It’s no surprise that a third of parents voted for ‘the newborn days’ as the most challenging period in parenting.
In a recent poll we hosted, voted by Mums and Dads, over a third (39%) of parents admitted that they found ‘the newborn stage’ the most challenging time in parenting. It was followed by the infamous ‘Terrible 2s’ – while ‘toddling’ and ‘weaning’ were considered less stressful.
To help new parents, we have compiled our top five tips for surviving the newborn days…
1.Get fresh air
The simple pleasure of leaving the house to get fresh air is not to be overlooked. There’s something about mingling with the outside world and having fresh air and sunlight that is Mother Nature’s pick-me-up! One Mum said on Twitter “get out for a stroll in the fresh air daily with baby.” @theditzymum
2. Don’t struggle with breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding can be challenging for some women and the impact of that stress can affect the wellbeing of Mother and baby. If you’re struggling to breastfeed then your local NCT can offer advice and maybe direct you to a lactation specialist. At the same time, if you want to bottle feed then go right ahead. There’s only one right answer – and that’s what’s best for you.
3. Don’t force yourself to sleep when baby sleeps
This works in theory, but ask anyone who’s ever tried to do it and they will tell you otherwise! Unless it comes naturally, instead of putting pressure on yourself to force sleep, use the time to do something that makes you feel better. Whether that’s eating a tub of ice-cream, catching up on Facebook, getting around to watching The Crown on Netflix, or maybe even just washing your hair! This is your time to indulge.
4. Try and eat well.
Food seems to be considered a ‘luxury’ at this time, but should be viewed as a priority. Good nutritious food can make you feel better on the inside and outside. A new book out by Neal’s Yard entitled ‘Eat Beautiful’ is a great starting point, with lots of manageable recipes and guidance on foods that can restore your vitality. If you have less time, then Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘Goop’ has lots of great healthy dishes worth trying out.
5.Find solace in the parenting community.
It’s good to talk – to share experiences and to find likeminded Mums and Dads going through the same as you. You can find solace at your local soft play, nursery or play group, or, as many parents do – online. From parent blogs such as Milk Drunk Diary to Mumsnet – or why not even set one up yourself. You’ll be amazed at how many other people are up at 3am with you!
Sophia, editor of Milk Drunk Diary, said:
“It’s no surprise that the newborn weeks are considered the hardest time by parents. The lack of sleep, the struggle to establish breastfeeding for some, and the unknown world of having a newborn – all while dealing with recovering from childbirth. It can make for a very overwhelming time.”
The poll, which received hundreds of votes on Milk Drunk Diary’s twitter page, also received a number of comments from parents about the difficulties of the teenage years too, including:
@traceycwilliams said: “No option for the teenage years as that is definitely the hardest”
@x_walter said: “Terrible 2s! My kids are 4 & 2 & wind each other up constantly. Potty training is my least favourite parenting aspect too!”
@mseBBW said: “Was sooooo hard to choose between terrible 2s and newborn but lack of sleep just swayed it.”
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