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4 Ways to Care for Yourself While Caring for a Newborn

You brought your newborn home, and suddenly your whole life is completely different. You are no longer just responsible for yourself and your partner(in some cases), but now you have this tiny human who depends on you for absolutely everything.

Adjusting to life as a new parent is challenging, especially if it is your first child. It can feel overwhelming and scary. You might doubt your ability to parent when your child is crying all night and won't calm down. Nobody ever said parenting was easy—but it is definitely worth all the stress.

When your life is suddenly centered around caring for your newborn, you may set your own needs and wants aside. After all, the importance of caring for this child is beyond measure. But, what is hard to remember sometimes is that you are still a person. You still have your own wants and needs.

Here is some advice on how to make sure you take care of yourself while still maintaining your parental duties.

4 Ways To Care For Yourself While Caring For A Newborn

baby sleeping in a blanket

1. Give yourself grace

Having a newborn in the house is hard, whether it's your first, second, or third. It's a huge adjustment for the entire household to get used to. As new parents, there is often an unrealistic expectation that everything will just come together. From the beginning, it will go smoothly and according to plan. When reality kicks in, it can be a little shocking.

Learning to roll with the punches as things come is important. Give yourself the grace to understand that it won't always be perfect. Things will go wrong. You'll have just as many good moments as bad ones. When you find that you are frustrated with yourself, give yourself a gentle reminder that at the end of the day, you are trying your best.

2. Don't be afraid to rest

Clean while the baby rests! Get housework done while the baby is sleeping. Sound familiar? These are all practical and, most of the time, necessary things to do. However, giving yourself the rest you deserve is another important part of running a household. If the baby is napping and you are completely worn out, don't be afraid to just rest. Watch tv, read a book, or take a bath. If you still have time, then do some housework. But don't beat yourself up for not being able to do more.

3. Ask for help when you need it

If you need help with household duties, don't hesitate to ask your partner for help. The responsibilities of everything shouldn't have to fall on your shoulders only, especially when caring for a newborn. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you need help. Before your baby arrives, it can be helpful to talk to your closest friends and family and ask them what they can reasonably help you with should you call them up for it.

4. Don't feel pressure to always have guests over

A new baby comes into the world, and everyone wants to meet the new bundle of joy. As a new parent, this can make you feel over the moon happy that so many people want to show up and be a part of your child's life. However, don't feel as if you constantly need to say yes to requests to come see them. Especially in these beginning months when their immune systems are so new to the world. Or when you are just utterly exhausted. You can nicely set boundaries to let them know that while you would love for them to visit, you have too much on your plate right now to accommodate that.

If you are struggling with your life as a new parent, don't hesitate to reach out for maternal mental health. I am here to support you when you are ready.


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