Coping With a New Baby: Top 6 Tips to Help New Mums
Coping With a New Baby
You’ve given birth to your first, fifth, tenth, or maybe fiftieth baby! (Just kidding!)
Congratulations! And God bless you for adding another human being to the world!
And I hope you feel good that you’re a mother, right?
You don’t feel so great?
“Isaac , you know, I wish I could feel great. But it’s a hassle, you know,” you may be thinking at this moment.
“Coping with a new baby feels like traveling into an unknown country. I have so many questions running through my mind. Like, for example, why don’t I love him like I thought I would? How do I bath him properly. And, oh, baby cries too much! Too much! He deprives me of sleep. And I can assure you coping with no sleep and caring for a new baby is hell! All these things are leaving making me feel so frustrated!”
I sympathize with you and I want to help lighten your burden! In this article, I’m going to give you tips and share little known secrets with you to help you cope with the stress of taking care of a new baby.
Getting To Know Your Newborn
When you were pregnant your mother, sisters, or women who’ve given birth before informed you that you’d feel this sudden burst of overwhelming love when you gave birth, right?
The baby is here and you just don’t feel that motherly-love, right? You just don’t feel that strong and overwhelming love for your newborn, right?
Perhaps because the baby is not exceptionally beautiful as you’d imagined it would be, right? Or, it’s not as cuddly as you thought it would be, right? And that makes you feel guilty, right?
It Happens To Many Other Women
Don’t worry at all! You are not the only woman who feels that way! According to Obstetrician and Gynecologist Professor Derek Llewelyn -Jones (formerly of the University of Sidney in Australia), many women find that they do not feel a strong motherly-love for their newborn baby in the first few months after they give birth.
What To do
It’ll take time for you to know your baby, obviously. And to help quicken the process so that you’ll fall in love with your baby quickly, touch him/her often every day.
- Cuddle the baby for 10 minutes every day.
- Pass your fingers lightly over the baby’s skin when it is feeding.
- Pick it in your arms in the morning and look into its face and smile at it.
Bathing Baby: Some Rules to Observe
Some Of These Questions May Arise In Your Mind
Some new mothers, especially those who’ve had their first baby, feel nervous about bathing baby when they get home.
So many worries arise in their minds:
- How do I bath baby?
- Won’t he slip out of my hands as I bath him?
- Won’t he slip under the water as I bath him?
- How do I hold him as I bath him?
- Do I have to bath him every day?
- How many times should I bath him in a week?
Here are some tips that can help you to answer some of these questions.
What To Do
- Some pediatricians assert that it’s not necessary to give your baby a tub bath when the umbilical cord has not healed and fallen off.
- Other pediatricians assert that bathing baby at most three times a week should be okay to keep baby clean.
- You don’t need to soap his whole body every day when you bath him because his body does not get dirty any way, right? The main purpose of the bath at this stage of his life is just to freshen him.
- Plus, until the navel and/or circumcision heals, just give baby a sponge bath because bathing baby every day can lead to excessive skin dryness.
- Doing the above will save you time and energy which you can channel to do other things such as taking a nap to regain lost energy, taking care of the other kids, or taking care of daddy.
When Bathing Baby
When you want to bath baby:
- use tepid water;
- undress baby whilst he’s in his cot; then wrap him in a warm towel and carry him to his bath tub;
- after removing the towel, this is how to hold him in the bath tub: hold him on your lap; put one arm under his head and under his armpit (the one furthest from you), and grab his arm firmly;
- start cleaning baby from the head; gently wash each eye with cotton ball and clear water;
- wash his face; clean the outer part of his ears with cotton;
- then clean his scalp;
- then move down; ensure that you keep the umbilical cord area dry at all times; and
- clean his area of excretion last so that you don’t spread germs to other areas of his body.
How To Cope With The Baby That Cries Too Much
Why Some Babies Cry Often
Babies that cry very often cry for a number of reasons including:
- He may feel hungry;
- She may have wet its diapers (or napkins);
- It may crave tactile stimulation(in other words, it may want to be cuddled and pampered);
- He may be very tired;
- She may be overstimulated;
- According to the Children’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia, if he pulls up his legs and clenches his fist whilst crying, then he’s in pain.
How To Cope With Such A Baby
- Don’t feel agitated when baby cries. Showing agitation will make baby feel scared and he may cry even more.
- Remind yourself that the fact that the baby is crying does not mean you’re a bad mother. That can help you to calm down. Baby will sense the calmness and respond positively.
- Let the baby rest on your shoulder and pat its back gently; cuddle it, croon to it, and sing a lullaby to it.
- Massage its back in a circular anticlockwise motion.
- Walk slowly around the room with baby.
And If Baby Does Not Respond To Your Efforts…
- Don’t worry. Just relax. To help you do that, sing a gospel song to yourself (or listen to praise and worship songs)to remind you that the LORD is in control. It’ll help you maintain a sense of calmness around baby.
- Remind yourself that you’re doing something wrong, that you’re a “failure,” and don’t resent the crying.
- Put baby in your bed, lie by it, and try to distract it with a dummy or toy.
