By: Lou Greko
Not scientifically reviewed by Dr. Eeks
It is common for the first few months of parenthood to be the most difficult. As you get to know this precious but needy little stranger, while also attempting to care for yourself and perhaps other people in the household, so much shifts around you. One minute you are shopping for newborn essentials, the next you have this tiny little thing screaming at you, relying you on for everything. As you acclimate to having a new baby in the house, here is what you may expect, and how to make those early days a little bit easier.
You will get less sleep – but it will get better
The birth of a child is a joyous – and life-altering – event, and some people may find it difficult to adjust, particularly those who like eight hours of undisturbed shut-eye every night.
It is entirely normal for newborns to cry a lot and only sleep for brief periods of time between feedings and snuggling because they do not know the difference between day and night when they are born; this usually happens around three months of age. It is ideal to feed newborns when they are hungry and let them sleep when they are tired instead of forcing them to adhere to a rigid routine at this early stage.
This implies that you may not get the amount of sleep and rest you need, and it may be difficult to obtain any additional sleep at all. Sleep deprivation has an enormous impact on the lives of many parents. It is a good idea to get some shut-eye when your baby is sleeping and to take a break whenever you can.
You can assist your infant to establish a schedule about three months of age if they have not already, but remember, it is completely normal if they don’t stick to it!
Less time to do things – but you will still manage
When you have a baby, you may find that your schedule is a mess. There are days when you can not get anything done because you are too busy trying. On other days, you will start a few projects and only finish one of them. At the end of the day, you may wonder what you accomplished in the midst of feeding, calming, playing, changing nappies, and rocking to sleep.
Losing control of your environment, your day, and everything else that comes with being a parent can be difficult if you are someone who loves to be in charge and is worried about not getting things done.
It is comforting to know that you are not alone in your struggles as a new parent; most, if not all, of them go through this phase. Make time for yourself when your baby is sleeping. You do not have to complete everything on your to-do list. Reduce your workload by focusing on just one task each day. This could be anything from doing laundry to simply sitting down and reading a book. You could feel less frustrated if you set smaller, more manageable goals. Do not be afraid to celebrate even the smallest triumphs.
Having someone rely on you for everything – but you can ask for help
Being a first-time parent is incredibly taxing. Moms will likely sore and exhausted for a while after giving birth. As a new parent, you are up all hours of the day and night trying to master the art of breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Even the simple act of going to the bathroom might feel like a major accomplishment.
As a result, it is a huge challenge to learn. You have to discover what ‘everything’ means if you want to help this poor, small tiny creature. Additionally, you must be able to feed, dress and soothe a baby as well as how to wash and bathe them and try to convince them to sleep. When you leave the house, you must determine what you should pack for them. Learn what each of their cries means so that you can respond appropriately. As your self-confidence grows, so will your ability to rely on your instincts and follow your intuition.
It is a good idea to accept assistance from your partner, family members, and friends who you trust. There are times when the littlest things can make all the difference, like a hot shower, a cup of coffee when it is still steaming, a nap or some time alone. Taking time out for yourself, no matter how insignificant the gesture may seem, is critical.
When it comes to the dads, you will quickly learn that a baby’s cry could indicate that he or she is thirsty, hungry, or in need of a nappy change, and you will be prepared to respond accordingly.
For your baby and your partner, do whatever you can. You will need to practice a lot of these skills before you are an expert at them, so do not be afraid to try. Avoid giving up if you can not do something.
Talk to and sing to your baby, play with them, read to them, cuddle them. In addition to being a terrific way to connect with your newborn, these activities will also give your partner a rest.
A change in relationship – but communication is key
After the birth of a child, your life and your relationship will undergo significant changes.
A new degree of intimacy between you and your partner might be brought about by these changes, but they can also present obstacles.
As you adjust to the demands of raising a newborn, you may discover that you and your partner have less time to chat, sleep, and enjoy each other’s company. When you are worn out, it is easy to lose your cool and lose your cool with other people. You may get into more fights, have less sex, and have less stamina to deal with problems.
You may both feel the strain. It can be difficult to adapt to a new emphasis for the family if you are used to it being just the two of you.
Taking care of yourself – you can’t pour from an empty jug
When you have a young child, it might be difficult to find the time to care for yourself, but it is essential. The following are some more suggestions in addition to eating well, getting plenty of sleep, and venturing outside when the weather permits.
- Get plenty of sleep if you can. Even if you can not sleep during the day, put on some soft music, get comfortable, and close your eyes for ten minutes to allow yourself to relax. It is important to relax and spend quality time with your baby while you are feeding
- Make a conscious effort to calm down and take your time when you see yourself rushing and becoming tense.
- Take a look around your home and see what you can do when the babies are occupied or asleep.
- Think about joining a parent coffee club or a playgroup.
- Every day, do something for yourself. Even if it is something as simple as reading the paper or taking a warm shower, you do not have to accomplish it all at once.
- You can also read or go for a walk as a way to unwind.