With a new baby comes many new changes. Our expert advice will help you to adjust to your new role as parents.
When you have a baby almost every aspect of life as you know it will change. Obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Laura E Stachel gives the following advice on behalf of Fisher-Price on what parents should expect from their new role.
It can be hard to maintain an active social life as your infant grows. A date may become a night at home, ordering take-aways and watching a movie. If most of your friends are childless, you may find your interests drifting in different directions. While your friends discuss current events and good books, you may be more focused on baby supplies and developmental milestones. You may begin to make friends with other parents and plan child-friendly outings. And time as a couple will be interrupted by your child’s needs.
You need to provide food, clothing, nappies and 24-hour care for your child, which requires appropriate budgeting. If you both work, you need to find reliable day care, and have back-up plans for when your child is ill.
You have to attend to your child’s daily needs for food, cleanliness, rest and stimulation. Your days and nights are tuned to your baby’s biorhythms. You’re learning to function on less sleep than you have ever thought possible, which takes a physical and emotional toll. If you breastfeed, your body is physically responsible for your baby’s nutrition, which places further energy demands on you.
Although the demands of parenting can be overwhelming, you may feel an immense connection to the little being you’ve created, and experience a depth of love you have never known before. You may also feel a new kind of love for each other as partners. Your baby can force you to slow down in life, and appreciate each moment. As your child gains awareness of the world around him, you may begin to share his fascination with the shapes, colours, textures and sounds around you, and find satisfaction in watching your child develop.
Nothing may seem easy again. Shopping for food, doing the laundry, going to work, taking a shower and resting all needs to happen while caring for your baby. Sometimes getting yourself dressed and fed by the end of the day may feel like a major accomplishment. You may need to divide household chores between you and your partner, so that each of you can take turns caring for your baby. You may learn to multitask, delegate and become more organised, as you cope with the simultaneous demands of parenthood.
Eventually, you will adapt to your new role as parents, and it may be hard to remember what life was like before your baby was born.
*Fisher-Price parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, especially if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.