Let Baby Feel Close To You At All Times
According to some pediatricians, some babies cry a lot because they feel insecure.
- When he/she is left in a cot all by itself, whilst you cook daddy’s food or the other kids’ food, baby wonders, “Hey! Where is everyone?” It may feel scared because it’s not part of the “action of life” and that’ll make it cry.
Imitate African Women, If You Can
Did you know that some women in Africa make sure their babies maintain body contact with them most of the time? And that makes the babies cry less?
You may be wondering,
Why do they cry less?
Why Babies Who Experience A Lot Of Bodily Contact With Their Mothers Cry Less
Well, according to some medical experts, it’s because the baby feels close to the mother. He feels part of what is going on around him. And once he feels the warmth and a sense of security, he’s less likely to cry.
So, how do these African women maintain body contact with their babies for long periods?
How These Women Do It
- They carry the baby in a sling on their back as they do work in the home.
You may practice this too. As you cook or clean, carry baby in a sling on your back, or across your front. Once baby feels that “mummy is around” he’s less likely to cry.
Do “The New Mother Relaxation Exercise”
You experience tiredness after feeding baby for minutes, right? And you experience sleep deprivation on many nights, right? And as a result of all these, your stress is building up, right?
You can deal with that stress by doing relaxation exercises. According to the Harvard Medical School, relaxation techniques do two things:
- They help to slow down the heartbeat; and
- They help to reduce the pressure of the blood flowing through the body’s blood vessels.
As a result of these two effects, one can feel calmer.
The New Mother Relaxation Exercise
So, here is a relaxation exercise you can do easily when baby is asleep to help you renew your vigor:
- Stand erect, with your arms by your sides.
- Listen to the calmness all around you for one minute and take in all the quietude.
- Take in a deep breath and stretch out your hands laterally.
- Exhale slowly and at the same time, raise your arms above your head.
- Lower your arms so that they hang by your sides.
- Raise your right thigh until it is parallel to the ground.
- Then, stretch out your leg.
- Take in a deep breath, stretch out your arms laterally again, count up to 5, then exhale slowly.
- Slowly lower your leg back to the starting position.
- Take in a deep breath, raise your left thigh until it is parallel to the ground, and then stretch your left leg.
- Breathe out slowly and slowly raise your arms upwards, palms facing upwards, until your palms touch.
- Intertwine your fingers above your head.
- Slowly lower your left leg and at the same time, lower your arms until they are at shoulder level.
- Then, stretch your left leg backwards, keep your arms stretched laterally, and arch your body forwards as though you were bowing to someone.
- Inhale deeply, count up to 5, and then exhale.
- Bring back your left leg to the starting position (beside your right leg) and lower your hands to your sides so that both of them will be hanging.
- Then, stretch your right leg backwards and raise your arms until they reach your shoulder level, and arch your body forwards again as though you are making obeisance to someone.
- Inhale deeply again for a count of 5 and then release he air slowly.
- Then, get back to your starting position again, with feet together and with arms by your sides.
- Stretch out your arms laterally, rotate your feet and your body in a clockwise direction.
- Keep rotating your feet and your body until you face 90-degrees from your starting position, then 180- degrees, then 270- degrees, until you face your original direction again.
- Repeat this rotation 10 times.
You sometimes feel frustrated because you don’t have the time to keep the house clean and tidy as you’d wish, and care for baby at the same time, right?
You feel frustrated because you do everything to try and please baby, but baby rejects everything you try to do for him/her, right? You hate it when baby spits or vomits after feeding, right?
And all these things suggest to you that you’re not caring for baby properly despite all your effort, right? And top of that daddy is not supportive, right? And so you feel overwhelmed and depressed.
God Says Pray To Him In Such Situations
Well, there is someone who knows how you feel, who knows your intimate thoughts and feelings. That person is Jehovah, the good Father. He understands. He cares. And He asks you to seek His help in such situations.
- In Psalm 55:22, the LORD commands you to roll your cares and burdens on Him and He will strengthen you and see you through the challenge.
- In Philippians 4:6, the LORD commands you to converse with Him about your frustrations in life and He will let a supernatural peace flood your soul.
A Prayer You May Intone
So draw near to the LORD in prayer. You may say a prayer such as this one when you feel overwhelmed: “Dear LORD, I thank You that you’ve given me this gift of a baby. LORD, I count myself privileged because there are many women who wish they could just have one baby, but… I give You glory for blessing me with this baby. LORD, the journey seems long and tough. The baby is too demanding. It’s tough coping with no sleep because my new baby wakes me at night often. I feel exhausted. And, sometimes, I wonder how I can keep up for another year. I cast all my cares upon You. I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet. Please give me the strength I need to help me in coping with the stress of a new baby. Please give me the spirit of endurance. Give me wisdom. Give me understanding. Guide me. And help me to take proper care of my baby. Amen.”
Key Points to Remember
If you’re coping with a new baby, don’t forget that
- you may not connect with the baby from the start;
- baby does not need a bath every day; bathing him once or twice a week is enough;
- you can make baby cry less by carrying him in a sling whilst you do light household chores; and
- by letting God help you to deal with frustrations.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Isaac Yaw Asiedu Nunoofio