After nine months of prepping you’ve finally brought that new precious baby into your home. And it is a whirlwind. There will be some things you wish people had warned you about and other things you wish people had kept quiet on. This is not more unwarranted and unwanted advice.
Here are the tips you really need to know to survive this huge transition time in your life.
1. It’s okay if you have no clue what you’re doing
Every new parent goes through a stage in the beginning of bringing that newborn babe home where they have no idea what they are doing. Even if you read plenty of parenting books and took all the recommended classes, nothing can prepare you for what a new baby brings. Who knew something so small and precious could make you feel so completely incompetent as a human being? You are not alone. Nearly every parent before you has felt this way at some point (they just didn’t tell you). It’s normal and it is okay.
2. Set up the boundaries you want
People will want to come visit and see the new baby. They may want to bring you meals, help out while you nap, check in on you at the hospital, etc. These are all wonderful things, but can potentially be very overwhelming for new parents. Decide what you are comfortable with and then set appropriate boundaries. It is okay to refuse visitors at the hospital and at your home and/or to limit the amount of time they visit with you. Remember, it is about you and your new baby, not everyone else’s wants.
3. Remember that it will get better
You will start to feel more confident in your abilities day by day. There will still be some very challenging days, but in general, it will get better. You will soon become a pretty skilled at multitasking, diaper changing, and living on very little sleep.
4. Don’t compare yourself to other families
Everyone does things a little differently. Your sister, best friend, mother-in-law and next-door neighbor will likely have different tips on what worked for them. You can listen to these tips and then do whatever you want with them, including ignoring them completely. Remember that you only know a piece of each other’s situations and everyone is different, so cut yourself some slack and don’t fret if something isn’t working for you that worked for someone else.
5. If you are especially frazzled, it’s okay to let your baby cry
It’s better to leave a baby crying in a crib than to take out any frustration on them. If you find yourself especially upset or angry, put your baby down or hand them off to dad and take a moment for yourself. Getting frazzled and frustrated is also normal. It’s just very important to recognize how you are feeling and deal with it in a healthy way.
6. You will look back and miss this time
It may seem impossible that you would ever yearn for these sleepless nights and chaotic lifestyle, but, unbelievably, there will be a point in your life when you will look back and miss this time. Throughout these newborn days, remember the saying, “the days are long but the years are short.” Try to appreciate each stage that your child is in, from diaper-changing newborn to temper tantrum toddler. Try to savor these days rather than wish them away.
Being a new parent can be especially challenging. There will be several tests and trials that will come up within that first year and also a number of joys and treasures. It will challenge you like nothing ever has before. Remind yourself that you are capable of handling all of it and that you are doing a good job.