be overwhelming and a little bit scary – you want the best for your newborn baby, but there are just so many unknown factors to consider. If motherhood seems like an uncharted territory for you, make sure to read the following tips to the most out of your parenting!
- Sleeping is important for babies.
Make sure you don’t keep your baby awake for too long, as getting her/him back to sleep will be more difficult. Also, don’t wake your baby up unless it’s really necessary.
- Sleep when your baby sleeps.
It is very likely that your normal sleeping schedule will be turned upside down – so when your baby sleeps, make sure to take a nap in order to keep rested and energised. Co-sleeping also helps you bond with your baby. “Co-sleeping with your baby makes life easier and sweeter,” said Susan Carraretto of 5 Minutes For Mom. “Follow your natural instinct and enjoy being close to your baby.”
- Take shifts.
Divide tasks with your partner. This way, both of you can have quality time with the baby and have time to rest or work.
- When in doubt, mimic the womb.
When your baby becomes irritable, try imitating the womb using your hands and body. Swaddling, shushing, and swinging, as well as allowing babies to suck and holding them on their sides, may trigger a calming reflex,” says Harvey Karp, MD, creator of The Happiest Baby on the Block.
- Get some help.
There is no shame in asking help from friends or family members during the baby’s first year. It is likely that you and your partner will have little time for doing other chores such as cooking and cleaning. Don’t try to do everything by yourself just because you feel like that’s what parents should do – accept help when you get it, and don’t hesitate to ask when you need it!
- Always have a spare set of clothes for the baby (and yourself).
When out and about with your baby, there’s always a good chance that she/he will stain both of your clothes by spitting up or leaking out of her/his diapers. Be prepared.
- Do not panic.
We all want to be a good parent and give the best to our child. However, this hope often manifests in anxiety and panic whenever something goes wrong. “Many new parents have overblown physical reactions to spitting up, vomiting, and other things a baby does,” says Leon Hoffman, MD, director of the Pacella Parent Child Center to WebMD. ”And the baby picks up on that anxiety.”
Hoffman advises parents to calm down. “Babies are far more resilient than we give them credit for.”
- Do not always listen to other people’s advice on parenting
Many people would be eager to give you advice on how to parent your newborn baby properly. However, when people become intrusive, confusing or deprecating with their advice, stick to your guts. After all, you are the parent of this wonderful baby and you will be the one to decide what’s best for her/him.
These are the tips for your new journey with your newborn baby. Remember, don’t be too hard on yourself – you’re probably doing a greater job at mothering than you think you are!