Once your new baby arrives into this world, your whole life changes. It’s an amazing time that can be filled with confusion, fear and sheer exhaustion. Use the following tips to help you adjust to life in the first few months of being a first-time parent.
1. Accept offers to help you and get rest. You may feel like you have to do everything yourself or that nobody else will do things the right way for your newborn, but getting a little time away is essential to your overall functioning. Have a few helping hands and take advantage of your opportunities to refresh and recoup.
2. Shut negative people out if you have to. You may find it impossible to tolerate people you formerly had no problem putting up with now and that’s perfectly normal. People are either drains or radiators in times like this; keep the company of radiators as much as you can!
3. Take sleep where you can get it. When your baby naps, try and grab some quick shut-eye. Certainly there will be other things you feel you must attend to like laundry, paperwork, dishes, phone calls and other important tasks but your rest supersedes the need for any of that right now.
4. Be aware of postpartum distress symptoms. Hormones are haywire after you give birth and it’s easy to confuse PPD with the chaos of life with a newborn; don’t make this mistake. Understand the changes occurring within you and report anything too severe or worrisome to your doctor immediately.
5. Accept that relationships with friends may change. You may now have very little in common with people you used to spend all of your time with and it may seem sad at first, but such is life! Don’t blame yourself or others and offer explanations as to why you are so preoccupied or different now. It may take a while to adjust or make new friends; use family or your spouse in the meantime.
6. Let the baby cry! This is nearly impossible for most new first time parents, as crying automatically seems to indicate a problem exists that demands your immediate attention. Learn to distinguish the different voices your baby has, representing different needs. Sometimes they just cry for no reason at all!
7. Keep calling the pediatrician; they’re used to it! Don’t be afraid your questions are “dumb” when you need answers from your baby’s doctor or think that you are calling them too often. Whatever questions you have need to be answered and the pediatrician is completely familiar with the many concerns of new moms and dads. Keep notes of any potential issues and take it up with doc whenever you feel the need to. Otherwise, you will never feel at ease.
Many surprises in life await you with the birth of your first child, but take a deep breath and know that you can do it! Your instincts will guide you and trusted friends and family will help and support you. Use these tips and make the best of this most amazing time with your new baby.