Take Care of Yourself, Too!

Mother kissing sleeping babyChanges in your hormones along with the rapid changes in your life can cause mood swings known as the “baby blues.” Babies bring a lot of joy and a big, 24-hour-a-day job. If you let yourself get too tired, the baby blues can turn into depression more easily. With the baby blues you will have periods of sadness and crying mixed with feelings of peace and joy. Take some time to reflect or daydream to enjoy the periods of peace and joy more. Try shaking off the periods of sadness by taking a nap, asking for help, or just getting out of the house for a while.

It’s natural for everyone to want to see your beautiful new baby. But, don’t feel like you have to entertain family or guests right away. Spend your energy on yourself, your family, and your new baby. Accept all the help you can get from your family and friends. An hour of baby-sitting while you rest or go out for a bit can give you a much-needed break. Don’t try to be a “super-parent.” No one expects this of you, especially your newborn. Peace of mind and happiness are far more important than a sparkling clean house. The following is a list of “treats” to help reduce the stresses that many new mothers face:

•  leave the beds unmade; if you think someone may drop by or an unmade bed bothers you, close the bedroom door
•  take a nap when your baby takes a nap
•  say “yes” the next time someone asks if they can help
•  say “maybe later” the next time someone asks if they can drop by
• go for a walk outside or at the mall
• read a good book
• get a manicure or pedicure or both!
•  make simple meals; simple can still be nutritious
•  simplify house work: cut out the chores that aren’t absolutely necessary; do the necessary chores less often
•  turn off the phone or let the answering machine get it while you rest

While caring for your newborn, trust your instincts, follow your pediatrician’s advice, and “when in doubt, check it out.” You can expect some frustration in the beginning, especially if this is your first baby and you are not sure of yourself or what to watch for. When people who love you see this frustration, it is natural for them to offer you advice about how to care for your baby. Sometimes it can be very hard for you to ignore the advice or not get angry and lash out. You can help ease your frustrations by practicing a little “in one ear and out the other.” Just smile and say, “I really appreciate the suggestion, but I want to follow my pediatrician’s advice.” Being a parent is both challenging and rewarding. Keep a positive outlook and your sense of humor.

Most of all—love and enjoy your new little one!
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Caring For Your Newborn Booklet

Caring For Your Newborn

Table of Contents
Caring Begins at Birth
Your Newborn’s Hospital Check-up
Ten Fingers and Ten Toes
Special Care for Your Newborn
When Your Newborn Cries
Changing Your Newborn’s Diaper
Feeding Your Newborn – breast or bottle feeding
Feeding Your Newborn – spit ups, weight gain, BMs
Bathing Your Newborn
Dressing Your Newborn
Shhh!! We’re Sleeping
Keeping Your Baby Safe
Your Newborn’s Admirers
Taking Your Newborn Out
If Your Newborn Gets a Cold
If You Have Questions
Well-baby Check-ups
When to Call Your Pediatrician
Take Care of Yourself, Too
Teddy Beat Drying