6 survival tips for new mums and dads
Before your little one arrived, you probably had a vision of what life with a baby would be like – but the reality might be quite different. While they can fill your world with joy, babies can also take a lot out of their parents. Everything is unknown and there can be an overwhelming array of advice, so it’s not surprising there are some stressed-out mums and dads. But there are no perfect parents, and as time goes by you’ll start to gain confidence and trust your instincts when it comes to caring for your baby.
You’re not alone. It’s a good idea to talk to other parents – they have been through those early days, and their experiences may reassure you that you can trust your own way, too.
We asked some real parents how they coped during those early days.
Charlie, dad of two.
“There is a lot of guidance out there on ‘how to parent’, but I think it’s ultimately what works for you and the kids – as long as they’re safe and healthy, it shouldn’t matter what others think”
Sally, mum of two.
“If all else fails, I have a good cry. It’s not a sign of weakness or that I’m not coping. Being a mum can be tough sometimes and it helps me to have a bit of a release and move on”
Andy, dad of one.
“It’s natural to sometimes feel alone as parents, so try to support each other. Each night, we share our moments of the day, learning from them to make things better next time”
Garen, dad of two.
“If you're going through a hard time with your baby – whether it’s feeding problems, colic, sleepless nights – try to remember it’s just a phase, and you’re there to help them through it with as much patience and understanding as you can muster!”
Chris, dad of one.
“Newborn babies sleep a lot – but are also constantly waking up. There’s a good chance they’re hungry, but if it’s not that and they’re still struggling to sleep, try white noise. It’s remarkably soothing, for the baby and the parents!”
Carolyn, mum of three.
“After a day home alone with my baby, bathtime can sometimes feel like a big hurdle. To help me deal with it, I put on my favourite song – really loudly – and jump around the house. It gives me an energy boost and makes me smile”