Congratulations! Your baby is here, and now comes the next challenge—navigating life with a new little person. Adjusting to life with a newborn can take some time. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get everything right the first time. You’re in for a wild, yet rewarding ride. Read on for helpful tips!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
New babies require a lot of time and attention. It is easy to feel overwhelmed, overworked and exhausted. Ask your partner, parents or other family member, or a friend for help you when you need it—even if it is just to hold the baby while you take a quick shower, fold some laundry, etc.
Keep a baby log
Record the times of your baby’s feedings, how much he/she ate, dirty and wet diapers, and when baby slept. This can ensure that your baby is eating well and helps you remember the details so you’re not questioning the last time he/she ate.
It is common for one or both parents to be nervous about caring for baby and even afraid that they’ll do something wrong. If your partner does something you’re not thrilled with, use “I” statements to explain your feelings calmly and avoid sounding critical. For example, “I feel like you should wash the bottles a little more carefully.”
If someone is willing to watch the baby for an hour so you can take a nap or shower, take advantage of the opportunity!
Be patient with baby
Your baby is experiencing everything for the first time and learning how to adjust to the outside world.
Change your way of thinking
You will probably find yourself saying things like, “I can’t wait for baby to roll over,” etc. Rather than always looking for baby to grow and do the next thing, reframe it as, “I look forward to baby rolling over.”
Cherish every moment
So your baby just wants to be held and sleep in your arms all day, and you can’t get that load of laundry in or make the phone call you’ve been meaning to. Rather than getting frustrated, try to focus on enjoying the time you have with your little one.
Don’t compare or judge
You may know someone who is struggling and stressed about caring for their little one, or someone who is seemingly doing better than you juggling the responsibility of kids. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Everyone has a different way of handling things!
Get out of the house
You may be tempted to be a homebody now that you have a child, but getting out of the house is good for you and baby.
Maintain your relationship with your partner
After baby is born, the relationship with your partner may change. You may find that your relationship is very fragile as you and your partner adapt to the physical, emotional and day-to-day changes that come with a new baby. It is important that you maintain communication, work together, make an effort to stay connected, and spend time together.
For Health Advocate members
If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to our EAP+Work/Life service, our Licensed Professional Counselors are available to help you and your family adjust more effectively to changes as well as help create a healthy balance with work. They can also find resources that can help provide further support.