Tips for New Mothers
Bringing home a newborn infant can be overwhelming for some. New mothers are instantly busy trying to figure out feeding schedules, nursing issues, sleep schedules, and the like. But there are some simple steps new moms can take to help ease the adjustment process while getting some much needed rest and recovery time. Here are some tips for new parents to keep in mind during those first couple of weeks.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps. This is perhaps one of the most oft-quoted adages given to new mothers, but it is one that is rarely followed. It’s often just too tempting to be able to squeeze in one more neglected chore, yet not getting rest when you have the opportunity can quickly lead to burnout. Besides, taking a nap alongside your little one can be one of the sweeter moments of new motherhood.
- Accept offers of help. People are usually more than willing to help right after a baby is born, and new mothers often make the mistake of refusing those offers. Extra help with meals, errands, and cleaning can make things run much more smoothly and allow you to get the rest you need. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to keep a running list of things that need to be done so that when help is offered, you remember what you need.
- Plan activities and outings for older children. The first couple of weeks of newborn life often consist of lots of time spent quietly at home (or not so quietly if your newborn is having trouble settling). Thus, if you have older children in the house, you might want to arrange for some sitters or playdates ahead of time, as quiet time at home will only last so long with a toddler or preschooler. This is often another area where friends and family will offer to help. Taking them up on this will help get your older ones out of the house and, in the end, will help maintain everyone’s sanity.
- Try to enjoy this time. People often say that those early stages of motherhood are over before you know it. For a new mother struggling to get a grip on things, this can seem to be the stuff of myths, but many mothers have found this to be quite true after the fact. So, new mothers, try to let the house and some of the details go a little bit. Take a nap with your baby, sing to him or her, and try to enjoy this precious but fleeting time.
New mothers need to try to take things one step at a time. If you are a new mother, don’t hesitate to rest. By focusing a little more on taking care of yourself and doing a little less, you will be better able to enjoy the newborn phase and help your baby settle in to daily life.