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For those new parents among us, living with a newborn can feel overwhelming. At some points, it might feel quite daunting and you could feel you are doing things wrong. But, don’t worry, every baby is different. They require feeding, loving, and caring in different ways. No two babies are the same, just like adults. We all need and want different things. If you feel tired from lack of sleep or want to help your newborn settle, follow along with this survival guide for the best tips.
Teach sleep training
Newborns can take quite some time before they manage to settle down on their own. So, you may be looking for how to sleep train your newborn. We recommend starting as early as possible when safe to do so. Sleep training involves encouraging the child to settle down and get to sleep by themselves. Different methods work for different babies. Some may need a cuddle before you put them down whilst others may benefit from crying themselves to sleep. There is no right or wrong way, and you will soon realize what technique works for your baby. They will most likely be better at self-soothing after they are four or six months old. From then, it may take you one night to train them or a few weeks. Be patient with it as the hard work will pay off.
Take time for yourself
If you are trying your best to stay happy, motivated, and content in lockdown or normal life, you will need to ensure you get enough time for yourself when you have a newborn. Whether you and your partner have separate turns and allow each other some alone time. Or, you ask for help from a friend or relative, take a few hours each week to focus on yourself, relax or get something done you cannot do whilst look after your newborn.
Feed and sleep with your baby
New parents can often have a lack of sleep or a poor diet when they have a baby. It can be easy to let their sleep and feeding times overwhelm you and make you forget to care for yourself. When you feel your diet or sleep is slipping away and you aren’t caring for yourself enough, it’s time to do something about it. You need to be fed and energized to look after a baby. If you find it difficult to find time for yourself to eat and sleep, you should do it when your baby does. When you give your baby breakfast, you can feed yourself at the same time. If your baby takes a mid-afternoon nap before their bedtime routine and you are feeling tired, nap with them. It is a great time to take advantage of and care for yourself.
Go for walks
Don’t get trapped in a cycle of being stuck inside, you and your baby both need fresh air. Plus, it is a good opportunity for you to do some exercise or catch up with a friend. Going for a long walk is a good opportunity to settle your baby, as babies like the gentle movement a pushchair provides. It might even send them off to sleep, which means you can get time to grab a coffee and sit in the park.
Make light of the hard times
Keep yourself sane by creating humour out of the frustration. Make-up funny little endearing names for your little tyrant. If you have a partner, do your best to amuse each other through exhaustion. Recount to them in the morning your sleepless night and all the nasty and vicious thoughts, feelings, and schemes that were running through your head at the time. Accepting these hard thoughts and feelings as natural and normal, and adding a bit of humour and playful drama to them can save you from insanity and from actually hurting your child.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
The parents that get the most stressed and worn out are the ones that are going for the gold in the Olympic sport of parenting. To enjoy your family, it is better to put your achievement motivation into endeavours other than your children and your parenting. No one enjoys being made into a project. You will get nothing out of putting too much pressure on trying to be the perfect parent or making your baby perfect. There is no such thing as perfect and every new baby and parent will face challenges, it is all part of the journey.
Carla is the founder of MyBump2Baby. Carla has a huge passion for linking together small businesses and growing families. Carla’s humorous, non-filtered honesty has won the hearts of thousands of parents throughout the UK.
She has previously written for the Metro and made appearances on BBC News, BBC 5 live, LBC etc. Carla is a finalist for Blogger of the Year award with Simply Ladies inc. Carla is also the host of the popular Fifty Shades of Motherhood podcast and The MyBump2Baby Expert podcast.