Being a new parent can be both a challenging and rewarding experience. However, you might be wondering “How am I going to do this?”. I still can’t believe they let me leave the hospital with my first because frankly we had no idea what we were doing.
So, here here 10 New Parent Hacks for your new baby and getting through it:
1. Do (Before) Baby Prep
- if you haven’t had your baby yet, it is a great idea to do some prep. I always make sure my house is stocked with things such as: faminine products (i.e. postpartum diapers), food, drinks, snacks, etc. If you plan on lactating it is a great idea to make and freeze lactation bars, balls or cookies. Cooking and freezing some meals can’t hurt either. It can be hard with a newborn to cook, so take away that worry. If your house is stocked up, you also won’t need to worry about a trip to the store.
Besides stocking up my house and any and all things we might possibly need, I made sure all the baby clothes were washed to avoid possible irritation and bottles were ready to go. Don’t forget to install the car seat and build the crib too.
2. Get organized
organize your baby’s new space, clothes and other essentials (diapers, wipes, swaddles, blankets, etc.). Our motto is “everything has a place, and every place has a thing.”
3. Set expectations
it is important to have a discussion with your parents about who will do what to eliminate possible disagreements. Also, talk about when and who is invited to come by the house. You will both be tired after labor and the first days, it is good to have predetermined expectations set beforehand.
4. Create or strengthen your support system
whether you live close to family, have friends or have made some new ones in lamaze class, make sure you have someone to talk to and even better who is willing to come help you clean or cook. Having friends or family who already have children can also be a great resource for information and support.
5. Get sleep when you can
the old saying goes “sleep when the baby sleeps” and I somewhat agree. If you have the privilege of maternity leave or a flexible schedule, sleep the day away, newborn permitting. Mothers need their rest after birth and for lactation, and fathers too.
On the other hand, if you sleep when the baby sleeps, nothing will ever get done. That’s why before baby prep is so important for you to get some rest at least for the first week or two. After that, prioritize going to bed early and trying to accomplish a little more when the baby is sleeping during the daytime.
6. Set up a new routine
a new baby is a big change and don’t expect your routine to stay the same. You might find yourself going to bed sooner, you might not be working, and your entire world might feel like it’s been turned upside down. That’s because it was. Know the sleep windows for your newborn, how much they should be eating, and investigate activities to do with them (i.e. infant massage, high contrast books, etc.).
7. Don’t be afraid to get help
While it is important to trust your instincts, remember there is no shame in asking for help. Whether it be from a friend or family member willing to help around the house or a call to your pediatrician because something just doesn’t feel right.
Becoming a new parent comes with a wave of strong emotions. If you are feeling depressed as a new mom, don’t be ashamed to consult a professional about possible postpartum depression.
It is no time to be proud, everybody needs help some time and a new baby is one of those times.
8. Don’t compare
while this is easier said than done, it is best not to compare your new baby to another. Knowing your sister’s baby was already sleeping through the night at 1 month old isn’t helpful. Your new baby is unique and will have their own strengths and weaknesses. Some babies do great in the car, others are content in a baby swing or being carried. Avoid comparing your baby to others since it might lead to disappointment or set unrealistic expectations.
9. Read up
it is a great idea before the baby comes to read up on current safety guidelines, best baby products (car seat, crib, mattress, formula), any recalls on baby products, etc. While the amount to read might seem overwhelming, try to dedicate 15-30 minutes a day to get through the most important material for your little one.
10. Don’t forget about yourself
While your life may revolve around your new bundle of joy. Don’t forget about self-care. Try to get enough sleep, don’t forget to eat, and take some “you time” (a hot shower, meditation time, read). If things feel overwhelming or like you are going to explode, take a 5-minute break. Even if your baby is crying, it is better to take a moment to breathe before doing something in the heat of the moment.
Becoming a parent can be a very exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s not without its hardships. Make sure to keep reading our blog and follow Storybook on social media for information to help you along your new journey. Storybook time is quality time with your little one. Storybook will help you learn your baby’s cues, ease colic pain and help them sleep better. Try it out today!