The first month after having a new baby is one of the most difficult time periods you will ever go through as a parent. Effectively dealing with the stress of a new baby is essential. Forget about sleep, forget about quiet, forget about having a moment to sit by yourself with your arms and lap empty. The constant demands that this tiny new person brings can leave you pulling out your hair in frustration as the stress of being on call 24/7 and functioning on little sleep slowly builds. But, you can survive this time as your baby gets used to being outside the womb and becomes less demanding. Try out these 3 tips — they will help you combat the stress and survive with your sanity intact.
Take time for yourself whenever you can.
Baby just went down for a nap? Perfect! Forget about the pile of dirty dishes, you need some me-time. Yes, the chores are piling up but if you don’t make finding time to take care of yourself a priority, you won’t be of any use to anyone. So, take advantage of that 10 minute nap: sit down, grab a book, or check in with a friend you haven’t heard from in a while. You’ll feel calmer, more rested, and be better able to handle all of your obligations because of it.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
It’s natural to want to do everything on your own, but your baby needs more of your time now which makes it impossible to do everything. In order to stay on top of everything, that means calling in reinforcements. Have family members who want to help but don’t know how? Have them come over for a night to bounce the baby while you catch up on the house work. Invite a friend over to share dinner with you and let them do you a huge favor by cooking an enormous meal — with leftovers for an easy supper the next day. Many people are more than willing to help out if you need it and even the simplest gesture, like folding clothes for you when they stop by to see how you’re doing, can help you to be less stressed and better able to stay on top of things.
Enjoy your baby.
Don’t let yourself get to the point where taking care of your baby is a chore. Yes, your new baby does require a lot of you, but in that same regard, you are literally your baby’s entire world. Every comfort that they experience comes from you — and they really, really do grow up too fast. So, take a deep breath, stare into that beautiful chubby face, and just enjoy the time you get to spend with your baby, focusing on just the two of you for that moment.