Nothing can describe the joy and excitement that parents feel with the arrival of a new member into the family. Having your newborn in your arms is the best feeling as far as parents are concerned. The thought of being responsible for a person reshapes the way you think about and perceive the world thereafter. With all that said, your world changes — for better and worse — after the pregnancy. Your baby demands your attention round the clock, and taking care of them 24/7 can take a toll on your physical and mental health. This remains the same whether you are a veteran or a first-time parent. Below we have listed a few tips to help parents manage stress while looking after their newborn.
1. Make Self-Care A Priority
With the arrival of the baby, catching adequate amounts of sleep always tends to be a challenge among parents. Although relying on caffeine to keep yourself awake and active may be quite tempting, this can definitely take a toll on your health sooner or later. Instead, opt for a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and some form of physical exercise. It is also important that you drink plenty of water.
You could find some consistency in your sleeping routine once you figure out your baby’s sleep cycle. This way, you could take a nap whenever the baby sleeps. Also, make sure to discuss with your partner to come up with a schedule that allows both of you to take turns taking care of the baby at night. Having a healthy routine will also help you take better care of your baby.
2. Manage Visiting Hours
After pregnancy, it is normal for friends and family to visit the baby from time to time. While we appreciate the sentiment behind it, it could also turn into an imposition for the exhausted parents at times. To avoid such scenarios, it is always best to let people know which days you feel are the best for them to visit. In the event that your guests overstay their welcome, it is absolutely alright to let them know that you need to get back to whatever it is that you want to do. There is no shame in being assertive as long as you are not being rude. Also, don’t shy away from letting your close friends and relatives take care of the baby occasionally so that you can catch some much-needed sleep.
3. Accept The Changes
It is much easier to power through this phase when you start embracing the changes that inevitably come with raising a newborn. There are going to be multiple nursing and napping sessions apart from all the crying and screaming. So plan your day accordingly so that nothing comes as a surprise that would be seemingly unmanageable.
4. Expect A Whirlwind Of Emotions
With you and your partner being sleep-deprived and exhausted most of the time, it is only normal for your emotions to be all over the place. You could go from feeling ecstatic about raising a baby to getting completely overwhelmed by anxiety the very next minute. It is always best to talk through these emotions and share your feelings with each other. Whether you are worried about the expenses or calming the baby, mutual support can go a long way in creating a sense of stability.
5. Relax Your Standards
With the arrival of the newborn, you might most probably not be able to have control over the household the way you did before. And that is OK! The trick is to rethink the way you approach housework. Serve something simple such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner, if you are too tired to cook. Keep fresh clothes in the laundry basket until you need them. And stop worrying about the occasional dust bunnies for now.
6. Foster Other Relationships
You don’t have to miss out on spending time with others just because you are taking care of a newborn. In fact, we recommend against it. While your baby needs special attention and care, make sure you spend some quality time with others as well. If you have other children, always make it a point to pay attention to them. You could also go out with your friend for brunch or catch a movie.
7. Accept Help When Needed
Parenting is quite challenging, especially when there is a baby involved. So it is alright to accept help from your loved ones whenever you are offered one. They could assist you with folding the laundry, preparing meals, or even holding the baby. Additionally, if you feel like the sudden changes to your lifestyle are hard to get adjusted to, you could always seek help from your therapist or a health care provider.
We hope that these tips would help you while taking care of your newborn. Let us know in the comments section how you managed to stay relaxed after your pregnancy.