Being a new mom can be overwhelming. You’re trying to adjust to a new schedule, new demands and new little being. Here are a few tips to help you make the transition to new mom with less stress.
Try and try again
While you are learning what your baby will respond well to – when it comes to putting him to sleep, feeding time and even play time – don’t be afraid to try different techniques. If she is fussing while you are rocking her in your arms, try putting her up against your shoulder; if you put her down and she starts crying, offer her a pacifier or try putting her in the infant swing. While you are getting used to your babies likes and dislikes, you may need to test out several different things before you find what really makes her smile.
Let your baby tell you what she needs
Instead of forcing a schedule on a newborn, feel out her needs for a few days. Let her eat on-demand without applying an “every two hour” schedule. She may need to eat more often than that, especially in the first few weeks.
While you don’t have to rush your baby home from the hospital and keep him isolated in the house for the first two months of his life, it’s not a bad idea to limit his exposure to big crowds and lots of other kids, especially during flu season.
Listen to your gut
As a new mom, you may get more advice on how to raise your child than you ever hoped to hear! Take it all with a grain of salt —just because grandma put her kids down to sleep on their stomachs, doesn’t mean you should too. Things have changed! Ultimately, you know your baby best. Listen to her clues and your own instincts.
Get some zzz’s
Lack of sleep might be one of the most difficult parts of new motherhood! So if baby goes down for a morning snooze, follow suit and lie down. Even if you don’t actually fall asleep, the downtime will replenish you.
Make sure baby’s car seat is properly installed
Your baby’s safety is paramount, and having a car seat won’t protect your baby to the fullest extent if it’s not installed properly. Contact your local fire department to see if they can install it for you.
One thing’s for sure: you never know what to expect when it comes to a newborn! When you leave the house, make sure you are equipped with an extra change of clothes for baby, plenty of diapers and wipes, an extra towel, pacifier and a bottle of milk or formula in case she gets hungry earlier than you anticipated.
Get some alone time
Every day, carve out some time that is just for you. Between feeding, changing and trying to get your baby down to sleep, you may find yourself emotionally depleted. Take a quick bath, read a magazine for 10 minutes or paint your toenails while baby enjoys the swing or bouncy seat.
If you are feeling frustrated, take a time out. Put baby in the crib or another safe spot and take a 10-minute breather. If you’re stressed, baby will pick up on your tension.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
They don’t say, “It takes a village…” for nothing! Raising a baby is hard work, but you don’t have to go it alone. Enlist your hubby, your parents and your friends to help out when things get tough.