Coping with a new baby – nothing will change
In one of my jobs in my previous life as a secretary, most of my colleagues were young people, the majority male, who were at that age when they find the love of their life, settle down, buy a house and start a family. Towards the end of the pregnancy of their beloved, they would start to get nervous, jumping up every time the phone rang (this is pre-mobile phones), and of course they all assured us that “nothing was gonna change” in their lifestyle just because of the arrival of a little one… yeah right…
And then – lo and behold – they’re a Dad. First and immediate change: from boisterous YUP to extremely proud and over-concerned dad: showing baby pictures to EVERYONE (whether interested or not, didn’t matter), talking nappies including unwanted details about baby’s digestive system… And … ehm… yeah… lifestyle might perhaps have altered just a tiny teenie weenie little bit after all… the impact of lack of sleep plus all the care the sweet little bub needs was not entirely anticipated. Anyway, who needs to go out when they’ve got such a little miracle at home?!
Friends of ours actually did try the “nothing will change in our lifestyle” tactic. They took their firstborn literally everywhere. They even proudly reported how the dad changed tiny baby’s nappy whilst remaining at the table in a restaurant (baby on his lap)! Somehow I’ve got a funny feeling some of the other guests might not have appreciated that greatly… Mind you, things did change once their eldest started crawling and walking, and certainly when nrs 2, 3 etc. came along, haha.
Of course a new baby means a huge change, there is a new person to get used to and vice versa. The thing is that you simply cannot predict how it will be and how it will affect your life. You might have the perfect baby that does everything according to the text book. Or your baby might have missed the instructions and have trouble settling, could be colicky, or maybe your baby doesn’t sleep and takes a bit longer to get into their circadian rhythm.
Feeding can sometimes be a bit awkward in the beginning. You wanted to breastfeed, but sometimes breastfeeding just doesn’t work and it is better for you and your baby to switch to formula.
Take your time to get used to this lovely new bundle of joy, the little miracle that came into your life. Most people are able to follow their instincts and take to it very naturally. If you encounter any difficulties or have any doubts, contact your midwife or GP, there is always help available.
To help the bonding process and also to help new parents feel more confident, regular baby massage can work wonders! It will help you get used to handling your baby and has many more benefits for your baby and for you, see other posts on this website.