Those of us who have had the privilege of being pregnant and having a new born baby, know that it is open house for advice on EVERYTHING pregnancy and child related. Most of it I listened to. I took on board what resonated with me, and what I didn’t like, I discarded (politely!). Of everything that I heard, read, and saw, there were two gems of info that stuck with me. It was something my husband said when we finally had our beautiful son, and something my sister shared on Facebook when I was pregnant. (And I do realise the irony of giving advice through this blog post, even though I have just said that EVERYONE loves to give unsolicited advice!)
The best piece of advice I received was from my darling husband. When we got home from hospital, he said to me “lets not put any pressure on ourselves at all. We have a brand new baby, so lets only try one new thing per day.”
One new thing per day! How brilliant is that. So the first day we just tried “being at home”. The second day we tried a bath. The third day we tried nappy off time. The fourth day we tried going for a drive in the car. The fifth day we tried our cloth nappies. And we kept going along like this for a couple of months. I don’t think we tried going for a walk in the pram until our bub was 2 or 3 weeks old!
This is a great idea for a few reasons: First it puts zero pressure on the parents to master everything at once. It is hard enough learning how to breast feed, and change nappies and even dress a new baby, plus combined with the sleep deprivation… One thing at a time is very manageable. However trying out one new thing a day does challenge new parents to extend themselves when they need too, so they are not tempted to hibernate and shut themselves away. Although if you do need to do that – that is ok too. We had a few days where our bub was more unsettled than normal so those days we just got through it, and then tried something new the next day.
Another reason it is a great idea is that the baby is not getting too over stimulated, or stressed out either. Everything they experience is new for them – they have just entered the world! And everyone knows, when the baby is happy and relaxed, so is everyone else.
This brings me to my next best piece of advice – stay tuned for it in the next blog post…