Your first year of being a parent is a complete mystery to you; it is a wonderful time but can also be a little daunting. You don’t know what to expect, you’re juggling looking after a new person, becoming a mum or dad, feeling yourself again and other family responsibilities. Like with anything, practice makes perfect and parenthood is a journey on which you will grow and learn new things; most importantly you should remember you’re doing a great job! Every family is different and eventually you will settle into a routine that is perfect for you but for now we have put together some of our top tips to make your first year just that little bit easier.
Set Up Shifts
Setting up a schedule with your other half or co-parent is a great way to help you both get that necessary bit of extra sleep. This way you both do your fair share and manage to get a little extra sleep in there. Shifts are especially good overnight; for example, one of you do 12am-3am and the other do 3am until morning. If you’re breast feeding this could be a little tricky but having the support of your partner can help; if you’re feeling drained get them up to help you with whatever you need to make it smoother.
Don’t Invite all The Family Immediately
Whenever a new baby arrives, family floods in and this can be really overwhelming. A good idea is to wait a while before having everyone over so you can bond with your baby and settle into parenthood a little first. You may choose to have immediate family over sooner but it’s a good idea to wait for extended family as it can be a lot to deal with at once.
Focus on the Good
Parenthood can be a magical time, but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way and there will be bad days. Wherever possible, try and stay positive. Thinking of the good stuff can help you get through tough times. Remind yourself that it is all worth it and the days when your baby is smiling and content, you’ll remember why you did this.
Don’t be afraid to seek out alone time; it isn’t selfish to have time to yourself as a new parent. Whether it be taking an hour-long bath or taking yourself out of the house for a walk; you are allowed time alone, it will benefit you all in the long run.
Most importantly, don’t worry you’re doing a great job! Don’t compare yourself or your baby to others; you’re on your own journey and nobody is perfect. Remember that you don’t need to do everything perfectly as long as safety is your priority, it’s all a learning process and you’ll get there in the end. Learn to trust your instincts and you’ll find that they tend to be right, all new parents experience similar things, so it is important to remember that you’re doing great!