Having a new baby is an amazing time in any mother’s life. However, along with the joy and the awe of the new baby comes the extreme stress of talking care of a newborn. We’re talking sleepless nights, having to feed a baby at all hours (sometimes every two hours as newborns have very small stomachs and have to be fed often), and having to learn what each of your baby’s cry means.
These can add up and become a little overwhelming for the new mother, and some find they break down or come quite close to doing so.
If you find you’re currently faced with these challenges or know someone who is, here are five tips to help you cope with and adjust in this somewhat difficult time.
1. Your Baby’s Timetable Becomes Your Timetable
This is where a lot of new moms miss it. A baby coming into your life changes it in so many ways and one way could be your sleeping timetable.
Your baby may choose to sleep a lot during the day and stay awake at night and since babies need attention at all times, he would require you to stay up with him, not minding you’ve been awake all day.
To balance this, you should adjust to his timetable: sleep when he sleeps and stay awake when he does, that way, you’re well rested much of the time.
Now, while this might take a little getting used to, it’s usually the best course of action so you don’t end up sleep deprived.
2. Get Someone to Assist Temporarily
This is easier in this part of the world (Nigeria), where the child’s grandmother comes over for a short while to assist the new mom. Usually, this visit could be a short one (three months) or span as long as a year.
With the grandmom around, the new mom is able to rest or catch some sleep while the grandmom tends to the baby, that way she isn’t left feeling stressed.
3. Talk to Trusted Friends or Family
Especially if you are a first time mom. There will be people around you who have gone through a similar stressful situation and developed coping mechanism of their own.
Don’t be afraid you’ll be seen as inefficient; nobody expects a new parent to have it all together, especially at the beginning and most people are usually eager to offer tips to help you cope.
Have at least that one person you can run to when it starts to get a little too much, so you don’t breakdown.
4. Find Support Groups Locally or On the Internet
You’d be amazed at how much you can find if you searched. There are support groups for just about every ‘problem’ out there, including that of a struggling new mom.
5. Let Dad Step In Sometimes
Search out and connect with like-minded moms who have faced or are facing similar situations. A lot of these moms are willing, eager even, to share their tips on managing these times.
If your baby daddy is around, then you might want to reach out to him when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed.
It helps when you carry him along from the beginning, so he learns how everything is done, that way he can cope when you leave him alone with the baby for an hour or two to catch that much needed sleep.