Becoming a parent is likely to be the most exciting, and possibly the most nerve-wracking, event you will ever experience. It's no wonder that your every waking moment (let's face it, at this stage, that is most of the time!) is filled with thoughts about your baby. In the face of the enormous responsibility to do right by your child, doubts about your newfound parenting skills may be uppermost in your mind.
The following tips from parents and experts will show you that most new parents experience the same feelings and doubts you do, and that all new parents make mistakes. Here is a chance to learn from others' mistakes and navigate those first few months more easily.
Take care of yourself
While a new baby demands a great deal of your time, you need to take time out for you every now and again. Ask your partner, your mother, or a good friend to look after the baby for a few hours while you do something for yourself: take a relaxing bubble bath, visit the hairdresser, meet up with a friend, or just catch up on a bit of sleep—you need your sleep more than the housework needs to be done.
Don't neglect your partner
After a day of what will seem like continuous feeding and diaper changing, the last thing you may feel like doing is spending your evening recounting your day to your partner—but this together time is important. Marcelle Falconer, mother to 22-month-old Maxine, says, "After Maxine was born I would spend all day with her, and then when Sean came home in the evenings I would have to relive the day for him. This was exhausting for me, and I also felt like I was boring him with the tedium of my day. It is only now that I can recognize how much we needed that time together each day and how it helped us bond as a family."
Eating isn't the answer to everything
Allison Mills, mother to six-week-old Charlie, says of her husband Cam: "Every time Charlie cries, Cam thinks he's hungry, even if he has just been feeding for the last hour." Be assured that your baby cannot possibly be hungry every time he or she cries. Babies cry—a lot—and for a multitude of reasons. As your baby gets older, you will recognize his or her different cries and learn to act accordingly. Remember that without the ability to talk, crying is a major form of communication for your little one.