Coping Strategies to Avoid Harming your Baby: New Parent Problems

Being a parent is incredibly awesome and makes you feel really good, but it can also be tough and make you really tired. Every parent gets mad or upset sometimes.

It is an amazing experience filled with adorable moments and warm snuggles. But let’s be real, it can also be really tiring at times. It’s totally normal to feel frustrated and exhausted at times. And if your little one is crying non-stop or having trouble sleeping, it can make parenting even more challenging. But fear not! There are ways to make this journey easier.

It’s super important to look after yourself by seeking support from your family and friends and your paediatrician(or your therapist) during the first few days to help you deal with the challenges of having a newborn. Always remember, you’re not alone in this journey.

Baby care

  • Babies cry a lot in the first few weeks of life, and that’s totally normal! On average, Newborns cry for about 2-3 hours a day for the first six weeks. This crying phase usually starts when they’re around two weeks old and lasts for about two months.
  • Tips for soothing your baby: You can try holding them close (bonding), feeding them, wrapping them snugly in a comfortable blanket (swaddling), gently rocking them, or singing to them. It may take some time and experimentation to figure out what works best for your baby. Don’t worry if you need to try different methods multiple times before finding the right one. Remember, every baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. To know more about swaddling and bonding with your baby “Postnatal Care: Baby Care for New Moms“.
  • Let your baby cry to sleep: If comforting your baby doesn’t help, you can try putting them down on their back in a safe sleeping area. Make sure there’s nothing in the bed (any blankets, toys, pillows, or other bedding) except the baby on a firm mattress with a tight-fitted sheet (having loosely fitted bedsheets on your mattress is not advisable). While some babies cry for a while, you might be amazed at how fast they can fall asleep on their own.
  • Don’t worry if your baby has trouble falling asleep: It’s completely normal. Babies don’t have regular sleep patterns until they’re around six months old. Some babies may only sleep for 1 or 2 hours at a time. Here are some useful tips for you to help your baby fall asleep soon.
  • Sibling rivalry: If you have other kids at home, it’s normal for them to feel a bit jealous or act out when your newborn arrives. Make sure you explain to them how to be gentle and kind to the baby. Give them lots of praise for being good helpers. Keep plenty of fun things for them to do and toys nearby, and try your best to stay calm when things don’t go smoothly. Controlling your anger as a parent is essential.

Self care

  • Make sure to take care of yourself and get some rest: Give importance to your Post Partum care. It’s really important for you to take a break to help you deal with the emotional stress after giving birth. Try to sleep when the baby is sleeping, or you can ask your partner or another caring adult to take care of the baby while you take a much-needed break.
  • Don’t stress about being a perfect parent! Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting. Different styles and methods work for different families. And don’t forget, every parent needs assistance and support along the way.
  • Don’t forget to connect with others: Even though you’re tired, talking to other adults can be really helpful. You can use video chats or social media to stay in touch with friends and family. The new busy schedule can make new parents feel extra lonely. So, don’t hesitate to reach out and keep those connections alive.
  • Get your older kids involved and excited about helping with the baby: Encourage them to be your special helpers and give them tasks that are suitable for their age. They can assist with simple things like fetching diapers or gently rocking the baby. This will make them feel important and included, while also lightening your load.
  • Seek help when you need it: Remember, it’s okay to ask for help if you’re feeling down or overwhelmed after having a baby. It’s common to experience sadness or depression during this time. If you’ve had depression in the past, you might be more likely to experience postpartum depression(Helpline – 18005990019). Look out for postpartum depression symptoms. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support when you need it.
  • Finding a parent group can be really helpful: It’s awesome to connect with other moms in your neighbourhood or online. Talking with someone who’s going through the same thing can be such a relief especially if you’re a new mom. Sharing your experiences and getting advice from fellow parents is a great way to build a support network and can even act as postpartum therapy for some. And hey, if you can’t find a suitable group, you can always start your own, it’s all about finding that support and connection.
  • Ask your paediatrician for help: As a new parent, don’t hesitate to reach out to your paediatrician for help and advice. They’re there to support you and understand what you and your baby are going through. So, feel free to give them a call whenever you need help or guidance. You’re not alone in this journey, and seeking help is a sign of strength.

Things that won’t help

  • Avoid alcohol: Drinking alcohol is not the solution when taking care of a baby. It’s unsafe to care for your baby while intoxicated because alcohol affects your judgment and ability to ensure their safety. If you consume excessive alcohol, make sure to arrange for a sober & responsible adult to take care of your baby. Also, drinking alcohol while breastfeeding can pass through your breast milk to your baby. It’s important to prioritize your baby’s health and well-being by refraining from consuming alcohol during this time.
  • The pump and dump myth: The idea of “pump and dump” is just a myth. It means that if you drink alcohol and then express or pump milk and throw it away, it won’t magically remove the alcohol from your milk. The alcohol in your breast milk is directly related to the alcohol in your bloodstream. So as your blood alcohol level decreases, the alcohol in your breast milk also decreases.
  • Timing is key: If you want to enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage, it’s better to do it right after you breastfeed or pump milk, instead of before. This way, you can ensure that the alcohol has enough time to clear from your system before your baby needs to feed again. Talk to your doctor if you have any doubts regarding consuming alcohol, your baby’s safety should be the utmost priority, so avoid taking any risks when it comes to feeding your baby.
  • Marijuana and breastfeeding do not go together. It’s important to know that using marijuana while breastfeeding is not safe for your baby. The chemicals in the marijuana can get into your breast milk and harm your baby. Plus, your ability to take care of your baby will be impaired.
  • Alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy. Remember, no amount of alcohol is risk-free for your baby during pregnancy. In fact, drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to serious health issues for your little one, such as low birth weight, developmental disorders, and even miscarriage. It’s best to avoid alcohol altogether during pregnancy, no matter how far along you are.

It’s okay to ask for help when you’re feeling frustrated and angry with your baby. Reach out to your partner, family, friends, neighbours, or a babysitter for support. If you’re feeling the urge to harm your baby, it’s crucial to seek professional help from a therapist or support group(Helpline – 18005990019). If you or another caregiver has accidentally shaken or harmed your child, even for a short time, contact a doctor or go to urgent care immediately. Remember, your baby’s safety and well-being are the top priority.

Parenting is a wonderful journey, it has it’s ups and downs. But these challenges are what makes this journey beautiful. You aren’t alone in this journey. You got this!

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Parent, Little one, Parenting, Newborns, Swaddling, new parents, emotional stress after giving birth, challenges of having a newborn, controlling your anger as a parent, post partum care, postpartum depression symptoms, postpartum depression, postpartum therapy, New mom, Breastfeeding, Baby care.

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