How to Care for Your New Baby Without Forgetting Self-Care for You
If you are a new parent, your little bundle can bring you so much joy. But caring for your little one can also bring you a lot of stress. That’s why it is important for all moms and dads to develop self-care routines that fit in with their new schedule. Need some help finding your own rhythm? Here are a few ways you can relieve stress, even with a newborn at home.
Don’t Let Stress Rob You of Precious Sleep
It’s normal for new moms and dads to lose a little sleep. Babies tend to sleep and eat on their own schedule, so it can take time to adjust to your new routine. But when your lack of sleep is due to stress, you shouldn’t wait before finding a good solution for taming tension, especially when you can lessen the stress you feel by creating a soothing space in your bedroom. Your bedroom should serve as a sleep haven, so try to clear out as much clutter as you can to cut through the chaos. Since you will likely sleeping at all times of the night and day, you may want to hang a pair of blackout curtains to block out the sun for those all-important daytime naps. Catching a few ZZZs during the daylight hours is a great way to recharge your energy levels. Plus, some people may feel more relaxed at night if they can get in a little nap during the afternoon hours.
Put Down Those Processed Foods and Eat Healthy Options
As a busy, tired parent, you may turn to processed snacks to keep your tummy halfway happy. Those quick meals can be loaded with ingredients that can actually rob you of energy and ruin your mood. Sugar, caffeine and white flour are all stress-inducing ingredients that new parents should avoid if at all possible. Instead of reaching for sweets and opting for fast food, try spending one day a week prepping some healthy make-ahead options. Fueling your body with whole grains and lean protein will give you the energy boost you need to power through your parenting responsibilities. For new moms who are nursing, lactation snacks can be stocked as quick, grab-and-go meals that will provide the added support your body needs right now.
Find Small Ways to Get Moving Throughout the Day
A little daily activity is essential for maintaining your health, but it can also give new parents more energy. You should ideally aim for around 150 minutes of mild exercise each week, which can be broken down into smaller increments during each day. For new moms, getting in some postpartum exercise can be as easy as going for a stroller walk with your newborn or doing some easy workouts at home. Don’t be afraid to start out slowly and build your routine up from there. Another smart workout idea for stressed-out parents is yoga. You can practice for only 10 minutes to reduce stress and increase strength throughout your body.
Make a Little Time to Truly Focus on Yourselves
While infants need a generous amount of attention from their parents, it’s also important for stressed-out moms and dads to take small breaks throughout the day. Spend a few minutes practicing stress-relieving tactics that will work for you. Depending on the amount of time you have, you could take a warm shower or bath, or connect with a friend. For those times when you can’t seem to catch a longer break, some deep breathing can help you unwind as well. If those packed days never seem to lighten up, you may also want to hire in-home help. Even having part-time assistance with childcare, cooking or cleaning can help you make more time for the crucial self-care you need as a new parent. Look into hiring one of our Postpartum Doulas!
Just as your new baby needs your love, you need self-care to relieve your stress. No matter how tired or busy you may be, set aside some time to eat healthy, get exercise, and relax and rest every single day. Your health and happiness depend on it!
Guest post by Daisy Jones of Safestbaby.org
Photo Credit: Pexels