Hey there, new parents!
Being a parent is one of the most amazing experiences in the world, but it can also be a bit overwhelming at times. That’s where I come in! In this post, I’ll share some tips for new parents, helping you navigate the early stages of parenthood and help make the most of this special time.
Feeding and sleeping tips for new parents
Let’s talk about feeding and sleeping, two of the biggest challenges you’ll face in the first few months. If you plan on breastfeeding, you’re already a superhero! But let’s face it, nursing can be a bit nerve-wracking. My top tip? Invest in a decent nursing bra to make feeding a little easier, and don’t scrimp on the nipple balm either. No one tells you that breastfeeding can be quite painful in the early stages and that cracked nipples are not fun (trust me…. I’ve been there), but it is so worth it once you’ve got it sussed.
Another important tip for new parents if you plan on breastfeeding, is to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water and fluids can help increase milk production and keep you feeling energized. It’s also a good idea to eat a healthy and balanced diet, rich in nutrients, to ensure your baby gets all the nourishment they need. When I was pregnant, I batch-cooked a few healthy meals using the slow cooker and froze them into smaller portions ready to just reheat. Future you will thank yourself for being organised now and it will save you from skipping meals or bingeing on junk food after.
If you’re bottle-feeding your baby, make sure to choose a bottle with a slow-flow nipple to mimic the natural flow of breast milk. This can help prevent your baby from getting too much milk too quickly, which can lead to being sick and colic which isn’t comfortable for your baby or you. Also, it goes without saying – but never leave your baby alone while feeding.
Now, let’s talk about sleep (or lack thereof). Establishing a sleep routine early on is key. Try putting your baby to bed at the same time each night and create a calm and cosy sleep environment. It isn’t going to work straight away, and you may feel like you’re wasting your time, but trust me, a little bit of consistency in the early days/weeks really will pay off in the long run. A white noise machine can also work wonders to help your little one snooze soundly. I use a baby shusher/white noise machine in the studio during my newborn sessions and couldn’t do my job without one. I use this one here but any white noise machine will work. This is probably my favourite tip for new parents.
It’s important to remember that Newborns have tiny tummies and need to feed often, so don’t worry if your baby wakes up often in the middle of the night for a feed. It’s normal for babies to wake up every two to three hours for the first few weeks, and gradually, they’ll start sleeping for longer stretches.
Top tips for managing visitors as new parents
Everyone wants to meet your adorable new addition, but managing visitors can be tough. It’s important to set some boundaries and let your friends and family know that you need some rest and space. One way to manage visitors is to limit visits to a certain time of day or ask visitors to call ahead. Also, don’t forget to manage expectations! Let your friends and family know what you need help with, and don’t feel guilty saying no to visitors if you’re not feeling up to it. As lovely as it is that everyone wants to meet your new baby, the reality is you will find yourself being the host making sure everyone has a cuppa and you won’t feel relaxed with a houseful. It’s okay to say no visitors, especially in the first few days/weeks as you allow your body to heal and bond with your new baby.
One important thing to keep in mind is that Newborns have a delicate immune system and are more susceptible to infections. So, it’s a good idea to limit visitors in the first few weeks and make sure everyone who comes to see your baby is healthy and not carrying any illnesses.
Tips for adjusting to the new routine as new parents
Self-care is essential for new parents, but it can be challenging to find the time and energy to take care of yourself when you’re caring for a new baby. Here are some other self-care tips for new parents:
Take care of yourself:
As a new parent, it’s easy to put all of your energy into caring for your baby and neglecting your own needs. However, it’s crucial to take care of yourself too! Make sure you eat nutritious meals, drink plenty of water, and get as much rest as possible. Even taking a few minutes each day to do something you enjoy, like taking a hot shower or reading a book, can make a world of difference.
Set realistic expectations: It’s important to have realistic expectations about what you can do each day. With a new baby, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get everything done that you used to, and that’s okay. Don’t be too hard on yourself and celebrate the small victories, like getting a load of laundry done or taking a walk with your baby.
It’s important to take breaks throughout the day to recharge and reset. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, take some time to do something you enjoy, like reading a book, listening to music, or taking a bath. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or delegate tasks to others so you can take some time for yourself.
Get support: Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Reach out to family and friends for support. Also, look at joining a new baby class, this can be really beneficial as you can connect with lots of new mums going through the same stages and experiences as you – you might even meet a few new best friends for you and your baby.
Remember, every baby is different, and what works for one family may not work for another. Be open to trying different routines and strategies until you find what works best for you and your baby. Don’t be afraid to adjust as needed and be prepared to change things up as your baby grows and their needs change.
Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it can also boost your mood and reduce stress. Try to incorporate some physical activity into your day, like taking a walk with your baby. If you’re feeling up for it, consider joining a postpartum exercise class or finding a workout buddy to help keep you accountable.
Remember, taking care of yourself isn’t selfish – it’s essential for your well-being and your ability to care for your baby. Make self-care a priority, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day, and don’t hesitate to reach out for help or support when you need it.
Final thoughts for new parents
Becoming a new parent is an exciting, challenging, and rewarding journey. With these tips for new parents, you can navigate the ups and downs of this new chapter with more confidence and ease. Remember to prioritize self-care, seek support when you need it, and enjoy the precious moments with your new baby.
And if you’re looking for a way to capture the beauty and joy of this time, consider booking a maternity or newborn photography session with me at The Copper Lens. My goal is to create stunning images that tell the story of your journey into motherhood, and I would be honoured to be a part of your story. My sessions are relaxed and comfortable, and my little Swansea newborn studio is perfectly designed for you and your baby. Get in touch today to learn more about how I can help you preserve these memories for a lifetime.