Bringing home a new baby is one of the most beautiful, exhausting, and terrifying moments. There’s something special about a brand-new baby, but they also need constant care. If you’re a first-time parent, you may feel a bit paralyzed with fear at the thought of your responsibility for this little person, and you may constantly worry about if you’re doing the right thing or if something is going to happen to the baby.
Parenting a newborn is no joke, but there are some things you can do to prepare for those first couple of weeks. While the stress might not completely go away, being prepared and mindful will allow you to take a deep breath and know you’ve got this.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you keep yourself sane and your baby healthy.
Five Tips From Experts
Mayo Clinic has some advice for new parents who are about to have a newborn. Here are some of the five best things to take to heart:
- Set up boundaries with loved ones: Before you have the baby, set up visiting rules and expectations. It’s easier to set these boundaries ahead of time, versus when you’re tired and dealing with a crying baby.
- Be prepared to change the scenery: One simple trick when you or the baby is frustrated or is to leave the house. This could mean going for a ride around the block or strolling around the outside of your home.
- Reach out for help: Never be afraid to ask for help. It’s a good idea to know your support system and see who is willing to step in to babysit or bring over meals. Then, don’t be afraid to ask them to step in when the time comes.
- Research the basics ahead of time: You’ll feel more secure, especially if you haven’t cared for children before, if you research beforehand. You can check out this guide about newborn basics or look into a class in your area.
- Don’t be afraid of shifting emotions: While moms who have just given birth might have more hormonal changes during this time, all parents can deal with some heavy feelings. It’s okay to let these feelings come and go.
While these aren’t the only tips, they can help you get started and give you some peace of mind.
Help With Feeding Baby
Regardless of your plan to feed your new baby, whether you want to use formula or breastfeed, remember that you might have to make some adjustments. While breastfeeding is generally recommended, it doesn’t work for all babies and parents.
Luckily, there are resources available. While most hospitals can assist with breastfeeding issues, you can also seek breastfeeding support with resources such as pumps or lactation consultations. But, if things don’t go completely how you had in mind, don’t feel too bad. Your baby is a unique human being, and even with lots of planning, you will need to make adjustments.
While this can lead to feelings of shame or frustration, the more flexible you are about things, the better.
Sleeping And A Newborn
One of the most significant stressors for first-time parents is lack of sleep. The truth is that you will be tired, but the more you stress about this, the worse it will be. One of the best pieces of advice is to sleep when the baby sleeps, especially during the newborn stage. As the baby ages, it’s easier to set up a more set schedule, but at first, just try to get any sleep you can.
Connect With Other Resources
Thankfully, there are many resources for new parents. There are likely breastfeeding classes or lactation consultants you can find in your area, and your doctor or hospital can also direct you to support groups. There are also some useful articles online, although it’s essential to take all online advice(even this one) with a grain of salt and to talk to healthcare professionals about any pressing concerns.