Are you expecting or have you just given birth? Then this survival guide for new moms is especially for you!
Here’s the truth: motherhood, especially if you're a new mom, is not easy.
Forget that TV commercial with a relaxed-looking new mommy with glowing skin laying her cherubic (and sleeping) newborn down in his cot. Or the smiling new mom effortlessly handling the household chores while her baby gurgles happily on his play-mat. In reality, things rarely happen this way.
Motherhood is tough and fulfilling. It’s equal parts smiles and tears. There’ll be times when your heart just wants to explode with love and pride and there are times when you want to curl up into a ball in a corner and sob.
Because motherhood can be both physically and mentally hard work, here’s a survival guide for new moms -- especially for you.
To sleep or not to sleep?
“Sleep when the baby sleeps”. How many times have you heard this bit of advice from others while you were pregnant? But sleeping while your little one sleeps is easier said than done.
There are a million things for a mom to attend to when her baby drifts off to the land of nod. If you don’t have a helper, then of course this is the time you could potentially get some household chores done. It’s also time for you to brush your teeth, and if you’re lucky, take a quick shower (with the door open, of course, in case baby wakes up).
So when do you sleep then? Of course, if your baby sleeps for hours at a time, then you actually might find the time to join him for a nap, after you complete your other chores.
But babies, especially newborns, are notorious for their short sleep cycles and frequent night wakings. This is because in their first few months of life, babies' needs are very high but their ability to communicate is very low. So, if a baby slept through the night, needs such as hunger and comfort would not be satisfied.
How to survive:
What saved my sleep when both my kids were tiny babies was co-sleeping. However, if co-sleeping is not for you, then consider establishing a gentle bed-time routine when your little one is old enough for it. A warm bath, lots of cuddles, a soft lullaby and a snug swaddle might do the trick.
Also, keep visitors at bay for a bit until you are settled into a routine that you are comfortable with. Visitors, although they mean well, can be disruptive to your little one's sleeping and feeding routine.
On the next page of this survival guide for new moms -- how do you tackle breastfeeding issues?