Whether you just brought a baby home from the hospital or are expecting to soon, you’re likely getting a lot of advice about newborns.
From sleepless nights to weeknight dinners, every aspect of your new life can feel tricky. While every baby is different, and there is no perfect formula for getting things right, you can ease your mind by taking a few strategic steps. Here are some ideas for balancing life as a new parent:
- Plan to Do Less. Maybe your pre-baby life involved 40 hours of work, five nights at the gym, home-cooked dinners and a busy social calendar. When you have a newborn on the way, though, be sure to prioritize. “Do not expect that because you are not working you will be able to sort out the bookshelves, arranging them alphabetically by author,” says Emily Hourican at Quick and Dirty Tips. Instead, decide what tasks are important, and what tasks you can afford to take a break from. The less you have to do, the less stress you’ll feel.
- Accept Help. Friends and family members are likely to lend a hand, especially when your baby is so small. Let them. “Because it’s too much to deal with every single cry yourself—especially in those first few weeks when you’re exhausted and overwhelmed—remember to accept help from your partner and others as much as possible so you get a break,” notes an article at The Bump.
- Establish Clear Day/Night Patterns. While newborns typically wake multiple times at night, your eventual goal is to help yours sleep soundly. It’s never too soon to start showing your baby the difference between day and night, in an effort to help him/her transition to nighttime sleeping. During the day, open all the blinds, make a lot of noise and go about your normal routines — even during naps. At night, keep your home dark and quiet, even when you do feedings and burp sessions.
- Get Outside. As an article at BabyCenter advises, the early days with a newborn can feel painfully long. When it’s just you and your little one for hours at a time, you can feel overwhelmed quickly. Break up your days by taking walks at local parks or in your neighborhood. Or if the weather is bad, visit a nearby mall with the stroller or a baby carrier. Getting out of the house will be good for you.
Adjusting to life with a newborn is just that — an adjustment. Though with a little patience and the willingness to follow the tips above, you can make the transition a little smoother.
Emma Valle is the customer service manager at BabySuperMall.com, a leading online retailer of baby and kids’ products. Baby SuperMall hosts a wide selection of children’s bedding and decorations including baby blankets and cribs.