Congratulations! You're a new parent, and you've just begun on one of the most exciting, rewarding, and challenging adventures of your life. As you navigate this new world, there are a few things to be aware of that are perfectly normal, but that no one can prepare you for. Things like: a lack of sleep, adjusting to baby schedules, changing eating habits, and what or how to childproof your home.
Let's take a closer look at each one of these.
Lack of Sleep
You may have heard that babies don't sleep through the night, but until you experience it firsthand, you don't really understand just how little sleep you're going to get. Newborns can wake up every two to three hours to eat, and it can take up to an hour to feed them, change them, and get them back to sleep. This means that you'll be lucky to get more than a couple of hours of sleep at a time. As your baby gets older, they'll start sleeping for longer stretches, but you'll still be woken up by cries, teething, or nightmares. The best way to deal with this lack of sleep is to take turns getting up with your spouse throughout the night, try to fit in naps wherever you can throughout the day, ask for help from family and friends, and don't be afraid to turn down visitors and decline going out for those first couple of months.
Adjusting to Baby Schedules
Before you had a baby, you might have been able to fly by the seat of your pants and do things on a whim. However, once you have a baby, your schedule is at the mercy of your little one. Your baby will need to eat, sleep, and play at different times throughout the day, and this can be difficult to adjust to at first. You'll need to be flexible and willing to adapt to your baby's needs. Don't worry too much about getting all of the things done during the day, as taking care of your baby, and yourself, is your new top priority! Remember, this newborn phase is so short, so try to enjoy it while it lasts and don't stress about all the things you think you should be doing.
Changing Eating Habits
When you become a parent, your eating habits will change too. You may find that you don't have the time to sit down for a proper meal or that you're too tired to cook. You may also find that you're constantly snacking or eating on the go. It's important to make sure you're still eating healthy, nutritious meals and finding time to sit down and enjoy at least one meal a day in peace. Try to meal plan and prep ahead of time to make things easier for yourself, and don't be afraid to ask for help with cooking or meal prep. There are also meal delivery services that could help during this time, and you can use your click and collect option at the grocery store so you don't have to go anywhere to shop - most of the stores even offer delivery too!
Childproofing Your Home
Once your baby starts crawling and exploring their world, they will get into everything! You'll need to make sure your home is safe for them which means childproofing everything from electrical outlets to cabinets and drawers to vent covers. Lots of times babies will get into things that it never even crossed our mind they would get into! When babies seem hell bent on putting their lives at risk, childproofing can seem like a daunting task - just remember to watch them closely, and thoroughly assess the areas in your home that will need to be childproofed. Do help you do a thorough job, we out together a FREE childproofing planner and checklist to get your started, HERE.
Remember, this is normal and it will pass
Being a new parent is an incredible experience, but it's not without its challenges - and these challenges are all completely normal. Don't get discouraged if you don't adjust right away to the lack of sleep, baby schedules, eating habits, and childproofing. These are just a few of the things that you'll need to navigate as a new parent, and you are doing the best you can. For your own sake and for the baby, you need to take care of yourself, ask for help when you need it, and also enjoy this amazing journey! Remember your own experiences when you are around another new parent and do your best to show empathy and offer help when you can.