A first baby is the single most life-changing moment for anyone. Nothing will ever be the same again and that can be quite daunting for even the most confident woman. There are some things you can do to ease the transition to motherhood. This article gives some suggestions.
First Things First
Get to know your new baby. Each one will respond differently, so take your time and find out what works for your family, whether that is just you and your baby or your partner and several other children. It won’t be long before you recognise what the different cries mean.
Dress The Part
Few people have a wardrobe as extensive as a newborn. People you didn’t think you knew will send cards and gifts, often clothes, for your new arrival. While it might be practical for her to wear all-in-one baby-gros to start with, you need to consider your own wardrobe, too. It will take some time for you to regain your figure, so don’t expect to fit back into your skinny jeans immediately. Some comfortable, flattering breastfeeding clothes would probably be a good idea, too.
For many women, one of the hardest parts of motherhood is the loss of control over your schedule. Many had a career before pregnancy and planned their day rigorously. Throw your diary away someone else is in charge now and they laugh in the face of your schedule!
Plan to leave the house an hour before you actually need to leave. Yes, that long. You won’t feel stressed out if your baby decides she wants a feed. Or if she needs a full change.
Always allow extra time. Think how much time a journey used to take you and now double it. Then add some contingency time!
Prepare As You Go
Make things as easy for yourself as possible. There is nothing worse in the middle of the night than having a screaming baby wanting to be fed and realising that there is no water boiled and no clean bottle.
Wash bottles as you go
Keep boiled water in a designated bottle, ready to go
Make yourself a nappy-changing station downstairs as well as in the nursery
Make Time For Yourself
We all need time to ourselves, to order our thoughts and ‘regroup.’ Make sure you get some time to yourself, even if you don’t leave the house. Arrange for someone else to listen out for the baby crying and relax.
Have a hot bath
Read a while with a hot cup of tea.
Get some sleep
Go and get your hair cut . . .
. . . Or your nails done
Above all, trust your instincts. Just as every adult is different, so too is every baby. It can be helpful to hear advice from well-meaning friends, family and health-professionals, but ultimately, no-one knows your baby like you do. No-one else will be there in the middle of the night with helpful hints when your baby is crying, so trust yourself that you are doing the right thing for your baby.
The Author writes regularly on pregnancy and baby-related topics for various websites and blogs. She has two children of her own and juggles motherhood with a writing career.