Keeping Your Head Above Water as a First Time Mum
You have successfully brought your bundle of joy into the world and you are filled with love for this cute little treasure and also maybe a little bit of trepidation wondering how to take care of your baby.
You might have read a lot of books and heard a lot of advice from friends and family, so much so that you are overwhelmed and confused.
Siphon through all the advice you have been given and decide which bits are relevant to you and which are not.
Here are a few more tips to help you along the journey of motherhood;
Trust your instincts
All babies are different, and because of this, there are no hard and fast rules for taking care of them. Only you can know what works and what does not work for your baby.
So you need to use techniques that you and your baby are comfortable with. Every parent makes decisions for their child and they may be different from what others are doing but trust your instincts.
Create a bond with your child
Although most women feel a rush of unconditional love and a deep bond with their child immediately when they are born, there are some for whom this is not the case.
Whether you feel a spontaneous attachment to your baby or not, you need to develop a bond between you and your baby. You can do this by maintaining skin-to-skin contact while breastfeeding, bathing or just merely cuddling with your child.
It is important to form a deep bond as it will assure your baby of your love, leaving them feeling secure and settled.
Do not neglect yourself
You might think you have an endless amount of energy and you cannot possibly leave your precious new baby for a minute. This is a mentality that can cause you to burn out, and it is, therefore, hazardous for you and your baby.
Eat a balanced diet, take frequent baths, exercise often, rest or sleep when your baby sleeps and take time out to get out of the house.
You are not a selfish parent by taking care of yourself; you are just ensuring that you are physically, mentally and emotionally prepared to give your child the best care.
Plan for everything
There is a certain level of confidence that comes with knowing that you have a solid plan in place for taking care of your baby. After a while, your newborn will develop a routine, and you can use this to plan for feedings, outings and other events.
This also means you will be better prepared when something unexpected happens. For instance, packing extra outfits and nappies for outings will make you prepared when your child vomits or needs a diaper change unexpectedly.
A baby is very vulnerable during their first year, and extra care needs to be taken when dealing with them during this period. Wash or disinfect your hands before touching your baby to avoid transferring infections to them.
Always ensure to support their head and neck when carrying them. While it is good to play with your baby, do not overdo it as over-stimulation can make it harder for them to sleep, thereby making them fussy.
Mix with others
Having a decent stroller so you can get around for your baby will help you avoid isolation. You can both leave the house and meet friends at a local cafe or playground. You need contact with others. One of the worst things a new mum can do is to isolate themselves.
Safety should be paramount when on the move with an infant. If on foot, be sure that your child is securely strapped into their stroller. If taking a longer trip in a car, you will need to follow any regulations on child restraints and car seats that apply in your area. You also want to make sure their car seat is properly fitted and comfortable.
Find others you can share your parenting experience with. Local playgroups are great for this. It does not matter if your child is not able to play with the toys yet, they can sit in the pram and take in all that is happening while you get to chat with other mums. It is a win, win.
If you have friends and family nearby, make the most of the time they are willing to spend with you and your baby. You may be able to have a sleep while the grandparents take your baby out for a walk in the pram. What a treat.
Do not be discouraged
Just because your baby does not achieve a milestone at the same time as another baby does do not panic. As long as your baby is eating well, looks healthy and has no diagnosed illness, you have nothing to worry about.
Embrace your child as the unique being he or she is and celebrate every milestone that they achieve. If you have ongoing concerns then take your child to be assessed by those in the medical profession to ensure there is no problem.
Even when it seems like you do not know what you are doing, you are most likely doing an amazing job. I don’t know that any parent who gets it absolutely perfect, we all make mistakes. This I do know, parenting is one of the most fulfilling experiences in the world.