A couple of weeks ago, the most miraculous thing in the world happened: your precious baby was born. Now, you and your spouse have gone from a couple to a family of three, and you could not be happier…or more tired…or more overwhelmed, at least part of the time.
While well-meaning grandparents, relatives and the nice cashier at the supermarket have probably already given you tons of advice, the following “pro” tips will help you get through the “new parent” stage as smoothly as can be expected.
Sleep When Your Little One Sleeps
You are probably already marveling at how much work a 7-pound human can be—not to mention the amount of laundry your baby is already generating. According to Lifehack, since you really cannot nap when your beautiful baby is awake, take every opportunity possible to sleep when he or she is snoozing in the bassinet. While it may be tempting to catch up on those dishes when your infant is napping or stay up to watch your favorite shows, caring for a baby can be challenging enough when you are well-rested, let alone when you are sleep deprived. Remember that your precious infant will also be up numerous times during the night for a while, so do yourself a massive favor and sleep when your baby sleeps.
Invest in an Identity Theft Program
Yes, you read that correctly. Parenting an infant takes a lot of time, so you might be doing more online ordering than ever for diapers, wipes and other needed baby supplies. Or when you do head to the grocery store, you will not be the first exhausted parent to accidentally leave your debit card at the cash register. These situations, while understandable, can leave you and your personal data at risk for being exposed and/or stolen. The last thing you need to deal with right now is identity theft, so investing in a program that will electronically keep an eye on your accounts and alert you to any issues is a great idea. For instance, LifeLock will monitor your personal data and accounts for identity theft, the unauthorized use of personal info and applications for credit cards and other loans.
Accept Offers of Help
Historically, extended families lived together or at least were in the same neighborhoods. After a new baby was born, grandma would cook while aunties cleaned and uncles rocked the newborn while the new parents rested or tended to other tasks. As Happiest Baby notes, most parents must now care for their newborns and their homes all by themselves. To get the help you need and feel less stressed, consider accepting most, if not all, offers for assistance. If your neighbor wants to cook you a lasagna and bring it over, tell him you would love that. If your BFF wants to come over for a bit to do the dishes and mop your floors, accept gratefully. And if the budget allows it, pay for help — like a housekeeping service once or twice a month, a professional dog walker to make sure your pooches are getting exercise and ordering take out delivered to your door.
Let There Be Noise
When your adorable tot finally drifts off after a particularly busy or fussy time, you might be tempted to tiptoe around the house and avoid using the washer and dryer. This approach may logically make sense but it may also come back to bite you. Babies who always sleep in quiet homes get really good at waking up at the slightest peep. Instead, if you continue to function as normal, including having the TV on, having conversations, running the dishwasher and more, your infant will learn to sleep through the noise. If this seems counterintuitive, remember that growing inside mom’s body for 40 weeks was loud — your infant already slept through a constant heartbeat and other body sounds just fine, so the spin cycle on the washer should be no big deal.
Enjoy These Times
Being a new parent is wonderful, but it is also challenging. It will also go by fairly quickly and before you know it, you will have an active toddler who sleeps like a champ and you may feel more organized. For now, sleep when you can, be careful with your personal info, accept assistance and allow normal noise levels in your home. These tips will help the first few months of parenthood be as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.