New Parent? Don’t Forget That Self-Care Is Essential for You and Baby!

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New parents can easily get caught up in the to-do lists, diaper changes, feeding schedule, and everything else that comes with having a newborn in the house. But you have to remember that self-care benefits both you and your baby. Here’s advice on the importance of self-care when you’re a new parent.

Putting Yourself First

As a new parent, you realize that suddenly your world is both smaller and bigger all at once. This brand-new life becomes your focus and your entire universe, and you want to protect your new baby. But that little addition to the family is going to take a lot out of you, and you've got to take the time to replenish your own resources, or you won't be able to give your baby everything they need. According to Parents magazine, you need to maintain a balanced life to maintain a joyful life.

It's extremely hard for parents to put themselves first, or even to think of their own needs, but you have to take the time every day to do this. Don't forget to take care of yourself physically by

eating right, getting rest, and exercising. According to BabyCenter, you need to take frequent breaks for your own health. Everyone needs a little downtime, even new parents.

Don't Forget Your Other Needs

You have a lot of physical needs that you need to focus on but don't forget your other needs. You should also connect socially with friends. Take time to acknowledge, feel, and express your own emotions. Get intellectual stimulation by reading, meditate to relax, and work on your hobbies. All of your needs matter, and they all deserve to be addressed.

Dealing With Stress

Newborns bring a lot of joy into your life, but they also bring a lot of stress. New parents often worry about whether they're doing the right things, feeding the baby correctly, diapering properly, and managing all those little chores the way a good parent should. Stress can bog you down in negative thoughts, drain your energy, and make you physically less healthy.

Make sure you're getting plenty of sleep. And when you need it, ask for help. It's okay to acknowledge that you can't do everything alone because you can't. Make it a point to reduce your stress and deal with it in a healthy, positive way. Don't turn to alcohol or drugs to manage your stress, to keep yourself awake, to boost your mood, or to get an extra burst of energy. This is a slippery slope that can lead to addiction, and then you really won't be able to be an effective parent in any way. Substances hamper your judgement, and they very often lead to addiction and abuse, which will only take you away from your child.

Self-Care for You and Your Baby

If you aren’t taking proper care of yourself, then you can’t give your best to your new baby. Make sure you include self-care as part of your parenting routine so you can decrease stress, stay healthy, and set a positive example for your child. Self-care isn’t just for you; it’s also what’s best for your baby, too.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Blog Submitted to The Newborn Care Agency by Ashley Taylor from disabledparents.org