From afar, looking after newborns seems a pretty simple affair — but when in you’re actually in parenthood territory, life with a little person can be unexpectedly stressful. Check out these top tips from babylondon.co.uk to help you get some zen back now that you’re a mum.
1. Don’t look for problems.
Crying means communication – not always distress; so chill out when your bub calls and respond first with a relaxed cuddle. Then calmly run through the usual – hunger, tiredness, nappy change time – if they’re needing more than just to touch base with mama. Remember that keeping calm will help calm baby, as they’re especially sensitive to their caregivers’ moods.
2. Be comfortable leaving your child with your partner.
Parenting solo can be incredibly draining; so if you have a partner, or a close relative that can routinely step in to take care of baby while you re-energise, make use of the opportunity. Allowing Dad to take the reins will also help build a bond between him and baby–and encouraging a close relationship between your little one and someone other than yourself is beneficial for baby as well, as she’ll learn that she can feel safe and loved by others, too.
3. Spend 15 minutes every day meditating.
You don’t need to join a yoga class or head to a mountain retreat to meditate; simply take a snippet of time each day to completely unplug from the chaos: breathe deeply, focus your awareness on your internal, physiological state, and let thoughts drift across your consciousness without engaging. It seems deceptively basic, but this brief exercise will help to give you more energy and mental focus, whilst relaxing you.
4. Get out and meet other mums or dads.
It often seems easier to stay at home than to attempt to get out the house with baby in tow – but isolation will do neither of you any good. Socialising with those of like mind (or fuzzy brains, thanks to those 2am wake-ups), will give you some perspective: everyone struggles with this parenting gig! Commiserating with other mums and dads can build your confidence as a parent, and help you to laugh over the tough stuff.
5. Love being a parent.
The practicalities of caring for a tiny human might not feel so endearing, and nobody tells you how hard all this mundane stuff can be. But few disclose the secret magic of these everyday moments, too – changing nappies, feeding, clothing, the middle-of-the-night cuddles…these are the memories you’ll wish you could recall with the brightest clarity. As exhausting as it all is, try not to wish the early days away – they’ll be gone soon enough.