The first few weeks with your newborn won’t be a walk in the park.
While some mothers seem to completely luck out and have a baby that self-settles and is naturally happy all the time from Day One, this is not the norm. And, when you are up at 3am walking around the kitchen table cursing your husband with your screaming baby in your arm, you are not alone. We’ve all been there. When you feel like you are at breaking point, take a step back and remember these ten very important rules about new babies.
No two babies are the same
Your first baby was a breeze but your second one didn’t get the memo and is much harder. Unfortunately, just because you lucked out the first time doesn’t mean you will the second time. Furthermore, what works for some babies will not always work for yours. Some love rocking, some love bouncing, some love the car. It’s all about trial and error.
What works one day may not work the next day
To make things even more confusing and frustrating, often what works to put bub to sleep or get her to settle one day will not work the next time. You just need to keep trying to settle into a routine and hopefully you will find something that works regularly for the both of you.
Newborn babies naturally want to suck
You may notice that your new baby constantly wants to suck on you. They have spent the last nine months sucking whenever they felt like it and this is a comforting thing for them. Don’t be afraid to use a dummy to help them with their sucking reflex.
Hungry signs and tired signs are very similar
Babies often act hungry by chewing on their hands and sucking their fists when they are tired. You may assume baby is hungry when really she needs a sleep. In general, if your newborn has been up for longer than an hour at a time, then it’s time for her to go back to sleep.
Babies’ digestive systems are not always perfect
It can take newborn babies up to four months for their digestive systems to start working properly which means they may experience lots of cramping and pains in the tummy. There are medications to help with this but often it’s all about waiting it out.
Babies expect to be cuddled, fed and sleep whenever they wish
After all, they’ve just spent nine months inside of you, being able to suck, to sleep and to be right next to you in a warm and cosy position. It is quite unrealistic to expect a new baby to settle on his own, to eat when you want him to and to sleep at regular intervals
You’re the Mum; you’re the boss
While advice is always welcome, don’t assume you need to agree with it. If you want to co-sleep, then do it. If you want to bottle feed, then go for it. You’re the boss and so you get to decide what is right for your bub.
It’s okay to need a break
Don’t feel ashamed or guilty to ask for help. It’s okay to step away when you need to. Taking some time away from your baby is a great way to relax and reflect on the changes in your life before you tackle the eating, sleeping, changing and crying all over again.
Your baby is not trying to frustrate you
While it may seem like your baby wakes up as soon as you close your eyes and your baby decides she is hungry as soon as you sit down to eat dinner, she is not trying to annoy you. It’s just one of those wonderful facts of life.
Babies can sense your emotions
When you are happy and settled you can expect your baby to feel the same way. If you are upset, anxious or frustrated, then this can impact their feelings as well. If you do feel like you are not coping with your new baby, there may be an underlying problem such as post natal depression which can also impact your baby’s mood. A happy mummy makes for a happy bubby.