Caring for a newborn baby is a challenge for almost any parent. It takes time to get to know your baby and his or her needs. It takes time to learn what your baby likes and doesn’t like. It takes time for you to create a routine and schedule that works for both of you, and it takes time to grow accustomed to life with a newborn. It’s different than life without a newborn, but it’s only as difficult as you allow it to become in your mind. If you relax, learn to expect the unexpected, and learn to be prepared for anything, you can easily make the newborn stage an enjoyable one. Here’s what you need to know about gracefully learning to parent a newborn baby.
Find the Right Sleeping Situation
It’s tempting to go out and buy the softest, sweetest mattress for your little one, but don’t do it. For one, you can cause more harm than good if you fill a baby’s bed with a soft, pliable mattress or a lot of décor. You want the best baby mattresses that are safe and secure for a newborn. Babies can easily become stuck face down in a soft blanket or mattress or bumper, and they can suffocate. The sleep situation the first year should seem very uncomfortable to you when you touch the mattress and see how hard it is, but it’s perfect for your newborn. Keep it simple.
Take Time for You
You will feel overwhelmed with a newborn in the house. Everyone does at least a few times during the first few weeks home with a new baby. Take time for you. Ask for help. Don’t feel that you have to spend time with your baby every second of the day without asking for help. Go to the grocery store by yourself. Take a long shower while your husband is home with the baby. Go to bed early and let him handle the last feeding of the night by pumping or supplementing with formula. Take time for you, and you will be a much better parent for it.
Create A Routine
There are some people who believe the baby should dictate the schedule, and there are some people who feel that they have some power over their newborn’s schedule. Children thrive on routine, and there is nothing wrong with creating one right away. This might mean choosing to create a soothing bedtime routine that consists of a warm bath, a sweet book and story time, some cuddles, one last feeding, and a few songs before putting your baby gently into bed at night.
Kids do very well when they know what to expect. The world is a scary place for babies and small children, and having expectations that are met is comforting and familiar. Give your baby the gift of a routine, and watch your newborn adapt to your routine well and easily.
Do What’s Best For You
Everyone has advice, and you will hear it. Don’t let it get to you. Do what you feel is best for you and your baby, and smile politely while thanking others for their input. When you focus on what you know is best for you and your baby, you are doing your family a wonderful service. The advice you take from others is up to you, but it’s always best to do what you feel is best in your household with your newborn baby.
When your baby is a newborn, people will ask you what you need all the time. It’s easy to say, “Nothing, thank you!” and move on, but it’s not the best answer. If you need something, be honest about it. Let your mother-in-law come over for a few hours to cook dinner and clean the kitchen. Let your sister play with the baby while you take a nap. Accept the help that’s offered to you. It will go away, and you’ll miss the offers.
Expect the Unexpected
You never know what a new baby has in store for you, but you can prepare yourself for most anything. A well-stocked diaper bag in the car and a well-stocked basket of baby items in the room where you spend the most time can change your life. Diapers, wipes, new outfits, toys, pacifiers, medications, bottles, and everything in between should be in those bags and baskets. A towel is another helpful tool to always have within reach. If you keep a bag in your car, you’re prepared for anything that might happen when you’re out. You’re a lot less stressed when something happens and you’re prepared for it.
Work As A Team
If you are a parent with a spouse or partner, do not forget that the most graceful way to parent your newborn is as a team. You two are in this together, and this is your child. You are both the creators of this baby, and this baby is both of your responsibility. Do not think that because you are the mother, it’s your job to take care of the baby all the time. Do not think that this is the job of one parent. Working as a team is the best thing you can do for you and for your baby. Present a united front, and make sure this starts during the newborn stage. When you work together and stand up for one another, you are better able to parent your baby successfully.
There’s no right or wrong way to be a parent as long as your baby is taken care of, happy, and loved. You are doing everything right when your baby is thriving, and that’s what graceful parenting is all about. Graceful parenting occurs when you are willing to learn new things, listen to others, and still stand up for yourself and your decisions when you feel it’s best for you and your family. It’s about confidence, and it’s your job to develop that confidence as your baby grows older.