The arrival of a newborn baby brings with it a huge wave of excitement, pure joy and a whole lot of other emotions that just can’t be put in words. But it suffices to say that the entire package of rollercoaster emotions and duties and the change in life can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with.
Here is our survival guide for new parents in the first few months after to help you deal with all of it better.
The first thing that will hit you when you have a baby is the wide array of emotions. It will be a mix of excitement, happiness, anxiety and stress. Many parents undergo postpartum depression (among moms) or postnatal depression (among dads) – a condition where new mothers and fathers experience depression, anxiety and difficulty bonding with the baby, after pregnancy. If you feel you are experiencing this, quickly consult a psychologist or a counselor and seek help. What you’re experiencing is natural and it’s completely understandable if you’re struggling to cope with it. This is why professional help exists, and you shouldn’t hesitate to get some. Partners, be good to each other, listen to each other and give each other the space or the intimacy depending on what the other person needs.
Apart from breastfeeding, almost all other baby duties can be undertaken by either parent. Make sure that both of you are spending equal amount of time with the baby – this includes things like changing nappies, putting the baby to sleep etc.
Perhaps, the parent that goes out to work can take over baby responsibilities after returning, so that the partner can get some rest.
Both parents may also take turns for the night shift – when the baby wakes up crying in the middle of the night. You can divide that in terms of alternate nights, so that at least one parent gets a good night’s sleep, or you can tend to the baby one after the other.
Yes, the baby is of prime importance, but that does not mean you shouldn’t tend to each other. Remember, all of you together are a unit, and while all energies are focused on the baby, spare some for your partner. Help them relieve stress of any kind. A nice shoulder rub, hugs, words of comfort and reassuring each other of doing a good job helps a lot, and will instill the required confidence in your partner. Both of you are more or less equally scared of not being a good parent, and only both of you can help each other become a better parent to your baby.
Support and empower each other. And don’t let petty issues turn into full blown arguments, as it’s likely to happen under stressful conditions.
As well-meaning as the advice of family, friends and loved ones may be, ultimately every decision related to the baby needs to come from you and your partner, together as a team, based on what you both think is best. Whatever it is, discuss things with your partner, understand their perspectives if it differs from yours, be empathetic and respectful.
Team-work makes everything easier and better. Explore parenthood together, and you will be raising an amazing baby!
Have any more survival tips? Let us know in the comments below.