how to look after yourself when you’ve got a young baby

Every parent falls in love with their baby at first sight. Often even before the baby is born. But loving your baby doesn’t mean being a parent isn’t exhausting. 

Whether you are a new parent or not, there are days when your baby won’t stop crying, and your patience will be getting thin. Don’t let it convince you that you are a bad parent. On the contrary, you need to be kind to yourself too. Having a baby is a 24/7 job that requires your full attention most of the time. You need to figure out what your child is trying to communicate, why they are crying, what they need, and much more. You don’t feel like you’ve got time to look after yourself when you’re stuck with changing diapers, feeding your baby, and trying to soothe their discomfort. 

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Make time to eat

Did you know that new mothers are more likely to lose weight during the first months after having a baby? It should be a crucial time for recovery, as your body goes through a lot during pregnancy and birth. Unfortunately, many mothers struggle to keep up regular and balanced meals during that time. Indeed, when you need to care for your baby, it’s easy to forget about yourself. However, regular meals are essential in building back your fitness, strength, and health. We appreciate that it can be tricky to prepare a meal and eat. But you can find quick and easy options, such as this smart chicken shawarma, which you can hold in your hand while feeding your baby. 

Make time to sleep

By the time they reach 3 to 4 months, most babies can sleep at least 5 hours at a time, which means you can get a break. But before that point, it can be tricky to get enough sleep. There is no parenting journey without eyes rimmed with tiredness and dark rings. However, you need to catch up on sleep to function, both mentally and physically. There is no magic spell to solve the problem. But you can find tricks to sneak in some hours of zzz, such as trying to sleep when your baby is asleep and creating a rest schedule with your partner. 

Just make time to be you

As much as you love your baby, you also need to reserve time for yourself. It’s easy to lose yourself in your responsibilities and life as a parent. But, you need to acknowledge how stressful and exhausting the situation can be for you. Carving out a few precious hours where you can be yourself is not selfish. It is indispensable for your mental health to switch off from time to time and recharge your batteries. You needn’t feel guilty about asking for help. Remind yourself that it is okay to leave your baby with the grandparents or a reliable childminder for an afternoon while you go to town, book a pampering appointment, or simply catch up with friends. You are allowed to be yourself and do things you enjoy too. 

As a new mother, you might feel overwhelmed at times. Looking after a baby is tiring. When you try to function on lack of sleep, food, and mental rest, you are more likely to feel stressed, depressed, and weak. Your baby deserves a strong mother, and that’s why you have every right to look after yourself too.

** This was a contributed post.

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to four (three on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
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