Having a baby can be one of the biggest decisions in your life and you need to think about a lot of things. Planning ahead is a necessity all parents should do. I truly recommend sitting down and giving it a serious thought what needs to be done. Think about how to handle all the sleepless nights, anger, frustration and all other possible emotions in the first four months.
Many of my friends and customers have mentioned, that they never imagined how hard the first few months actually were. When experiencing different emotions, don’t forget to enjoy your baby and appreciate the little moments as time will fly by.
Here are couple of facts about newborns and some helpful tips to help you prepare for them:
1. Newborns cry, a lot!
Yes, this is painful truth. Babies cries, that sometimes might seem deafening, is their early way of “communicating”. They want to tell us that they are hungry, cold, need to be changed or just want to be held. It is up to parents to learn to read them and understand their “language”. Newborn has spent last 9 months in a calm, quiet and dark environment and suddenly they are surrounded with lights, sounds and activities.
Baby needs time to adjust with the change. A secure, warm, swaddled, rocked and held baby will adjust with the new surrounding quicker. They will learn to understand, that this new environment is cosy as well.
Make sure that your baby is clean, diaper changed and feels comfortable. Feed your baby regularly as their tummy is a size of a pea when born.
REMEMBER: TODDLERS AND TEENAGERS CAN BE SPOILED, NOT LITTLE BABIES
2. You will have sleepless nights
As most pregnant women can testify, unborn babies love to sleep during the day when you are up and moving around and they are awake in your belly when you have decided to rest. Unfortunately, this behavior doesn’t change after they are born.
This is the time when your baby needs all of your attention (and probably your family’s too). It is very important that you sleep when your baby sleeps. Otherwise, you will be overtired and sleep deprived which might affect your health, moods and cause postnatal depression. In addition, your memory might be affected and that can be dangerous to you and your child.
Newborns might not sleep long periods at the time. Try to show them the difference between day and night, otherwise they might sleep a lot during day and stay awake most of the night. During day time, go for walks and breath fresh air, be more active and your baby will learn to stay up longer day time. Newborns should sleep around 15 to 17 hours from 24 hours. They cannot stay awake more then an hour in a row. Overtired child finds it difficult to fall asleep.
If your baby isn’t sleeping well during day or night and you are tired – ask for help. Do not be proud. You need your health for breastfeeding and recovering from giving birth. You have managed to do something wonderful – be kind to yourself!
REMEMBER: NEWBORN BABIES MAKE THEIR OWN SCHEDULES
3. Your baby is fine
Be aware, that some mothers do not feel instant connection with their newborn and it is completely normal. For some, it takes a few days or even a bit longer.
All mothers have felt a moment of fear where they think their baby is crying and after running to see them, they discover baby is fast asleep. Or a sudden scare that your baby isn’t breathing and experience a panic attack. When going through moments like these, take a deep breath, make sure your baby is okay and relax. This is just your sharp mother instinct kicking out.
REMEMBER: WORRYING ABOUT YOUR CHILD WILL STAY WITH YOU ALWAYS, YOU WILL GET USED TO IT
4. Breastfeeding might not come naturally
A lot of women expect to breastfeed their child, however problems in this field are very common. All babies are different; some can be successfully breastfed on their first try as other might need more time to get used to it.
Many pregnant women have assumed that breastfeeding is an instinct and comes naturally. However, a lot of women have never breastfed their children.
Breastfeeding is natural and convenient for some moms – and it can be learnt. I recommend gathering information from professionals before giving birth. But be sure not to start excessively reading books and articles about breastfeeding – it might be confusing. Every women and child is different and a lot of information out there can be general and unhelpful to you. If you have decided not to breastfeed, talk to your doctor or midwife in advance.
Breastfeeding your baby can be challenging to a lot of women. New mothers often experience painful nipples, latching problems and other difficulties. But don’t worry, with time and effort all will be easier. Believe in yourself and your baby!
REMEMBER: IF YOU DON’T BREASTFEED, YOUR BABY WILL STILL GO TO SCHOOL
5. And finally ..
My last words of wisdom – DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF!