Advice on How to Handle the First Month of Becoming a New Parent

Jun 19 , 2018

Advice on How to Handle the First Month of Becoming a New Parent

Becoming a new parent is the best feeling in the world. I can testify to that as I became a new mom very recently. But becoming a new parent can be very, very stressful.

In my country, there is a saying that one does not go and visit a new mom and a newborn baby before the first six weeks are up. The elders have had some amazing insight as to why this is, and have explained this period as an adjustment period for both mom and baby. The mom needs time to get her body back in normal order, and the baby needs this time to get used to being born ☺.

That is why here I offer you some advice on how “to survive” the adjustment period of about 6 weeks, advice that I found very welcomed.

Keep your sanity

Your child will need you for a long time, not just the first couple of months. That is why it is important to keep your sanity and don’t go crazy over every little thing.

Don’t worry if your house is not in perfect order. Instead, devote to your baby, learn its signs and recognize its necessities. You can worry about ironing the drapes in another time.

Never be afraid to ask for help. Your mother or mother-in-law may annoy you most times, but they were mother long before you, so they may know what they are talking about. Accept help, especially in the first month or two, and tell them what you want and need. Ask for help for the more difficult domestic things like laundry, cleaning, and shopping, and leave the diaper change and bathing your child for yourself.

To be able to maintain your sanity, always keep in contact with your friends. Just because you have a child is not a reason to detach yourself from the world. Allow some time for yourself, even if it is a quick walk around the block.

While listening to everyone’s advice is a good thing, the baby’s parents should always have the last word. Listen to the advice, consider it, and don’t fall under the pressure.

Sleeping

A newborn baby sleeps for about 18 hours a day. But this is not according to the grown-ups schedule, but according to its own. To avoid constantly watching over the crib when the baby will wake up, try and get some rest when the baby rests. Simple – if the baby is cranky, you don’t have to be. Remember that its only communication skill is crying and you as the grown-up need to guess what is wrong.

Don’t be afraid to try anything that works, as in the first six weeks the baby gets cranky very easily. Always involve dad, as one set of hands sometimes is not nearly enough to soothe a crying baby.

Feeding

Babies have a very small stomach and can take very little food. That’s why the need for constant feeding. Small infants have to be fed in about three hours, and as they grow, the intervals between feedings get longer.

To ensure you can properly breastfeed your baby, always ask for help. Your gynecologist is one good source of advice, as are friends that have breastfed their children. Many hospitals have specialist nurses or lactation specialists that offer all the help a new mom needs.

Many new moms have sore nipples at the beginning or have problems with the quantity of milk. To help with milk production and milk flow, you should put a warm compress on your breasts. If you have excess milk or very sore breasts after nursing your child, then a cold compress will help.

When getting ready to begin breastfeeding your child, you need to prepare. Take a bathroom break, as breastfeeding session can last to up to 45 minutes. And have a glass of water at hand and something to read, as the baby will most likely suckle and fall asleep at the breast.

Calming

A newborn has trouble getting used to the outside world and can get annoyed and cranky. To calm and soothe a crying baby, it is best to make it feel as it is still in the womb. This means hugging, swaddling and slowly rocking a baby will most likely clam it down. You have to learn the character of your baby and learn what works for you both.

A cranky mom can also be a reason for a cranky baby. So try and remain calm, or maybe take a calming warm bath together with your baby. The warm water relaxes the muscles in both mom and baby, so it is a sure way to relax both of you.

Music is a godsend, not because of the belief that it stimulates the baby’s brain, but because of the soothing effect, it has. A nice record with calm music at low volume can really make a difference.

Many babies don’t like clothes and enjoy being left in the nude. This is okay during warm summer months, but you should be careful during the winter or in colder weather. And many babies get especially cranky when they are soiled and need changing. To avoid further angering an already cranky infant, you should use warm washcloths to clean it up and avoid sudden temperature shocks.

The baby is a product from both parents, Dad should help

When they first become fathers, many guys have trouble accepting the fact and find themselves in an unpleasant situation. The fear they feel is strong and any critique their way may turn them away from the baby. That is why the new mom should not get her anger out on the new dad, but needs to have patience and leave the dad to figure things out on his own.

The dad should also help around the house, as the responsibilities that were once only the wife’s, now need to be shared. The dad can do the shopping and cleaning, as the mom needs to be rested and more devoted to the baby in the first months of the baby’s life.

If the baby is cranky, then the dad can soothe him by placing the baby on his chest, preferably without a shirt. The baby gets instantly calm listening to the heartbeat and by the contact with warm skin.

To sum up

This advice is a general guideline, as some of the things mentioned here may work for you, and some may not. In the case of my son, I had difficulty starting breastfeeding and needed to take a warm shower before every feeding in order to relax the blood vessels and stimulate the milk flow.

So don’t be afraid to try things and find out what works for you and your baby. And remember that babies grow up very fast, so cherish every moment you have with your child. I guarantee that you will not remember any of the bad or difficult stuff, only the beautiful moments you share with your child.

 


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