Are you a new mom figuring your way through this new parenting journey? All new moms need a little help from time to time, especially when it comes to parenting a newborn. When you’re struggling with endless hours of sleep deprivation, caring for your little one, and everything in between, life can become overwhelming. Whether you’re a first-time parent or you’ve been through it all before, these helpful tips can make things easier for you and your family. Here are six parenting tips every new mom needs to know.
1. Ask for help
Parenting is a 24-hour job, and it’s difficult to do it alone. Don’t be afraid to ask your spouse or partner for help. Child care is an essential component of any parenting team. It’s important to let your partner know when you need help, and reciprocate when your partner needs a hand as well. You can also lean on a babysitter or nanny, friends, or any family members who are willing to lend a hand. Daycare centers, parenting classes at your local community center or church, and online parenting blogs can also be super helpful. If you have someone who can watch your child while you take some time away from home, or you just need some time to yourself without your baby, take them up on their offer!
2. Stick to a routine
When you’re struggling with sleep deprivation and trying to live in the moment with your baby, it can be difficult to adhere to a daily routine. However, parenting is all about routines and schedules. Try your best to keep one for yourself as well as your baby. When you face those hours of your mornings, afternoons, and bedtime,it’s helpful to follow the same order of activities each day so that you and your baby can learn to expect what’s coming next, even if your schedule changes somewhat from week to week.
3. Get settled into your new routine
These aren’t always easy parenting tips to follow because sleep difficulties are common for newborns due to their small stomach size and adjusting to life outside the womb. Sleeping through the night with a newborn can take anywhere from three to eight weeks. Establishing your parenting routine is even more important during these times, because it’s all about trying to stay on top of your baby’s schedule and needs at this point. When your baby starts sleeping through the night (which usually happens between five to seven months), parenting will become easier. It is at this point that you should find it easier to fulfill some of your duties without feeling like you’re neglecting your child during naptime or evening hours.
4. Let your baby sleep on you
Depending on which parenting philosophy you subscribe to, letting your baby sleep with you in your bed may not be an option for you as a new parent. However, if you decide to let your little one sleep with you in the beginning, don’t worry – it won’t be forever. Newborns typically need to sleep on their parents’ bodies, or very closeby, for the first three to four months of life, especially during the night. It’s beneficial to let them do so if you can, and it also allows everyone to get more sleep, including you! Once your baby moves past that initial stage, which is typically around four months old, you’ll be able to put your little one into a crib in a separate room and establish a parenting routine that works for you both.
5. Learn how to cope with stress
Being a new parent can be full of stressful moments, including feedings, diaper changes, and crying spells that don’t seem to end. However, once you learn how to handle these challenging situations more effectively without letting them affect your mental well-being (which usually takes around six months to achieve), it becomes much easier to move past them when they happen. Remember, if you feel like you’re struggling with the stress of parenting more than usual, or show signs of postpartum depression, seek help right away from friends or family members, online parenting forums or blogs, and talk to your doctor about therapy.
6. Find an outlet for expression
Being a parent can be exhausting and stressful, which can even lead you to feel like you need to have outbursts from time to time. It’s important to find a healthy outlet for your stress in these situations. Some parents cope better with stress than others because they have a way to channel it into something positive, by seeking help or connecting with others in a support group. Remember that while parenting can be extremely rewarding, it’s also not easy! So take your time as you adjust to this new role, and don’t forget to ask for help when you need it.
While parenting tips like this may not work for everyone, determining which parenting philosophy best suits your family’s needs is key! Follow these parenting tips to help you navigate this challenging phase, while you try to enjoy and make the most of this wonderful journey.
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