Tag Archives: tips for new parents

How to take care of a newborn with another baby at home

Believe it or not, there is a lot involved in caring for a new baby. I just recently had my second child, my first is almost 5, so this has been quite a transition for me. I didn’t realize how quickly I had forgotten how much there is to do with a newborn. The day I brought him home from the hospital, I got a quick reminder…and this time, it’s a little more intensive with another child at home.

It’s funny how when we’re expecting, we focus on all the little things. For instance, getting the nursery set up “just right” and picking out all of the baby’s first dresses, suits and other pieces of clothing seems to be extremely important when the baby is in the womb. And, let’s not forget those trips to the baby store where we pick out all of the things we can’t live without for the baby. The funny thing is that once the little one arrives, most of the things we planned on are not going to happen…and all of the items that we just had to have in order to be ready for the little one are not nearly as important as they once were. If you are expecting a little one or have just had a baby, then you may find the tips below helpful. I know I did…with both babies!

  • Sleep when the baby sleeps. It doesn’t matter how much (or little) sleep you are used to, once the baby gets here, you’re going to get less of it and you’ll be tired. During the time you are able to stay home with the baby, make sure you sleep when your little one does, if at all possible. This will make the late night feedings easier to handle. Just remember that if you don’t get enough sleep, it’s easier to get frustrated when the baby is up at 3 a.m. and doesn’t want to go to bed. It’s also easier to suffer from postpartum depression when you’re running on only a few hours of sleep every day. Sleep is important – so get it!
  • Don’t worry about spoiling your newborn. Some parents worry about spoiling their newborn by holding them too much or tending to them the minute they begin to cry. Don’t worry about this when you’ve got a “brand new” baby. The most important thing is that you are able to keep yourself sane and your baby taken care of. If this means that you have to spend 20 minutes rocking your baby after feeding to get him to sleep, that’s okay. You’ll have plenty of time to correct bad habits, and honestly, when a baby is this young – these “bad habits” really aren’t that bad, especially if they help you remain calm and collected.
  • Ask for help. Finally, taking care of a new baby is a tough task. Maybe you are a single parent or your spouse has a demanding job and isn’t home much. Or, maybe you’re just struggling with all of the new responsibilities and the crazy emotions that occur after having a baby. It doesn’t matter what the reason is, if you feel overwhelmed – don’t wait to ask for help. Most friends and family members want to help out, but don’t know how. Maybe all you need help with is preparing meals…ask your friends and family members if they would be willing to make a meal for you. Or, maybe you just need a couple hours of  to yourself. Ask a trusted friend or family member if they would be willing to watch the little one for a couple hours. The bottom line is that you understand that we all need help sometimes. With a new baby it’s important that you ask for help when you need it. Both your and the baby’s well-being depends on it.

Tips for New Parents

Parenthood is something many couples look forward to from the day they find out they’re expecting…some even from the day they get married! Having children is honestly one of the greatest blessings we will ever receive during this lifetime, however, it’s also the hardest job out there. I know when I was pregnant with my first child, I had all these wonderful thoughts about what it was going to be like having a baby and raising a child. Now, my first born is five and when I think about my initial thoughts about how parenthood would be, I just laugh.

I’ve learned a lot in the last five years and I can tell you, a lot of the things I swore I’d never do as a parent, I’ve done. If you or someone you know is expecting, then the following tips may be helpful. After all, there’s a lot more to raising kids than picking out the perfect holiday dress or tuxedo. It takes a lot of patience, determination and follow-through to be a good parent!

  • Say good-bye to a spotless house. Once you start acquiring baby clothes, accessories and furniture (before the baby arrives) your house will never be the same. A lot of new parents, myself included, have a hard time letting go of the idea that their home isn’t going to ever be spotless again. At least not for ten years or so. If you can accept that before the baby arrives, the better off you’ll be. That doesn’t mean you can’t get your house picked up and looking presentable before guests arrive. It just means that on a day-to-day basis, there will be something out of place whether it’s toys in the living room, a pile of clean laundry on the bed, dirty dishes in the sink or carpet that hasn’t been swept in a couple weeks…there will always be something, and that’s okay!
  • All babies and toddlers cry and throw fits. One of the most common things I hear my new-mom friends say is that they feel like bad moms when their babies cry and they can’t calm them down. Please, don’t feel this way! Most babies have a “cry” time and some develop colic, and there’s nothing you can do. Toddlers are the same way when they begin gaining independence. Throwing fits is just part of it. Just remember to stay calm and reassure yourself that every parent goes through these stages.
  • Hire a babysitter and go out! Finally, the best piece of advice I can give to new parents is to hire a babysitter and go out together as a couple…and don’t feel bad about it! You and your partner need time together without the baby so you don’t forget who you are as a couple. After all, in 18 years the child will be grown and moving out and it will just be you and your spouse again. So, whatever you do when raising kids, don’t ever feel bad about hiring a babysitter to spend some quality time together!

