Some close friends of ours just had a new baby girl a few days ago. She’s precious as can be, for sure. We’ve been able to visit a couple of times. It’s an awesome miracle for that new life to now be visible to the rest of the world.
With a new baby, your world changes. You’ve spent the last 36 – 42 weeks talking about how wonderful it’s going to be to have a new baby in the house. Those precious tiny hands grasping every time you touch them. Those chubby cheeks. Day-long cuddles. Then reality hits your household!
You change what seems like 314 diapers a day, constantly clean baby vomit off of everything, and suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. The first few months of new parenthood can be particularly trying. You love this new baby with everything in you. However, you’ve also realized that having this little one in the mix changes things in ways you hadn’t expected. The truth is, as much as we prepare, we’re never fully prepared. Every household is unique and so is every baby. Newborns always bring some level of stress. Of course, they’re worth every bit of it. Here are some tips to decrease stress with a newborn.
Look, some things just aren’t important right now. Make a realistic to-do list with only the things that will matter. How do you know if it’s important enough to make the list? I’m so glad you asked! If it doesn’t impact the health, safety, or well-being of the family, it doesn’t make the list. If there are some tasks you’d like to do when you have extra time, which is unlikely to come, fine. But rearrange the priority list.
Plan ways to get rid of company that stays too long.
You have great friends and family. It’s nice that everyone wants to come and love on your newborn. Sometimes they just stay around too long. Plan ways to get rid of company when they do this. Note, they’re probably not being rude. They most likely don’t realize they’re wearing you out. In all likelihood, they simply love you and want to celebrate with you. Saying things like, “Okay, I’m going to take him upstairs and let her sleep in her bassinet for a while” will usually work. Sometimes when company would call and talk about coming over, I would simply tell them my wife was really tired and I’m not sure she would be awake when they got there. They always chose to visit at a different time. Your mileage may vary.
Having the little one in the mix changes things in ways you hadn’t expected.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter what anyone else’s experience was or is. Your baby is unique. Your family situation is unique. This is even true for different children within the same household. Comparing this one to that one is just not helpful. Some techniques work with that child that do not work with this one – and that’s perfectly fine! When you have a newborn, everyone has advice. Just remember that you don’t have to accept it all – or any of it!
Sleep when your baby sleeps. We all know this. We all were told this. Too many mothers don’t do this. Do it. When your doctor told you this, it was for a reason. Mom, you and your baby need to rest. Don’t allow yourself to get too sleep deprived. Sleep is a medical necessity. It’s also an important factor in guarding against post-partum depression. The in-laws will be there another time. Your friends will come over another day. Sleep without guilt.
Let things, and the guilt, go.
Speaking of guilt, let it go. Your new baby doesn’t particularly care if the dishes are done right away. She doesn’t care if the laundry waits another day. Remember an important part of taking care of your newborn is taking care of yourself.
The first days of having a newborn in the house are both exciting and stressful. Give yourself some grace and you will get through it with flying colors.