Psychologist Corinne Sweet advises on how to stay relaxed and enjoy time with your baby
The first six months after having a baby can be a time of joy as well as a great learning curve. You and your partner will be getting to know your new offspring and also learning to change your relationship to accommodate them.
During this time, it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious as you try to establish routines around feeding, sleeping and looking after yourself but it’s important not to be too hard on yourself and ask others for help when you need it.
To help you on your way the below outlines some of the things you can expect in the first six months of being a new mum:
Routine will become your new best friend: You may find it hard to get your baby into a feeding routine or have difficulty breast-feeding but it’s important to try and relax. The more stressed you feel, the more your baby will too. Don’t be afraid to ask your GP for support or seek out local mothers’ groups. Any issues usually iron out fairly quickly and you’ll have a strong routine in place in no time.
Sleep is like gold dust: As a new parent it’s important to try and sleep when the baby sleeps. Try not to focus on or worry about the house not being tidy or whether you need to hit the gym. Sleep is a great healer and de-stressor and your body and mind will thank you for it.
Accept your baby will get sick as their immune system develops: Your baby will get colds, temperatures and snuffles as they build their immune system. Babies getting sick is normal and they usually recover quickly. However, if you’re ever concerned about any symptoms always visit your GP to put your mind at ease. New born babies can also suffer with common ailments such as cradle cap, a skin condition that leaves them with scaly skin on their head, and colic, which results in a lot of crying despite your little one appearing to be healthy and well. However, there are simple treatments you can use such as Dentinox Cradle Cap Shampoo and Colic Drops which will help to ease their symptoms and are available from your local pharmacy.
Expect disruption: Your life has changed, and it is important to go with the flow. Don’t try and host huge parties or family gatherings that will leave you not only with a young baby to look after but unnecessary mess to clean up. Learn to take at this time. You can give back later.
You’ll need to make time for your partner: As you focus on settling your little one into home life while struggling with a lack of sleep it’s easy for you and your partner to take each other for granted. Make time to talk to each other about your day and check in on how things are going.
Remember that every baby is different: As a new parent you’ll surround yourself with others who are in a similar situation, however don’t get too anxious if your baby is different to theirs in terms of change. Babies all develop at various paces so don’t worry. Instead enjoy the milestones you’re experiencing. A lot of change takes place in a baby within the first six months and it won’t be long before they are learning to smile, roll over, pop their hands in their mouths and begin to want solid food.
Don’t forget you’re not alone: If you’re a single parent or don’t feel as though you have much support in terms of family and friends, join a local parenting group where you can speak to likeminded people and break the isolation you’re feeling. If you are feeling down or upset after the baby comes, especially during the first few days, weeks, even months, don’t worry – many women feel this. Go and talk to your midwife or GP about it and get the support you need.
Psychologist Corinne Sweet has recently teamed up with Dentinox to launch its new Kindness to New Mums campaign. For more information please visit www.dentinox.co.uk
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