Congratulations! You are now the parents of a beautiful
little miracle. Life is perfect, right? Maybe not quite so perfect. Sleepless nights, constant feedings, endless diaper
changes, exhaustion and dust bunnies gathering may be closer to reality.
Welcome to parenthood! The addition of a
baby to a family brings joy and delight, but also brings many changes; some expected,
and some completely unexpected. Even the most informed parents may be surprised
at the huge impact a baby has on their lives.
A newborn will wake up many, many times during the night to
be fed. Thus, begins the seemingly endless cycle of feedings and diaper
changing which can be taxing the first few weeks. Enlist your partner to help
out during the night with diaper changes, or bottle feeding. If you’re
breastfeeding, have your partner deliver the baby to you, changed and ready for
nursing. Be patient and understand it will take time establish a feeding
routine. Just remember, your baby will eventually sleep through the night! If
possible, try to rest during the day while your baby sleeps. A good rest can do
wonders for your mental health.
Moms Overall Health
Some new moms may experience “postpartum blues”. You may
experience mood swings or the inability to cope with the demands of motherhood.
Some new moms experience doubts about their ability to care for their newborn,
and wonder if they will ever feel anything but exhausted & overwhelmed. Postpartum
blues may cause mood swings, crying spells, loss of appetite and a feeling of
inadequacy. These feelings are normal in the first two weeks after having your
baby. If, however, your mood changes become persistent, or get worse in the
next several weeks, make an appointment with your healthcare professional to
get screened for postpartum depression.
It’s common to have high expectations of your new baby,
which can lead to feelings of disappointment and failure during the first few
weeks. Taking care of a newborn is very tiring and challenging, no matter how much
you prepared. Even the most organized person will find it impossible to keep up
with everything in the first few months of having a new baby. Don’t sweat the
small stuff! Chores like dishes, laundry
& vacuuming are pretty small in the grand scheme of things. Your primary
goal right now is making sure the needs of your baby are met, so relax and let
the laundry get behind a little. Ask for help. Don’t feel embarrassed about
enlisting a friend or family member to load the dishwasher, or run to the store
for you. Chances are, they’ve been in your position, and would be happy to help
Role for New Dads
Becoming a Dad is life-changing. The best way to become
better acquainted with your newborn is to dive in and help out. Not sure you’re
up to the task? The sure fire way to become more confident in bathing, feeding,
changing and soothing your baby is to just do it. This one-on-one time allow
new dads to connect with their new baby. You’ll be amazed at how easy and
routine caring for your baby becomes over time.
Remember, adjusting to your life with a baby will take time,
practice and patience. Take time to be with each other, laugh over the silly
things, don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy this time while you can – babies
grow up too fast!