Do you have the feeling of your child being permanently attached to your boob? Well, welcome to parenthood!
For many new parents, they are lucky to get two hours straight sleep a night, let alone sit down at the dinner table and enjoy a meal. The reality of a newborn means you will have little time for yourself and more time settling, burping and feeding your baby.
Sometimes, parents get lucky with a baby who sleeps for five hours during the night, feeds every two to three hours and is happy to play on their tummy. But a lot of the time, this is more of a dream than reality. So, to help you get through this tough parenting time, we have put together some tips!
1. Take a time out.
Everything is made 1000 times worse when you are sleep-deprived and dealing with a crying infant. You may get frustrated when you’re half undressed for a shower and your baby starts to cry for more milk, or when your coffee goes cold because you were needed to change a nappy.
What you need to do is breathe deep and relax.
You may also get especially frustrated with your newborn for not doing what you want her to do (sleep!) It is okay to walk away for a minute, take a few deep breaths, let out a little tear and start your settling techniques again. This could include going for a walk, bouncing on a fit ball or singing a song.
When your partner gets home from work, ask for 30 minutes to yourself. Paint your nails, have a bath or sit outside with a cup of tea. A 30-minute break can restore your mood and prepare you for another long night.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try not to bottle it up and talk to someone. There are people out there that can help including friends, family and neighbours as well as your partner. Talk to them about helping out. Perhaps a friend could come over and rock your baby for two hours while you lay down, or cook you dinner so you can sit on the couch for a minute. Most people will be happy to have some cuddle time with a newborn infant.
3. Wear your baby.
While some books are against ‘cuddling’ or spoiling your newborn, baby wearing is an excellent way to ensure she is getting some sleep and that you can get things done. There are several slings, carriers and baby wearing wraps that can make everyday tasks a lot easier and help your newborn get some rest during the day so she is not completely overtired and overstimulated when night time rolls around.
It’s also a great way for you to get out and about without having to deal with a crying baby. Even if it’s just for a walk, to the shops or while you sit down and enjoy a coffee.
4. Don’t feel guilty.
If you start to cry or feel a little angry, don’t bash yourself up about it. Every new parent feels overwhelmed at least once, if not 100 times in the first year of their child’s life. Just remember, you are still human who is capable of real emotions, and sometimes, those emotions can go a little crazy when you don’t get any sleep.
5. Ignore the critics.
Everyone is an expert when it comes to dealing with a newborn baby, even people that don’t have children. And while everyone will want to help and offer advice, it can be more than frustrating (and also sometimes insulting) to hear stories and tips on getting baby to sleep. Listen to their ideas but don’t take everything to heart. Yes, there are ways to self-settle a newborn, but these techniques won’t work for every baby and furthermore, some techniques are not right for everyone.