How to Adjust to a Newborn

 The addition of a baby to a family brings joy, wonder and delight. It also brings changes, some anticipated -- like formula and diapers -- and some completely unexpected. Even the most informed parents may be taken aback at the huge impact their tiny bundle has on their lives. Besides the profound effect a newborn can have on the parents' relationship, they have to cope with baby's feeding schedule, sleeping schedule, and often, frequent crying. In addition, they're learning or testing out new skills: diapering, bathing, swaddling, burping, mixing bottles, rocking, soothing and lullabye-singing. And with each new skill comes new and perplexing questions: Is this diaper on tight enough? What kind of wipes should I use? Do I need to use baby powder? How am I supposed to wash my hands while I'm holding my baby? And that's just diapering!

 Adjusting to life with a newborn baby can be quite challenging. But as you struggle through the early days, keep in mind that billions of parents before you have faced some of the same difficulties and prevailed. In this article, we'll impart some advice that's stood the test of time in the following sections:

  • Parenthood: Changes and Support Groups We will explain some of the differences you can expect on a day-to-day basis now that you have a newborn, including your changing relationship with your spouse. This section will explore the difficulties that face you in your role as a parent, and how these difficulties will affect the quantity and quality of time you spend with your partner. We will offer tips on dealing with your own frustrations and coming to understand your partner's. In addition, we will cover the benefits of social and/or educational groups for first-time parents will be discussed.
  • Sleep Disruptions for Parents We will review the physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that you will face as a new parent. Because sleep deprivation so often accompanies the first days and weeks of parenthood, we will provide guidelines to surviving without enough sleep and catching up on your shut-eye. We will also suggest some lifestyle adjustments that may aid you in coping with your exhaustion, such as ignoring the clock, enjoying small luxuries, and allowing housework to slide during this difficult time period.
  • Modifying Your Expectations We will help you review your priorities and rearrange them to fit your new lifestyle. We'll look at each of your roles -- parent, husband or wife, homemaker, employee – and examine the changes to each that may develop. This section recommends lightening your usual housework load, and suggests methods for maintaining your home and serving nutritious meals. We'll also discuss time-saving tips to help you optimize the day's activities with your baby. Plus, we'll talk about your social life and how to continue friendships while adjusting to your new schedule.
  • New Roles for Fathers We transport dads to the 21st century with a look at the evolution of fatherhood in recent generations. This section contains guidelines for both parents on including dad once the baby is born, and recognizing the feelings of apprehension and exclusion he may experience. There are ideas for alleviating dad's anxieties and pointers for moms who need to give more encouragement. In addition, you will find valuable suggestions for fathers who want to be more involved in their child's care, including tips from real fathers on efficient, productive parenting.

Adjusting to life with a newborn takes time and patience. Keep reading to learn about the new challenges you and your spouse will face.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.