Babies are the little sweethearts with the most demanding attitude. He/she is your heart walking outside your body. They invoke incredible joy, profound love and unassailable care in you for them. But also, they can drain you off physically, mentally and emotionally – be it because of sleep deprivation, or frantic scheduling, or checking and changing the diapers every now and then, or post-delivery marital issues or work pressure.
Though every baby is different, the emotional ride a parent undergoes in the first year remains unchanged. To help you and other mommies out there to survive the baby’s first year, here are 7 tips.
1. Ask for help/Accept help when offered:
Just like your baby, you need a support too. The arrival of the baby means a lot of friends and relatives visiting you and your baby. Make sure you ask for help or accept the help when offered. Never let guilt or embarrassment or ego get in between. This definitely saves your day and allows you to have time to bond with your baby.
2. Breaks are needed:
When you feel like you need a break, you really need to take it! Whether having a sound nap or planning your next vacation or practising your hobby or a long walk all by yourself, make sure this stands as a priority too. If the mommy is happy and healthy, the baby will be too.
3. Sleep when you can:
As the lady of the house, it is almost impossible to have a sound sleep when the laundry is waiting or dinner is yet to be prepared or lounge room is yet to be dusted or any other smallest of small works that are visible to you in the house. But above all, what is more important is YOU. Since most of the babies are night owls, it is inevitable for new parents to get good night’s sleep. This is when this tip works out. Every possible work in the house could wait while you get some sleep. Sleep when your baby is asleep. This saves you from the hazards of sleep deprivation.
4. Embrace your new self:
Unlike the motherhood which occurs overnight, the adjustments to new life won’t. Having a little being that is entirely dependent on you is a major adjustment in itself. And yes, along with the journey of adjusting to this major modification with other minor adjustments, you change. You experience new emotions – great pride, extreme love, irrational fear. But embrace those emotions and accept your new self. This will help you to be happy about yourself.
5. Treasure the moments and things:
Your baby’s first year could be intense and be tiring to the parents, but it doesn’t last forever. Your baby grows at a rapid rate. Soon you will be celebrating his first birthday and many more birthdays follow. So treasure the moments and save his things when you still can. After a year, if you look back at the picture or video of his first smile, first step, first word or any of his firsts, or the way your baby used to crawl or small dress they wore, the sweater his grannie knitted for him or the first toy he liked, you’ll be delighted you soaked it all up while you still can.
6. Filter advice:
New parents are always at the receiving end of the advice. Your family, your friends, your relatives, your co-workers, health-care professionals, the media and the next door neighbour – everyone has the advice to give you about taking care of your baby. But what counts is your opinion. No one can understand the baby as much as a mother does. So, believe in your parenting way and filter the advice accordingly.
7. Do not compare:
Every baby is unique and so is the way they develop. But when all the babies of the same age group are sitting/standing/saying “mamma”, it takes strong willpower to act like you don’t care but it is definitely worth the go. Babies are fascinating. They travel similar path but in a unique way. So, appreciate it and marvel at the skills your baby is developing instead of comparing and worrying.