The initial few days and months with your little one can be equal parts tremendous and terrifying. Even though to-be parents know that infants require round-the-clock care, the actual experience never fails to shock. The first few weeks are an intense time for changes, not only for the baby but also for the parents. They test and try your self-control unlike anything else and you feel a roller coaster of happy and tired emotions.
If you’ve recently entered the mommy league, here are some essential tips to help you survive the first three months, post which things will start falling into place on their own.
First things first, let’s understand the importance of human touch for babies. When babies have just come out of the womb, they’re still used to that warmth and protection inside of it, so they crave physical affection, touch, and love from their parents. This initial contact aids in promoting healthy and all-round development in infants. Studies have shown that lack of physical touch can lead to diseases, developmental problems or even death in babies, despite proper nutritional care.
On the flip side, if given enough physical affection and stimulation, babies turn less fussy and cry a lot less. Being embraced by a parent increases bonding hormone oxytocin and reduces stress hormone cortisol in babies. It also aids babies in controlling body temperature and preserving energy. So make sure you give your child enough physical support by holding, cuddling, caressing or gently massaging him for the initial few months.
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Post pregnancy, the body is still undergoing changes to adapt to the normal cycle. Both physical and emotional aspects need healing. In terms of physical healing, you will experience blood discharge, shrinking uterus, incontinence, night sweats and a host of other changes. In terms of emotional healing, you will undergo postpartum mood fluctuations, hormonal changes, and lack of sleep. Moreover, the little life in your arms will also make you realize your responsibilities and duties towards him. At such a time, it is essential for new moms to take some additional time off from work and just be. Spend time with your little one and let your body adapt.
Even though women are superheroes, they do require some postpartum help from a caretaker or any other family member. After all, raising a newborn is no child’s play. So, get rid of all your guilt in asking for help from your relatives or hire a caretaker to take care of other household chores such that all you have to look after is you and your baby. However, if help is not readily available, you can cook and freeze the meals in advance and skip laundry for a day or two.
Also, always have a one-text-away friend or someone in a nursing support group who is going through the same stage as you. Trust us; all the ‘is this normal’ conversations late at night are going to be a huge emotional support for you.
If you’ve just entered parenthood, you would be surprised at how topics like poop and spit ups have become the mainstay of your conversations. It might feel unsettling but it’s normal. Since babies require a lot of diaper changing, make sure that the changing station is nearby and propped up with diapers. Every time you feel that the diaper is full enough, do a quick change so as to maintain hygiene and keep your child smelling good.
This might sound rude but post-pregnancy is a time when you must learn to say a stern no to things that are going to take a toll on you or your baby. While too many people will want to visit you and your child after the delivery, you can always request them to keep it short or postpone it. This is important as too many guests will only increase your workload and leave you feeling drained unless of course, you have a full-time help.
If you’ve decided to breastfeed your baby, you must stay in touch with a lactation consultant or any other nursing moms. This is important as not every mom is able to breastfeed easily. Various issues such as clogged ducts, cracked nipples, low milk supply, inverted nipples, etc. can cause problems in breastfeeding. However, with a little help and efforts, you can make breastfeeding successful. The initial pain might initially subside once your body adapts to this new reality.
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During the initial few weeks of parenthood, let go of your standards a little, even if you happen to be anal or OCD. It’s completely normal if your washroom doesn’t sparkle or your shoe rack isn’t in place for some weeks. The earth wouldn’t stop revolving. At such a time, what matters more is your baby’s well-being. Remember, this won’t make you a bad mom.
Here’s a rational tip: Even if you wish to pamper your little angel, you must always invest your money wisely. Babies grow at a super-fast rate as compared to adults and so many of the clothes that you will buy might turn tight or small for your baby in around six months. Moreover, most of the baby’s clothes will be spoiled with poop and spit-ups in the initial few months. Therefore, it is advisable that you shop baby’s clothes wisely. Go for some cute pajamas and comfy onesies in breathable fabrics and colorful prints.
The first few days of parenthood are the most exciting ones in any parent’s life. After all, raising a baby is a special experience. The bond between a parent and a child starts to build right from those initial days of breastfeeding, cradling, and looking after the infant. Make sure that you cage these memories in photographs and videos so that you can show them to your child when he grows up. Trust us, your child will be amused at watching how he looked when he was an infant. Even if you save the photographs in your devices, you must put all of them in an album. You’ll thank us later.
Rearing a baby is no easy feat, especially in the initial few days when your rose-tinted glass begins clearing up and you see a better reality. Nevertheless, it can be equally fun and joyous if you learn to enjoy the little things such as the sight of your baby sleeping peacefully, or his tiny fingers trying to hold a mug triple their size. The best survival tip for first few weeks is that you should get comfortable with being uncomfortable, whether it is back-to-back diaper changing, constant feeding, sleepless nights, messy room or whatsoever. Keep your expectations in sync with the reality to sail smoothly through the first few weeks with a baby.
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Although the baby is your priority, you must also take care of yourself. If you do that, you’ll be happy and will be able to take care of your little one in a better way. The most important issue faced by a new mom is sleepless nights and it leads to puffiness and dark circles. Make sure you use an under-eye cream to prevent them from becoming permanent and it must be toxin-free since all that your body absorbs, is also going to your baby through breast milk
Hormonal changes trigger hair fall and pigmentation in various new mothers. Try and treat your hair to a weekly non-toxic hair mask at home so that the roots of your are strengthened and damaged hair gets repaired.
Use a natural face mask to exfoliate the skin and get rid of dead skin cells. Not only will it save your skin from further damage but also help to get rid of pigmentation and tighten the skin
As a new mother, you have several responsibilities and you will be quite tired at the end of the day. It’ll be a good idea to bath with some relaxing bath salts to relieve your aches and pains.
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