As fulfilling as parenting may be, in its early days, it can also get tremendously exhausting. Children operate at weird hours, and have erratic sleep and food schedules, especially during the first year. Figuring out what makes your children tick and what pacifies them can indeed be quite a task. You may have to kiss goodbye to your social life and leisurely activities. Or you can follow our tips on how to handle stress of being a new parent with ease.
Have an open discussion with family and friends who have raised children. Getting first hand insight into learning will mentally prepare you for what’s to come. Discuss how they dealt with their stress.You’ll actually learn some useful insights from experienced loved ones and your own research. It’s much better than trying parenting blindfolded!
And when you feel you have discussed enough, discuss more. We cannot stress enough on the importance of having an open discussion with your spouse about the challenges that you would have to face after thepregnancy. Talk things through, lay out your doubts and insecurities. Be open, honest and communicative, and remember to listen to your partner too! Knowing you have each other’s backs in this thing will comfort both of you.
Remember, babies are unpredictable. They are constantly undergoing biological changes in their early months, and this makes it next to impossible to set a pattern for them. Therefore, it is you who will require a plan. Keep a schedule to feed and to change diapers. Count the used diapers to know if the baby is fed enough. However, having said that, don’t be too rigid with your schedule. You may realise that no two days go the same way, and that’s completely okay. You just need to make sure that the basics – such as, feeding, changing and putting the baby to sleep – are done in time.
They may look fragile, but babies are incredibly strong. Their bodies are wired to take care of itself much better than you can possibly know! If you’re breastfeeding them, then their immune system is already fortified and working well. So, don’t drive yourself crazy constantly worrying about the baby! Some days they’ll be fussy, some days they’ll be calm, and some days you just won’t understand why the baby is yelling! Just pay close attention to your baby’s patterns and reactions, instead of freaking out, and you’ll be tuned into their needs in no time!
Remember that you and your spouse are in this together. Divide your time and tasks with your spouse. Catch up on some rest while your better half takes over baby duties. A good way to do this is by charting out your schedule for the coming baby right from the time of your pregnancy.
Leaving the purchasing of essentials to the last minute will only make it worse. Pile up on those diapers, baby wipes, lotions, oils and any medicines your paediatrician recommends. Make sure that you eat sufficiently and that there is enough (and more) for the baby.
Surely hitting the jogging track after a night of pacifying your tiny tot will be the last thing on your mind, but take the time out. Take a walk, pick a new hobby or revive an old one. Those endorphins that are released when you’re doing something you enjoy can do wonders for you!
You will need all hands on deck. This is not the time to bring your superhuman skills to the fore. You and your spouse certainly need to divide household chores and baby-duty among yourselves. However, a few more hands never hurt. So don't hesitate in inviting the child's grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends to bond with the baby while you catch up on some rest.
Every child, every parent, and every growth story is different. So, avoid the urge to compare your child to the neighbour's or relative’s child . Though it is not advisable to compare your baby with someone else’s, it is important to keep observing them subtly and consult a doctor if you notice any weird or drastic change in their behaviour, schedule or health.
Asstrange as it sounds, it is always fun to capture every light, funny moment. Your child will provide you with plenty of these! Record these to smile at the end of a stressful day or many happy years later. However, avoid using flash as it is harmful for the baby’s eyes.
Fall back (literally) into the arms of your partner when you are exhausted. Talk about stress points, blow off some steam, demand some cuddles and just unwind together.
Needless to say, a lot can be fixed by merely remembering that things will pass and the joy of watching your young ones grow far outweighs the stress!
Do you have any more suggestions that parents can benefit from, or questions regarding your pregnancy and new-born baby? Let us know in the comments below.