Happy Mother's Day! Here's Our Top 10 Tips For New Moms (And Dads)!
05/11/2012 | 04:06 PM
The experience of being a new parent is a challenging one. But no matter what your parenting style choices are, these simple but important tips will definitely help you along.
- Work Together for Sleep: Sleep deprivation is, without a doubt, one of the hardest challenges of new parenthood. When you lack sufficient sleep, you are less alert, more easily frustrated, and moodier. Get your partner on board early and make sure you come up with a team plan that allows you both to get your much-needed rest.
- Take Care of You: Babies are needy, but mommies (and daddies) need special care too. Be sure to eat well, focusing on healthy, whole foods and lots of fresh water, especially if you are breastfeeding. Welcome those home-cooked meals from family members and friends - you'll need the extra nutritional boost and the stress relief! Take time to build exercise and down time into your daily routine, even if it's just a few minutes every day.
- Spend Time with your Partner: The world revolves around baby, but if you neglect your relationship with your partner the whole family will suffer. Find a way to create special time to connect and support each other. Remember to catch up on happenings and event s outside of diapers and feedings!
- Find Support: Connecting with other parents is one of the most essential - and most overlooked - tips for new parents. It is very easy to feel alienated or isolated, particularly if you are making more natural, holistic lifestyle choices. Find other parents through a support group and make it a priority to participate.
- Be Flexible: Babies are unpredictable. Planning a busy day according to the clock is likely to go awry with a little one in tow. Babies get hungry when they hungry, need diaper changes or naps when they do, without much of schedule. Be prepared to be flexible and you will be much less stressed about the rhythm of your days, especially with a newborn.
- Trust your Instincts: Even new parents have strong instincts about their children. Don't dismiss them with doubt. If you think your child is not well or in pain, trust your instinct and get help. Even on less common preferences and tastes, if you feel something is or isn't working for your child; trust your instincts because they are remarkably accurate.
- Take Advice with a Grain of Salt: There is no one right parenting style that fits every single parent. You and your family will find their own groove, but along the way you will get truckloads of advice. What works for one family may not work for yours. Listen and be grateful for the suggestions and then follow the path that suits you best.
- Take a Nightly Sleep Peek: Babies are little angels when they are sleeping. No matter how wonderful or frustrating your day, take a little peek at your babe when he/she is sleeping and remember how angelic and peaceful the moment is. Some days you will need the reminder!
- Be Forgiving: We all make mistakes, especially in our new parenting journeys. Remember that your partner isn't perfect and neither are you. Be forgiving, especially of yourself, and take each day as a learning opportunity.
- Throw Perfection Out the Door: Yes, your house will be messy. Your laundry will pile up and you may not find time to shower. Say goodbye to perfection and hello to "good enough" for a while. It's okay to let things slide when you have your hands full. Spending quality time with your little one will always take priority. Own it and show perfectionist standards the way out.
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A leading voice in the natural parenting movement, Nancy Massotto, Ph.D, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Holistic Moms Network, and mother to two boys. An articulate and knowledgeable writer and speaker on holistic living, natural parenting, and eco-conscious lifestyles, she shares her passion with a wide variety of audiences as a presenter and author. She is passionate about empowering women, supporting mothers, and raising her children as naturally and sustainably as she can.