For new parents, second-time parents, third-time parents, and more, it’s always important but also extremely difficult to take care of yourself when the new baby comes home. You may have plans to stay on top of things with a newborn, but even the best plans can quickly come apart when meeting the demands of an adorable, demanding babe.
While the first few months will be filled with sleepless nights and meeting the constant needs of an infant, you can find a few ways to meet your own needs, too. While everything probably won’t go according to plan, keeping a few tips in mind can help you in those stressful moments.
By committing to taking any time for self-care when you can, you’ll be more likely to take a break when you need one.
These are some tips that other parents have used to carve out some time for self-care.
Asking For Help Is Admirable
New parents, especially new moms, face a lot of judgment and pressure to be perfect. It might seem stressful or shameful to ask for assistance, but everybody needs help sometimes. You’re more likely to create a healthy, safe environment for yourself and your kids if you reach out and use support systems.
Luckily, there are many resources out there. You can set up help from your immediate support system ahead of time, such as talking to friends and family if they are willing to babysit.
There are also likely classes in your own community where you can learn parenting skills or connect with other parents. There are many online resources where you can get everything from lactation support who work with your insurance to provide in-home, in-office, or telehealth appointments with an IBCLC, to tips on helping a fussy baby fall asleep.
Some Specific Self-Care Tips
Here are some helpful self-care tips from experts to try after you bring a new baby home:
- Indulge yourself: There is lots of good advice on how to stay healthy and make good choices, but it’s actually good to indulge sometimes. If you’re stressed, it’s okay to eat a cupcake or take yourself to a favorite restaurant.
- Look into mental health resources: While many self-care tips can seem trite, taking care of yourself goes beyond just daily routines. So, while some of these tips are more typical, the best self-care is looking after yourself long-term. See about therapy options around you, even if you’re not having a super difficult time.
- Get some outdoor time: WebMD also stresses the importance of getting outside. If your baby is upset, sometimes going on a walk can help them settle. But, you can also take some alone time to go on a short hike or just sit in a park. This is an excellent way to find some peace and quiet.
- Socialize with friends: It’s easy to let other relationships fall to the wayside when you have a baby, and good friends will understand that you won’t be as available for a time. But, it’s also good for you to call a friend now and then or meet up even for a short time.
As with all advice for parents, what works for someone else might not work for you. It’s okay to let go of any advice that isn’t helpful and to embrace what helps you feel happy and healthy.
A Final Note On Overall Health For New Parents
If one parent is doing most of the child care, they must have alone time to meet their emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs.
It’s also essential that parents do what they can to get enough sleep, drink enough water, and get some physical activity. While none of these things are easy, reach out to a lactation consultant or find groups in your area to help you along the way.