For new parents, having a newborn is a wonderful experience. At the same time, caring for a baby may bring about some challenge and stress. These include:
- Baby cries all the time
- Baby falls ill
- Conflicting caregiving methods among family members
- Difficult’ in-laws
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Work/family strains
- Financial strains
- Less sexual intimacy
- Less personal time
Learning how to deal with these issues will put you in better stead to overcome them. Here are some suggestions:
Manage fatigue and exhaustion
A newborn needs your attention almost 24/7, hence the amount of time and energy you need to devote to caring for your baby may be a lot more than you anticipated.If you have a baby that conforms to your schedule, you’ve been lucky. But in most cases, you will become used to waking up at night for feeds, and planning your schedules around baby’s timing.
Learn to manage fatigue and exhaustion by squeezing in time to rest as and when it’s possible. One trick is to sleep along with your baby, especially if your baby wakes up often at night. That way, you can still get some rest, without neglecting your baby.
Caring for a newborn often means constantly making adjustments to accommodate the new mother and the baby’s schedules. If something is bothering you, the last thing you should do is keep quiet and let things go awry.
For example, if you and baby have a habit of taking long afternoon naps, let your guests know not to visit you in the afternoon, instead of rigging your schedule to meet theirs.
Keep your Energy Up
As a new mum, you need to ensure that you keep yourself fit enough to care for your baby. Not only that, should you fall sick, you may pass on the illness to your newborn.While it is not possible to prevent getting ill, you can keep your immune system up by eating a balanced, healthy diet with lots of fruits and drink enough water.
To help keep your spirits up, you can include a feel-good snacks like a chocolate bar and some ice-cream occasionally. When you feel happy, your newborn can also benefit from your positive vibes.
Relax, Don’t Fuss
Don’t get too hung up over the housework, cooking or any chores that used to take up your time and energy.
There is a limit as to how much you can do, with the newborn to take care of. Just take a back seat and let someone else do them for a change. If your husband is not available to help out with the household chores, consider hiring a part-time helper to clean your house, or just do less of the chores so you do not over-exert yourself.
Adjusting to the experience of breastfeeding may prove challenging to some new mums. She may feel “touched out”, with the constant physical contact with baby leaving her not wanting to be touched more.
Many husbands could find themselves out of the loop when mum takes baby away to nurse, and then seem not to have time for them. Hence, husbands do need to be very understanding and patient in the initial months. Likewise, new mums need to be honest with their husbands when it comes to how they feel.
Make Time for Yourself
A baby isn’t the be-all and end-all of life, even as many mothers may feel totally responsible for the new life. You need to strike a balance – time for yourself, time for your spouse and time for your family.
Take a few hours off to go out shopping, run errands, get a facial or a manicure, or indulge in activities that make you happy. You can let others have a go at babysitting for a while, or just take baby along with you.
Say ‘Yes’ to Help
We know it can be difficult to trust that others can do the mothering job better than you. But if you think about it, picking baby up, cuddling, feeding and changing a baby isn’t all that tough, especially for grandmothers! It may take a while to get used to having someone else babysit, but once you do, you will find it much easier to accept help from others.
Ask For Help
Once you have no problem accepting help, learn to ask for help when you need some. Online forums are a valuable source of information; so are other mothers who are going through similar experiences as you, and will be able to share valuable tips on issues like nursing or suitable baby products.