Having a new baby is a magical, thrilling, maddening, scary, and exhausting time all at once. There are tiny one-piece bodysuits to wash, constant outfit and diaper changes, and lots of snuggles in between. While it can all be overwhelming, here are some parenting tips to help make those first six months with your new baby just a little bit easier.
Take Time To Rest & Recover
When your baby is born, instead of quickly getting back to all the tasks of daily life, take time to allow your body to rest and recover. Drink plenty of water and eat nutrient-rich meals and snacks regularly, particularly if you are breastfeeding. A lot of advice for new moms suggests sleeping while the baby is sleeping, and while you may take advantage of this some of the time, during those other hours where your newborn sleeps, read a book or take a shower. Self-care is vital during this period!
Find Clothes That Fit
You have just spent nine months growing a person. You should expect your body to be different after this experience. While this may be a transitional time, don't spend your days in ill-fitting clothing. There's no need to spend a fortune, but find some clothing that fits well, that's comfortable, and you like to wear.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Whether it's from your partner, your parents, or your neighbors, don't be shy about reaching out for assistance. Communities love to welcome new members, and babies are to be celebrated, so why not allow other people to help? This could be in the form of a ride to school for your older child, a warm meal, or even just a cup of coffee. Your neighbor may even have some wise advice for new parents to share with you.
Get Out Of The House
When you are rested and recovered from the birth, don't isolate yourself by staying home with the baby all of the time. Your first excursion out with your baby might be intimidating, but it needn't be with a little preparation and flexibility. Gather what you need to bring with you into a diaper bag or large tote. You don't have to pack the whole house, but make sure to have a few clean diapers, wipes, two clean outfits in case of messes, and any feeding-related accessories. Don't forget water and a snack for yourself, too!
Find Your People
This can be an intimidating step, especially for introverts, but try and find other moms with new babies. Consider setting up a rotating play date. Newborns will mostly sleep during these meet ups, but building a community where new moms can share parenting advice is important.
Being a new parent often brings feelings of self-doubt. After all, this is brand new territory, and babies can be intimidating. But remember: You've got this! If you have any questions, don't be shy about contacting your baby's pediatrician. They are used to giving advice to new moms and aren't bothered by your questions. If you're still not ready to get out of the house, online mom communities are also a good resource for asking questions and finding other mom advice and solidarity.
New babies are wonderful, and being a new mom is exciting while sometimes exhausting. Make the most of this time with your new baby by taking care of yourself so you are able to take care of your baby, too.