#2 START AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON
This is a concept found in the Babywise series and it is one that I have found to be very wise.
Yes, there are certain things that you’re going to have to do in order to just get through the day (or night).
However, for the most part, you really want to focus on making sure that the things you are making into habits now are things that you are happy to continue going forward.
There is DEFINITELY room for grace, but it needs to be balanced with reality.
I have snuggled all three of my children when they were tiny newborns. I held them as much as I could.
However, I still worked on independent sleep skills because I knew that it wasn’t realistic for me to have to rock them to sleep for every nap.
#3 WORK ON SLEEP
Speaking of sleep, let’s talk a bit about that.
You will get all sorts of advice about this topic as you edge closer towards the birth of your baby.
Take what you want and ignore the rest. There is not one right way to do things so don’t feel as though you have to take on board everything that you are told.
However, I will say that the one thing that I DO NOT regret doing is working on sleep right from the very beginning.
That’s right, during the newborn stage I started sleep training my babies.
Not in the way you may typically associate sleep training (left alone crying for hours), but in a gentle, nudging sort of way.
It was more about not allowing certain habits to form so that we wouldn’t have to break those habits down the line.
You’ll find this post about the newborn sleep hierarchy incredibly helpful when it comes to balancing teaching independent sleep skills with showing grace.
Don’t let the whole concept of working on sleep skills right from the early stages overwhelm you.
Things can be taught and habits can be broken later down the road, but it does tend to make everything a lot easier the earlier you begin.
#4 ACCEPT HELP & SUPPORT
Whether you are a first-time mum or a mother many times over accepting help is always important.
I think it does come down to certain personality types but I’m going to generalize here and say that we as women tend to take far too much upon ourselves.
If there is any time to readily accept help, it is when you become a mother. There is some deep truth in that old phrase:
It takes a village to raise a child.
There is no shame in accepting help and you will be a better mother for it. The job of raising a child is both a wonderful and a huge undertaking.
There are times when worry can be overwhelming. Allow others to share the responsibility with you and I assure you that the job will be made lighter.
Part of accepting help can mean asking for it.
This is fairly important to do before your child arrives. Sleep deprivation and hormones that are all over the place don’t often lead to clear thought processes and conversations.
Before your new addition arrives, sit down with your significant other and decide who is doing what.
Obviously, some things will cross over, but you can still have certain things assigned to each person.
For instance, when my second child was born, my husband assumed the majority of the care of our toddler son for the first several weeks while I was recovering and caring for our daughter.
He also stayed up late with her if she was unsettled so that I could get to bed earlier. Then, I was the one that got up to her during the night.
If you can decide who is going to be responsible for what before your child arrives it will lead to far fewer disagreements based on presumptions and sometimes unrealistic expectations.
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