To be honest, becoming a new parent is not easy. There are many surprises that come with it and many changes to your life. It’s difficult to know how best to handle the stress of this transition– I mean, where do you even start?
You might feel like you’re losing control over your life or that there’s no time for yourself anymore. You might want things back the way they were before the baby came along (and yet simultaneously know that those days will never come again). And if your partner is anything like mine, he just wants me to stop talking about our problems so we can enjoy being parents together!
But there are many ways to ease parenting anxiety for new parents-especially if you have an older child or children already. Here is some expert advice. It worked for me and I hope it will also work for you to decrease your anxiety.
In This Article
1. My baby isn’t stopping crying:
Every time my baby cries (like 2,000 times a day!), I get stressed out. It’s natural for new parents to feel this way as they learn how much responsibility is on their shoulders when caring for and loving an infant.
Still, with just a little bit more experience, you’ll be able to relax knowing that even if things do not go perfectly in response right away, it won’t hurt or harm your child at all as long as they does not have any health issues related crying such as apnea which leads many doctors prescribing medication during infancy rather than dealing directly with the problem.
“As stressful as it is right now, you’ll soon realize that your baby won’t die from crying, and even if you can’t respond immediately, it will not harm her,” says pediatrician Jennifer Shu, MD. She is the co-author of Heading Home with Your Newborn (American Academy of Pediatrics).
“That realization was essential to my sanity.” says Lori Smith, Maryland. “I was afraid that if I didn’t pick up my son right away, I would ruin his life. But that meant I never had time to do anything. Finally, I put him in his portable baby swing outside the bathroom so I could keep an eye on him while showering. He howled the entire time, but it was nice to know that he could wait a few minutes and be okay—and that I still love him.” – Lori Smith, Maryland.
Also, don’t think that every time your newborn cries means that he is sad or distressed. Crying is a baby’s only way of expressing himself and communicating to their parents that something is wrong, especially when they are suddenly afraid or just sad for whatever reason.
Studies show that babies spend about two hours a day crying! Sometimes it might be for hunger, tiredness, discomfort, or no reason at all. Unless the crying is due to hunger or any other discomfort, it is fine to let your baby cry for a while if you are feeling anxious.
2. I Resent My Own Baby- Sometimes I Feel Like This:
When babies aren’t sleeping through the night, parents can feel resentment towards their child and not know how to deal with those feelings. It’s perfectly healthy to think about these issues because you’re taking care of this new little person 24/7. Lots of parenting advice, do whatever works for you! Don’t beat yourself up if mommy guilt sets in – everyone feels it at times!
“I’m sure he’s a cute, helpless newborn. I can’t help but grumble about having to cater to his every whim – feeding him around the clock, frequent diaper changes. Then I become guilty for thinking such things. Help me!” If this sounds familiar, “First, take a deep breath and accept that we’ve all felt this way,” says Amy A. Vincent, the founder of Amy Baby Review and a mother of three who lives in Sacramento, California.
“It’s absolutely true,” Dr. Saltz adds. “Many women believe they should be filled only with love and happiness while performing these activities — but then feel guilty when they aren’t. But we’re talking about hard labor here! Almost every mother feels some degree of ambivalence toward in reality.”
3. I’m Sleep Deprived:
Sometimes sleep deprivation does happen because the baby won’t sleep through the night. It can also be caused by a newborn who needs lots of attention and cares to stay healthy, which isn’t always easy when you are also dealing with a lack of sleep.
Every baby book and all pediatrician say, “sleep when your baby sleeps”. Now you may be wondering if it’s daytime now. And how can I fall asleep at this odd hour when the sun is shining on my head?
“If you’re not a napper, that’s fine; there are other methods to get rest,” says Meir Kryger, MD, director of research and education at Gaylord Sleep Medicine, in Wallingford, Connecticut.
4. My house is a mess when the newborn comes to our house:
When a new baby comes into our home, it is hard to keep it clean. The new baby should have everything it needs, so I can not spend much time cleaning.
“It’s better to hire someone for the cleaning. I was embarrassed to spend the money on it, but it was well worth it in terms of my stress and sanity.” says Drew, a mom of two. “Every day comes with a new challenge for my husband and me, but this is our big family dream so I don’t want to miss it. After our first daughter was born last year, we knew that we wanted another child, so now she has a sister.”
“Consider it an investment in your kid rather than a selfish expenditure. You’ll be able to spend time with her instead of dusting and vacuuming, so think of it as such”, says Barnhill.
If you can’t afford to hire a professional, try doing a little job at a time. “I cleaned in 15-minute segments while my son napped,” says Liz Campbell of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. “And I decided to focus and clean only on the most visible areas of the house.”
5. I’m worried about my marriage:
It seems like more new parents are headed for divorce these days – especially if they have financial problems or lack support from family members. Newborns take up so much time, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore other issues in your relationship, such as money management. Also, don’t forget sex is important too! No one wants to feel unwanted by their partner.
6. I Need a Breastfeeding Break:
I never thought I’d say this, but working and breastfeeding is hard! It’s such a double-edged sword: you want your child to have the healthiest start possible in life, but you also need some semblance of a work/life balance so that baby doesn’t turn into a “baby food manufacturing plant” sitting on your boob all day long.
If you look exhausted, you can suggest your partner spend some time with the baby or having his mother come over so you can get some rest. Or if you are so stressed, you better go out, have drinks or dinner with friends or go shopping. Once you return home, you’ll feel so much better.
All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.