No matter your circumstances, these 8 “must do” parenting guidelines are lifesaving!
Index: Congratulations on your new baby and welcome to motherhood (or fatherhood)! Becoming a parent means adjusting to a very different lifestyle and this blog offers answers to some of your biggest questions.
Baby Blues/Mood Swings
Crying, Crying, and More Crying
Everyone keeps saying “sleep when the baby sleeps” but it’s not always that simple!
When your nighttime routine is totally out of whack and napping is out of the picture, the important thing to remember is that you are not alone, crazy, or doing anything wrong.
How do those sleep deprived parents survive? “Sleep when the baby sleeps” doesn’t always cut it, because as soon as the baby dozes off you think, “Now would be a great time to work on my mile long to do list.” “I could really use a shower.” “How does anyone sleep when it’s so bright outside?”
If this is you… try making a few simple adjustments.
- Try moving up your bedtime. Set an earlier standard for yourself and you’ll be less likely to fill your time with social media, TV, household tasks or other distractions. While it might seem like you absolutely do not have the time to go to sleep earlier, when you make it a priority, those extra 30 minutes really make a difference!
- Ask your significant other or family member if they will take the early morning shift. Some people really cherish that consistent alone time to bond with the baby and it gives you an extra hour of rest.
- Take turns doing the middle of the night feeding. If your baby wakes up multiple times in the night, it is best for the same person to do every shift. Alternate designated nights rather than shifts. This allows each person to get an entire night of uninterrupted rest.
- Don’t nap for more than 45 minutes at a time. After sleeping for an hour, you enter into “slow-wave” sleep which will make you feel groggy and more exhausted than you were when you laid down.
It is okay to be emotional and having mood swings is normal. Whether you are parenting your baby, placing you baby with an adoptive family, or adopting a child, you will experience a lot of things that can contribute to “baby blues”.
Whether it’s heightened pregnancy hormones, financial stress, social criticism, self-doubt, or anything in between, these tips are sure to help you feel better.
- When you’re feeling down and doubting your choices or ability to take care of another human being, try celebrating the small things. Make your bed, do the dishes, or take a cute photo of your precious baby! Then make sure to let yourself enjoy the moment. It is amazing how one small thing can boost your spirit.
- Take care of your body. It is easy to be so consumed with the baby’s health that you forget about your own. When you pay attention to your own body it will help you feel more in tune and in control. Drink lots of water… we’re talking triple the amount you used to drink. If you need caffeine, consume it on a schedule. This will help your body know what to expect and when to wind down.
- Get offline. Social media tends to breed comparison and insecurity. No matter the season you are in, social media shows us that someone else seems to always be doing it better.
- Accept imperfection. You will not be able to do everything and give everything to your baby. After all, perfection is not the standard God holds us to. We get to rest knowing Jesus has taken that weight from us. Don’t let other people’s expectations rule over you. Set a list of goals for you and your baby and stick to it. Make sure to celebrate every achievement along the way.
My baby won’t stop crying:
It’s natural to stress when your baby is crying. But try to remember that crying does not always mean that something is seriously wrong. Think of it as their way of talking to you. Rather than stressing when they cry, try responding to them with a smile and saying, “what’s up sweet pea?” Talk with them through your process of trying to figure out what they need.
If your baby will not stop crying, do not shake him or her! Try placing your baby in a safe space, going around the corner and taking a minute to regain your composure. Sometimes when a child sees their mom who they deeply love in a state of distress, it causes them to feel upset. Simply taking a moment to regroup yourself may help your baby’s emotions as well.