New Parent Survival Tips
Transitioning to a new arrival is both exciting, daunting and exhausting for pretty much every new parent, but there are a few tips to help make this easier on yourself. Kendamil Feeding Expert Katie Hilton shares her top parent survival tips and advice!
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Both friends and family will be more than happy to offer a helping hand, especially if it means they get lots of baby cuddles! People often won’t know how to help you, or what you need doing so instead get yourself a chalkboard and write a list of things they can help you with – this way, when they visit you can show them the list and they can pick off what they can do to help you both. Also don’t forget to reach out to professionals – your Midwife and Health Visitor are there to help, so give them a ring if you’re struggling or pop along to a baby clinic.
Build a Routine
Babies love routines and they like to show you what they need and when – so pay attention to your baby’s cues and cries and start to build that routine early. It can help to know what to expect and when; although this routine might change slightly from time to time! Some parents like to follow the eat, play, sleep routine or maybe you’ll create your own. You could also use an app to keep track of your baby’s activities where you might start to see a pattern emerge.
Do Everyday Things
Finding just an hour each day to do everyday things such as going for a walk, taking a shower, checking your email or grabbing a coffee will help you to feel like yourself and not just a ‘parent’. Of course, you can spend this time however you like, but always try to plan in at least a 10-minute walk to get outside of the house.
Make Healthy Choices
You might find everything is upside down when your baby arrives – your moods may be erratic, and you often won’t be feeling or looking like your pre-baby self immediately. It’s tempting when you’re feeling like this, (particularly if you’re also exhausted) to just eat whatever you want. But you’ll feel so much better if you eat healthy, nutritious foods. Stock up on snacks you can eat with one hand such as almonds, sticks of carrots, fruit and cereal bars.
Wear your Baby
This won’t be for everyone but wearing your newborn baby in a sling or baby carrier is a great new-parent hack. It helps promote bonding through skin-to-skin contact, keeps baby cosy and is particularly useful if your baby is fussy. It’s also a guaranteed way to get your baby to sleep, whilst giving you the time and freedom to do anything you need to do around the house!
Don’t Compare Yourself
You may find there will be friends due to have babies or with newborns around the same time you have your baby. You’ll have likely compared notes during pregnancy and you’ll naturally do the same thing once your babies arrive. But sometimes comparing yourself and your baby against others can create stress. If your baby doesn’t gain weight as quickly, or your baby isn’t sleeping as long at night. It’s important to remember that every baby is different, and each will hit those milestones at a different time. Every family’s journey is different, so just concentrate on what’s working for your family!
Every Stage is Temporary
It’s easy to get hung up on each stage of parenting, but your baby will not be a bobble-headed eating machine who eats every two hours forever – and you won’t be a moody Mum or Dad who can’t get out the house for the rest of your life! Keep reminding yourself that every stage will pass eventually, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and you will get through each stage.
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