New Parent Health Woes

There has never been any question about the fact that welcoming a new baby into the world is one of, if not the, best experiences we will ever have. I can remember the birth of both my boys like they happened yesterday. I can also remember the days and months after bringing them home from the hospital and how our lives and routines changed.
Five and a half years ago, we welcomed our oldest son into the world. When he came home I can remember feeling like I was flying by the seat of my pants. Honestly, I think I felt like that for the first three years…and sometimes still feel that way. I didn’t have time to focus on much except for taking care of our new little boy. Since my husband and I were new parents, we were naturally so engrossed in the care and well-being of our son that we didn’t think much about our own well-being.

The second time around, just eight months ago, things were a little different. We knew what to expect so we weren’t so on edge. This also meant that we were able to focus on ourselves more than we did when we had the first baby. We learned that there really are some new health woes that come with new babies if new parents aren’t careful. Here’s what to watch for if you are expecting a new baby sometime soon.

  • Sleep Deprivation. So many people told me to leave the dishes and housework alone when the baby was napping and to nap when the baby did. I didn’t listen with my first baby, but when the second one came along, I had no problem napping whenever he did during the day! You wouldn’t believe the difference that one thing made. With my first, I felt like a walking zombie for the first couple of months, but with the second one I honestly didn’t feel sleep deprived at all. Therefore, don’t toss out this advice. Nap when the baby is sleeping!
  • Weight Gain. Obviously, once the baby is here, moms lose weight pretty fast within the first couple of weeks. However, most of the time, not all of that baby weight comes off and we have to fight for those last 10 pounds or so. After I had my first son, I had the mindset of “well, it took nine months to put it on, so I should give myself that long to get it off.” Needless to say, by the time nine months rolled around, I was still carrying those last 10 pounds, plus some around with me. My husband also gained a little weight during this time too. Why? We both got lax because we were so focused on the baby that we didn’t focus on the types of foods we were eating. We ate whatever was quick to fix, regardless of how healthy or unhealthy it was for us. This didn’t happen the second time around…I was pretty determined to drop the weight fast and keep it off so I made a point to only stock healthy foods in the house to eliminate the temptation to eat whatever as quick and easy.
  • Lack of Intimacy. This is a topic many new parents hate to talk about because they feel guilty for even thinking about it. A lot of times when a new baby comes along, new parents are so engrossed in caring for the baby that they put their relationship on the back burner. My husband and I went through this phase after our oldest was born. In fact, he was about four months old when I made the comment to my husband that I felt like we were more roommates than we were a married couple. Once we both admitted how we felt, we made a conscious effort to fix the problem. We allowed ourselves a date night twice a month or so and we made a point to make time for each other in the evenings after the little one was in bed but before we went to bed. If new parents aren’t careful, they will find themselves drifting apart as they care for their new baby…don’t let this happen. The reason you have your little one is because you and your spouse fell in love. Therefore, don’t lose it!
  • Losing Touch with Friends. This is probably one of the hardest things new parents go through when they have their first child. My husband and I were actually the first of our group of friends to have kids which made having kids a huge adjustment for us. We weren’t able to go out with our kid-less friends at the drop of a hat anymore, and we naturally lost touch with them. For a while it was pretty depressing. Instead of going out on Friday and Saturday night, we were at home dealing with poopy diapers and 3 a.m. feedings. Eventually we made new friends, with kids, and our old friends got married and had kids of their own which helped the situation tremendously. I guess the word of advice here is to expect your group of friends to change when you have kid, especially if none of your other friends have kids. So, how is this a health concern? If you aren’t expecting this change to happen, it can cause depression. Therefore, prepare yourself for it and look for ways to make the transition easier.
  • Emotional Build-Up. For some reason nobody likes to talk much about the “downside” of having a baby. Babies definitely play with your emotions. They cry and sometimes you don’t know what’s wrong and can’t get them to stop. They cut into your “free” time and can alienate you from your friends. In short, they change your whole world. This can naturally cause some emotions to build up. It’s important to talk about these emotions with your spouse or someone you trust…get them out in the open and help each other work through them. And, if you need to see a counselor, do it. It’s for the best for you and your family. Don’t let your emotions build up, because sometimes they build up so much that they can cause a horrible explosion.