Huge congratulations to you and your partner on welcoming your new baby or babies into the world.
The first four weeks with your new baby are some of the most enthralling yet absolutely scary moments of a new parent’s life. Being responsible for caring for a helpless little person who relies upon you for everything is one hell of a responsibility.
Having to learn how to do everything and cope with all the firsts are two more! Needless to say, the first few weeks with a newborn are survivable and can even be enjoyable. We’ve even put together a short guide to help you out with your new baby, just to make things a little bit easier.
Sleep and Your New Baby
A new baby likes to sleep, but only when they want to. This can leave you upset that they are pretending to be a possum, wanting to be awake and party all night. However, don’t fret because your lack of sleep is just something you are going to need to get used to!
In all seriousness, you can help your baby learn good sleeping habits right from the start by feeding baby at night in a darkened and quiet room. Backgroundwhite noise works well too and helps them get used to noise so they can sleep solidly and we’ve got plenty of white noise products for you to buy. Take naps when you can, sleep when baby is sleeping and don’t worry about the housework.
Crying and Your New Baby
As an adult, we see crying as something we do when we are sad, but for a newborn baby it is the only way they can communicate they need something. Hunger, thirst, coldness, fear and even new sensations can cause your baby to cry. You can’t spoil your baby, so ignore those who say you shouldn’t pick them up for a cuddle when they are crying.
Yet we also know that a crying baby can be really stressful, especially if you have tried everything and they are still crying. It’s okay to put baby in a safe place like their bed and walk away for a few minutes.
Crying is not going to hurt them and it is better that you take a moment to calm down, breathe deeply and chill. There is a great resource from Power to Protect called Coping with a Crying Baby which has a checklist for you to work through to identify why they may be crying, as well as how you can keep your baby safe if you become upset or angry.
Looking After Yourself
As a new Mum, you have the most important job in the world. In order to keep your baby happy, healthy and safe, you also need to look after yourself. Eat regular meals, nap or sleep whenever you can, have showers, relax and enjoy some TV time and accept any help you are offered.
In fact, don’t be afraid to ask for help too. If a friend visits, ask them to make your coffee and fold the washing while you feed baby. Or even let them watch baby while you have an uninterrupted shower.
If you feel sad, helpless, angry or anxious for longer than a couple of days, have a chat with your midwife. Postnatal depression affects around 8-13% of all new Mums within the first 12 months and it is a serious condition which is treatable.
We’ve got a large number of friendly parents just like you in our Facebook support group. Always ready and willing to offer non-judgemental and helpful advice, our Mums and Dads might not know all the answers, but we can certainly be there to support and point you in the right direction.