Welcome to your tiny buddle of joy!! Bringing a baby into this world is just as amazing as it is terrifying and exhausting. These 3 tips for new parents can help keep your sanity and enjoy the baby bliss!
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Guest post written by Laura Tringali Sobieski
Can I just tell you that for as much as I feel relieved to have a break when my son goes down for a nap, I also miss him while he is sleeping and find myself scrolling through pictures of him on my phone.
I don’t need to tell you how amazing and joyful it is to have your new little peanut home with you – you already know!! Let’s get real, though, it can also be so exhausting. Let these 3 tips for new parents help you figure out how to take on the tough stuff by teaming up with your partner and crushing it.
3 Tips for New Parents to Keep Their Sanity
When my son was first born, he was changing so fast that no two days were the same.
For a while (maybe forever? Other mamas, let me know!) your “normal” is going to be constantly changing so you and your partner need to figure out how to continually adapt to the rhythm of your life. Consistently communicating about expectations is key to keeping harmony in your partnership through all these changes.
The worst time to have clashing expectations is when you and your partner are both tired. For me, this time is first thing in the morning. There were (and still are) many mornings when we each, hardly awake, would think the other should be the one to get up with our son or change his diaper or what have you.
As I’m sure you could guess, tired people who don’t want to get out of bed don’t communicate or negotiate well with one another!
We found it most helpful to talk about it the night before and get on the same page about who would do what the next morning. Then, there was no question or discussion about it in the morning. Let me tell you, the times when we have a morning plan in place are the best mornings.
Sometimes we have a day that is out of the routine like a weekend or a day when one of us is not working, and we don’t remember to make a plan the night before. When that happens, we are right back to butting heads and getting irritated when our “baby alarm” goes off (i.e. he is ready to get out of his crib to eat or start playing).
Talking out expectations ahead of time (and when you aren’t tired) can save you from unnecessary stress as you and your partner learn to parent together. This is such an important step out of the 3 tips for new parents!
Make a Plan for Overnight Feedings
Overnight feedings are tough which is why it is so important to add this to the 3 tips for new parents! Here are a few things to think about when planning overnight feedings:
If you are breastfeeding, there are still ways to work as a team. One way to split things up is to have your partner do the diaper changes. My son would wake up at somewhat predictable intervals so my husband and I picked one of those times that would be diaper change time. He would get our son, change his diaper, and then give him to me to feed since feeding him would help him fall right back asleep.
If you are pumping, you can split up the feedings! I got started immediately with pumping to make sure my milk supply came in strong. An added benefit of having pumped milk was that my husband and I could alternate who fed him at night. We took turns feeding him overnight (I would breastfeed him and my husband would bottle feed him pumped breastmilk) so that each of us could get a few consecutive hours of sleep in a row.
If you are formula feeding, the same goes as above. You can alternate each feeding or you can alternate nights – one person does all the feedings one night then the other does them all the next night. My son still wakes up to breastfeed overnight (at 9-months-old), but he also eats solid foods during the day. My husband and I have agreed that he wakes up with him in the morning (any time after 6am) and feeds him breakfast so I can continue to sleep. Many nights I will even go sleep in our guest room after the last overnight feeding so that I can sleep through the morning commotion. Those uninterrupted hours are gold!!
I added the nightly feedings to the 3 tips for new parents because it can be challenging and something that needs to be worked through right away!
Take a Nap
Your little one isn’t the only one in need of some good sleep! This is such an important tip out of the 3 tips for new parents because if you are not taking care of yourself and getting enough sleep, you will be struggling with your new life as a mommy!
Between recovering from a c-section and breastfeeding, I was simply exhausted in the first few weeks of having my son at home.
First, you need to know that it is completely NORMAL and OKAY to be extremely tired and need a lot of help.
A human child just exited your body!! That’s amazing. You are a warrior. Your body went through a lot to grow that baby from the size of a grain of quinoa to the breathing, crying, wiggling little person in your arms. So mama, take a nap! You deserve it.
If you are trying to find time to catch up on your sleep, here are a couple tips to go with these 3 tips for new parents.
- Sleep when your baby sleeps. The first couple days when my son and I were still in the hospital, I slept basically all day and all night in the 1-2 hour chunks I could between feeding him. As I started to heal and regain more of my energy, I had to remind myself that it was still okay to take naps during the day. Not getting uninterrupted sleep overnight really takes a toll on you.
- As your baby gets a little older and has a bedtime (usually between 6-8pm), you might start to notice that your baby will give you their longest stretch of sleep at this time. For my son, he started sleeping 4 hours in a row when we put him to bed, but by the time I was ready to go to bed, he started waking up wanting to breastfeed every 2 hours for the rest of the night. It isn’t crazy to go to bed when your baby goes to bed some nights so you can get a longer stretch of uninterrupted sleep! I am not ashamed to say that I have gone to bed at 7 o’clock some nights!! You need to take care of yourself in order to take care of your little one.
Dads, encourage your partner to take a nap. Especially in that first 4-8 weeks, her body needs to do a lot of recovering, and sleep is NECESSARY for healthy recovery. I know I needed to be reminded to be patient with my recovery, let my body do its thing, and be kind to myself.
I hope these 3 tips for new parents help you when your little one arrives and remember that it takes a village!
Laura is a new mama and learning how to be a work-from-home-mama. She is building an online business as a Virtual Assistant and Copywriter. Laura loves writing, creating, and all things planning and organizing. You can find more posts from Laura at www.lauratringali.com