Last May 19, I gave birth to our little girl, The Princess. Cuddling her for the first time in the hospital was one of the most exciting moments of my life. What I didn’t have in mind then were the challenges of taking care of a newborn. I’m not complaining; The Princess really is a bundle of joy. It’s just that the fact is, having a newborn in the house is really hard — especially when you are also dealing with the pain of a C-Section. Imagine having to wake up in the wee hours of the morning every three hours with a painful cut in the abdomen!
After two weeks of taking care of our princess, I was able to make up a list of survival tips for new parents. I’m not an expert, but I can say I have experience already. More tips are welcome, though!
- The rule of thumb for every new parent: Go with your baby’s schedule. I know that waking up in the middle of the night to feed your baby or change his/her nappy can be frustrating. As much as you want your baby to sleep through the night, it won’t happen. Infants have little stomachs so they can only drink a small amount of milk per feeding. As a result, they wake up to nurse every hour (or every thirty minutes) if breastfed or every two to three hours if formula-fed. The trick is to go with your baby’s schedule – wake up when he/she is awake and go to sleep when he/she goes to sleep. This way, you can still catch up with lost sleep.
- Parenthood is all about team work! If you don’t want to get too tired, go on shifts. Moms and dads should work together when taking care of a baby. What hubby and I do at night is that he takes care of our little one from nine in the evening to three in the morning while I sleep. Then, I wake up at three and take care of the baby while he catches up with his sleep. The Princess is usually asleep and behaved during the day so it’s not a problem for us. By going on shifts, everyone gets their much deserved sleep!
- If you are at the verge of a burn out, get help. Yes, we’ve only been parents for two weeks, but we already almost reached burn out at some points. Those are the times that it is best to get help from family. Luckily, my parents and younger sister are very much willing to babysit our little girl when hubby and I really need to rest.
- Look at it as a positive experience. If you think of taking care of a baby as something stressful, it will most likely stress you out. So, always remind yourself that you are doing it out of love and that it is fun to take care of your baby. Besides, what’s not fun about watching over such a precious angel?