When you become a parent for the first time, you get a first-hand glimpse of what your parents had to deal with when you were a baby. Those sleepless nights when you stay up helping your helpless little one(s), the countless times you carried them around as you ran errands, and the way your relationship with the husband has changed - they are all a part of parenthood. But dealing with these can definitely seem like a struggle at first.
Following are the top 6 challenges that new parents face along with tactics on how you can tackle these challenges.
Challenge #1: When they don’t fall asleep or stop crying
As new parents, we have all been through that phase wherein babies simply refuse to sleep even after an hour of constantly rocking them and/or singing to them.
Tactic: Start a routine for when it’s time for your baby to go to sleep. You could start by changing their diapers, and their clothes. You could then swaddle them up, dim the lights and gently rock them, either in your arms or in the crib. You could even play some soft music as you do so. The idea is to keep the routine short and consistent so that your baby knows just when to fall asleep.
Challenge #2: When they refuse the bottle
One benefit of expressing breastmilk and bottle feeding is that fathers also get a chance to feed their baby. But babies may not transition from breastfeeding to bottle feeding that easily.
Tactic: Try and introduce them to bottle feeding right from the third or fourth week after birth. You should compulsorily offer the bottle at least twice a day even if they do refuse. Try using a teat that resembles the human nipple so that the baby finds it more familiar and associates it with milk.
Challenge #3: New parent anxiety - Am I doing enough?
With so many people commenting on your parenting styles without us asking for it and others silently judging you, it is easy to feel like you are not doing enough.
Tactic: Remember that every parent is different. What some people can afford, others can’t. As long as you are doing the best you can, you are doing enough. Some may be able to afford to sit at home with their babies, while others may not. Few may want to prioritise their baby over their own careers while others will not. Whatever you choose to do, know that you are doing enough!
Challenge #4: Multiple feedings and diaper changes
The first few weeks after coming home are going to be like a storm - a storm of feeding sessions that is. Your baby’s diapers are going to have storms quite often too.
Tactic: With your baby’s tummy slowly growing, its appetite will also improve. This means that when the tummy grows big enough, they would need fewer feeding sessions and diaper changes. So for these few weeks, just hang in there knowing that every mom you know has been there and done that.
Challenge #5: Spending with the hubby
The relationship dynamics with your husband will change drastically after having a baby. This is because almost every conversation is going to revolve around the baby for a while.
Tactic: Break the ice and plan out a date with your husband. The first week or so may have to revolve around the baby but from the third week onwards, make it a point to spend time exclusively with your husband. Get someone else to look after the baby during the period you go on said date and make this a weekly event. Catch up on each other’s lives - talk about anything and everything except the baby. This is not to say that talking about the baby is a bad thing, but it is nice to take a break and have an adult conversation for a bit. You could talk about politics, family, news or current affairs, and careers.
Challenge #6: Heading out with Baby Boo
When you have a baby, heading outside seems like the last thing on your mind. Even if you do step out, you have to plan everything well in advance.
Tactic: Although you do have to time everything from the last feeding session and the next diaper change, you should be confident enough to step out if and when you need to. If you don’t practice stepping out with your baby, then you might start being afraid to step outside, feel trapped or start feeling resentment for not being able to step out. This is unnecessary as your baby needs to step out and get some fresh air every day just as much as you do.