Nothing will ever prepare you for motherhood. Sure you’ve read the books and listen to the stories of other mothers and you think you’re ready but now that the baby is here, you found out that what you are expecting is far from what you are experiencing now. We’ve listed a few tips for you that will hopefully help you transition into your role as a parent.
Don’t panic. Crying is the only way babies communicate. They cry when they’re hungry. They cry when they need a nappy change. They cry when they’re hot or cold or uncomfortable or they don’t feel well. You may not be able to tell the difference yet but don’t worry. Pretty soon you will. Just give yourself time. For now, what you can do is try different things. Check the diaper. Check the temperature. Carry your baby differently. Maybe she wants to rock her in your arms or maybe she wants to be carried upright.
Feed on demand. This is especially true for breastfed babies. Unfortunately, babies do not have a schedule. You have to watch out for hunger cues. Feed your baby as soon as you see him rooting. Do not wait for him to cry. Then it would be too difficult to latch him on to your breasts and position him properly. Breast milk too is easily digested so you may have to feed him more often.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help. The first few weeks is the most difficult. Both you and the baby are adjusting. One of the biggest challenge in motherhood is sleep. Get as much rest as you can and ask for help in looking after your baby so you can lie down for a bit. Or better yet, sleep when the baby’s asleep. This should help you recharge.
It’s ok to say “No.” Friends and family members tend to get too excited with the arrival of the new baby. They can’t wait to see him or hold him and they’d often come over to visit. It’s ok to put a limit on the number of visitors that you see or the amount of time they can stay. Some may disagree but just make them understand that this is for you and your baby’s best interest.
Set some time for yourself. We all need this. Ask someone to look after the baby for maybe 10 minute or so. Take that time to focus on you. Take a bath. Read a magazine. All the diaper changing and the feeding can be overwhelming for new moms and it’s ok to take a break and think of yourself for a while.