When you bring home your newborn baby, life alters dramatically. But there are ways to ease the transition into family life.
Those first few months and weeks of a baby’s life are filled with ups and downs. Aside from the wonder and love you feel, there’s the added work of a new baby, the sleepless nights and the adjustment to the new roles you’ve taken on as parents. It can be a trying time for new moms and dads, but you can make the road a touch smoother with a little planning and communication explains prenatal instructor, Kim Marsden: “First of all, talk with each other about what absolutely has to get done this week, then divide that by the days of the week, then again by who wants to do what, so that there’s very little that has to be done each week. Then you can just concentrate on surviving, getting sleep and nurturing everyone in the family.”
Be warned. Many well meaning friends and neighbors love to visit newborns. If you’re not up for it, these visits can be taxing. Marsden says there are ways new parents can keep these visits down to a minimum. “Leave the answering machine on, or a note at the door stating “mommy & baby sleeping”. That might deflect some of those well meaning, muffin-bringing neighbors. If they make it through those defenses, don’t offer them tea and coffee. Sit, and when they ask you what they can do, point them towards the vacuum cleaner. They won’t be rushing over to see you again in the near future!”
Family life counselor Jody Pemberton agrees that those first few days or weeks at home are very busy and therefore, not the best time for visitors. So how do you get this point across to well meaning friends and relatives? Pemberton says that “for the first week it’s advisable to stay in your housecoat to give the message that this isn’t the time to entertain. You may want people to visit but only if they are there to support you, not to be entertained. It’s probably best to tell people that you’ll be happy to see them in a couple of weeks, but right now you would like a little private time with the baby.”
Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.