Your new little bundle of joy is here! She is beautiful, she is perfect, but by golly she is hard work! Right now, your life is consumed by this tiny perfect baby. We have put some tips together for you to help make this journey a little bit easier.
You do not need to tip toe around your newborn when they are sleeping. If they are used to sleeping with a small amount of noise as a baby, then they will be more versed at sleeping through noise when they are older. Run the vacuum cleaner, have the TV on, or talk with friends and family. Try not to make loud startling noises though, as these will wake your little one.
If someone is good enough to offer help, accept it. Don't be embarrassed or feel you are less of a Mom for accepting the help. The first few months with a newborn are hard! If someone asks to help, then they genuinely want to. Don't just get them to change a nappy of something else simple, get them to do the dishes, fold the washing, or watch your baby for an hour so that you can have a nap.
If everything is becoming too hard, then don't be afraid to ask for help. Whether it's asking your partner to take a turn with cooking dinner, having a cleaner come in once a week to help with the housework, or meeting up with some other Moms for adult interaction. If it's anything to do with your health or the health of your newborn then it's doubly important to ask for help. See your doctor or a specialist who can help. If you are having difficulties with breastfeeding then contact a lactation consultant.
Almost every person you see will have some titbit of advice for you. The way they did things, the proper way to do things, or what their parents did. Take the advice on board, but don't feel you have to use it all. Just use the advice that fits with your parenting style. The same goes for advice in parenting books. Don't take the advice in books as gospel, just because something is considered 'normal' doesn't mean it will work for your family.
Don't worry if you feel like you don't know what the heck you are doing. Every new parent has felt like that. Things will get easier. You will learn your baby's cues and routines with time. But don't forget that every age and stage brings new challenges to learn about!
Despite what the baby magazines preach, you do not need a fancy gadget for every job. Sometimes simple is the best answer. For the first little while your baby’s requirements are being fed, having somewhere safe to sleep and being loved. There are obviously a few key items that you will need, like a cot, a car seat, a pram, clothing, diapers, diaper rash cream and any feeding tools. Don’t rush out and buy every gadget you can think of. A lot sound great, but actually spend more time at the back of the cupboard growing dust as opposed to being used.
Dad needs time to bond with your baby too. And while he is bonding, you get the chance for a bit of a break. It’s a win-win situation. Dad and baby get the chance to build their budding relationship, and you get a little bit of time just for you. Grab that chance and have a little nap, have an uninterrupted shower, or enjoy a breath of fresh air.
All the parenting books and advice in the world cannot trump your gut instincts. Remember that. If something works for your family, then embrace it. If you feel like something is not quite right, trust your gut and take the steps to correct it.
Your baby will only be small for a short while. This is such an important time to bond with her. Rock her that little bit longer, comfort her, and hold her close. No one will remember the fact that the washing wasn’t folded every day, but they will remember the feeling of love.
If you are planning an outing with your newborn, then keep the plan very simple. Don’t plan a long trip in the car, don’t go somewhere with limited facilities, and don’t go somewhere unsuited for young children. Make your first few outings simple. That way you can get the hang of packing what you need, dealing with the car seat and the pram, and actually getting out of the house. Also be prepared to change those plans on a whim if your baby did not sleep or feed well.
Motherhood is such an exciting journey. Hopefully these ten tips will help make the journey that little bit easier in the beginning.