Most of us bring into our parenting roles a history of beliefs, traditions and fond (or not so fond) memories of how we were parented.
Some of these aren’t obvious until we’re faced with a situation where previously held views regarding child raising are challenged. And the new role of parenting is a huge adjustment for the whole family.
Here are my top ten tips to help prepare you for bringing your new baby home to help make the process as smooth as possible for everyone.
Help is the key
The best postpartum tip for new parents is to ask for help, hire help (if needed) and accept the help. You will not regret it.
Always be guided by the safe sleep guidelines as advised by rednose.com.au to ensure optimal risk reduction for your baby’s safe sleep space.
Time parental leave carefully
If your partner has limited maternity or paternity leave, then arrange for them to start their leave from the time you arrive home so you have maximum support time as a team.
Work as a team
Have you both previously discussed what your expectations are of each other regarding caring for your baby and settling methods?
Teamwork works best and being respectful of each other’s input and parenting style will allow you to best support each other through the normal challenging periods of sleep deprivation.
It’s really hard to find meaningful ways to support each other when you’re both stressed and sleep deprived.
Give each other a break
Take turns when the going gets tough!
Try to get out of the house and go for a walk, either with your partner or baby, or leave your baby in the care of a trusted caregiver and go for a walk yourself for some “me” time and fresh air.
It’s amazing how this daily activity can give you context and balance.
Outsource if you can
If there are offers of practical help pre and post partum, then accept them!
Pre-prepared meals for the freezer, nutrient dense snacks in the fridge are always welcome. You could put a list of the foods you and your partner like up on the fridge for helpful visitors to see.
Organise online shopping deliveries for the bulky items like disposable nappies, wipes and tissues.
A list of everyday tasks that visiting family and friends could do for you would be an amazing help.
Your budget will be stretched in preparation for your newborn.
So much to choose from, particularly if you’re an avid online shopper because your mobility slows as you near the birth of your baby.
I would suggest you keep it simple, 100 per cent cotton clothes for layering and less likely to create any skin irritations, lots of white to reduce the wash loads and let’s face it, they will grow out of everything so quickly.
Even give a shout out to your mum friends, as many would be delighted to gift you preloved gear from their kids.
Check safety standards
Check for adherence with the Australian safety standards website (ACCC) when choosing the big ticket items such as prams, baby carriers and bassinets or cots.
Don’t forget self care
Self care is so important.
You will need to drink plenty of water regularly when breastfeeding. Keep visual prompts of water bottles or jugs around the house to remind you in your haze of sleep deprivation.
Quick healthy snacks, high in fibre/protein and low GI carbs that you, or your partner, can easily prepare so you can stabilise your blood sugar and energy levels and avoid sugar spikes.
The advice in this article is general in nature. Please always consult a medical professional to obtain advice that is tailored to yours or child’s specific condition.
Written for 9Honey Parenting by Beth Barclay