The decision to become parents is an easy one for some. For others, it is not so straightforward. When I grew up, like many other kids of my age, I wanted to get married one day and have kids. However, when I grew up, and started realizing the responsibilities that accompany adulthood and parenthood, the picture has changed for me somewhat.
First off, I wanted to be financially in the position to care for my child.
Secondly, I was not sure if I was cut out to be a good mom. By the time I have reached the ripe age of 38, I knew my biological clock is starting to tick and if I still want to have a baby, the time has come to make the decision.
I am a mom to a busy four-year old now and since I have taken the leap to become a parent, I’ve never looked back, and it has changed my life forever and I have no regrets. Parenting can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience, but it can be tiring and extremely hard at times, especially in the beginning. In this post, I would like to share some useful guidelines for new moms to help them during those first difficult weeks with a new-born.
Guidelines for new moms
Avoid guests during the first few weeks
Life with a new-born is challenging, exciting, a bit confusing at times, but also incredibly draining. I have never been so exhausted in my life before. The expression: “even my tired is tired “started to make complete sense. Keeping visitors at bay or limited to one person per day during the first few weeks is essential. Remember, this is the time where you are still learning the ropes yourself and figuring out what works best for you as a family.
Consider going hands-free
In many cases, your baby might refuse to fall asleep unless you hold her in the new-born phase. Take into account that she is just spent nine months in your womb. She is used to your voice, your smell, and being close to you. This is where baby carriers or wraps are incredibly useful. Placing your baby in a sling or wrap, enhances the chances of her falling and staying asleep, while your hands are free to take care of a few other tasks or running errands.
Read up on baby sleep information
The sleeping patterns for babies are quite different to those from adults. Some babies are bad sleepers while others have no trouble falling asleep. It helps to arm yourself with some information about baby sleep patterns beforehand.
Routine and predictability are key
Babies and toddlers alike thrive on routine and consistency. Top paediatricians recommend starting a bedtime routine and nap times as soon as your feel ready. I suggest starting from as early as six to eight weeks. My son is four years old, and we still have a consistent bedtime routine. It is certainly something that worked well for us.
Do not be shy to accept help
If you are anything like me, then it is sometimes hard to accept help from other people. But now, thinking back, it would have been amazing to have good friends or family members helping out by doing the dishes, getting a few food items from the shop, or simply watching my baby while I take a shower. This is the time where you can swallow your pride and accept some help. Remember, if they have kids, they understand and know how difficult this time in your life is. They have been there.
Consider stockpiling meals
Not everyone get is excited about freezer meals, but they do serve a useful purpose. Even if your new-born journey has kicked off with a bang and everything is going great, this way you will have some extra time to watch your favorite Netflix series, or take a bubble bath without having to prepare supper from scratch. You can find easy and tasty family recipes online for some inspiration.
Allow baby to sleep in your room
Having your baby sleep in her cot in your room, can be highly convenient when you are nursing during the night. Research reveals that room sharing can even lower the risk of SIDS. Numerous parents ponder the question of when would be the best time for moving their baby into her own room. There is no straightforward answer. Every child is different. The rule of thumb is to do so around eight weeks. Before then, they are too small to know the difference.
Eat healthy and balanced meals to boost your energy levels
Your body needs nutrition to sustain you, especially when you are breastfeeding. Also drink plenty of water. When I was breastfeeding, I was feeling thirsty a lot!
Invest in a decent swaddle
Swaddling your new-born makes her feel safe and secure as she is adjusting to life outside of the womb. It also prevents her from flailing her legs and arms, which can result in her waking up or triggering her startle reflex. Swaddles also keep baby warm and cosy until her body’s internal thermostat kicks in later.
The first weeks of having a new-born in your home can be challenging and there is some adjusting to get used to. However, once you get into the hang of things and establish a good routine, things will start to settle down.
Congratulations on becoming a new parent and remember not to be too hard on yourself. You are doing the best you can and hopefully these nine tips will make the process a whole lot smoother. Also, keep in mind that not all babies are the same.
What may work best for you best friend and her new-born may not be the case with you. Trust your instincts as a mom and do whatever is most suited to your individual situation. Babies grow up way too fast, therefore, treasure these precious moments with your new-born. Bond with your baby at every opportunity that presents itself. Once the moment has passed, you can never get it back.