8 Don't sweat it tips for new parents

Story by Sarah Lyons

Having a baby is one of the most exciting and anticipated moments in a parent’s life. You’ve prepared the nursery, installed the car seat, read parenting books, and now it’s time to bring your baby home to start a new life together. This season is fun and exciting but also exhausting and overwhelming. Adjusting to a new infant at home takes time, but there’s no need to sweat some things as you enjoy your baby and figure out your new normal.


A neat and clean house is a nice thing to have, but the thing about housework is that it never goes away. Once you get the house clean, it’s messy again. While you enjoy your new baby, try to let some of the cleaning go. Do the bare minimum while you rest, recover and recuperate from birth and snuggle your newborn.


Immediately after bringing home Baby is not the time to cook elaborate meals — or sometimes any meals at all. However, you do need to eat regular and nutritious meals, so keep it simple. Stock the pantry with items that are quick and easy to eat while you care for the baby. Wendy Haviland, mom of two, says, “I prepared freezer meals before the baby was born so I had something to put in the oven or crock pot when I was tired from taking care of a newborn.” You can also ask friends to set up a meal train where family and friends can bring dinner during the first few days after the birth of your baby. This will eliminate the need to shop and cook while you are recovering.


Your health:
You are a parent now. Take care of yourself and your health so you can take good care of your baby.

When you are tired and busy, it can be easy to skip meals. Nursing and recovering moms need to eat healthy and regular meals.

Rest and recovery:
You may not be getting a lot of sleep, but you still need downtime for your body to recover and recuperate.

Babies grow up fast; enjoy your little one while he is still little.

Spoiling baby

When I first became a mom, I was warned that I shouldn’t hold my newborn too much or while he was sleeping because it might spoil him and then he would never sleep in his own bed or let me put him down for a few minutes. This is simply not true. There is no such thing as a spoiled baby. Newborns sleep most of the day and they find great comfort in being held. It also creates a strong bond between parent and child. There is no such thing as sleep training a newborn or spoiling a new baby. Enjoy as much cuddle time as you care to and let that worry go.


One old saying is true: Sleep when the baby is sleeping. This piece of advice really is one of the best you’ll receive. As a person who likes to keep busy, I found it hard to allow myself to take naps during the day. Once the exhaustion of being up most of the night nursing my newborn hit me, I decided to give myself permission to take doze when my baby does. Moms need rest, and your body needs time to recuperate after the stress of giving birth.

Accept help

It can be hard to accept help when you are used to doing everything yourself, but when you have a new baby at home any help offered can be a huge blessing. Take people up on their offers to bring meals, help with older children’s carpool or clean the house. And don’t just have them do the quick, easy chores you can keep up with. Let them vacuum the house, do laundry and wash dishes — all tasks that seem to pile up quickly. While you have help, jump in the shower, take a nap or run a much-needed errand. People offer to help because they want to. You can always pay it forward when you find your new normal.

Take turns

New moms, especially those who breastfeed, easily get overtired. As much as possible, share the task of caretaking with your partner. Some moms will find it hard to pass the baby care to their husbands, but dads often feel left out and want to jump in. He may not do things exactly as you do, but that's okay. As long as Baby is clean, fed and happy, there’s nothing to stress over. Sharing the load also gives Dad time to bond with Baby as well.

Take a break

Having a new baby can be physically and emotionally taxing. It is okay to admit you need a break sometimes. If you feel overwhelmed, schedule a time your spouse or a friend can take care of the baby while you step out of the house for a bit. Breastfeeding moms may find it difficult to get away for extended periods, but even taking a break for an hour or two can do a lot to improve your mood.

Be flexible

When you are adjusting to having a new baby, realize it will take a while to find your routine again. When planning an outing, think ahead. Pack extra diapers, clothes for you and the baby and anything else you might need. Be prepared to feed Baby on the go if needed. Also accept that sometimes an outing will not go as well as planned; heading home early is okay. Be flexible and go easy on yourself when it comes to taking Baby out for the first time and when trying to get things done around the house. This is normal and will get easier in time.

Adding a new family member is both exciting and disruptive. In time, you will adjust to your newborn and won’t be able to imagine your family without the new addition. In the meantime, give yourself, your spouse and your other children time to adjust to this big change. Use your time to focus on Baby and let less important stuff wait for later. No need to sweat it!