Your challenge: Don't ask us to pinch you. It really is true: The sweetest, cutest baby in the whole wide world really belongs to you! That means unlimited snuggles and kisses, but also the responsibility of meeting your newborn's needs. On paper, these are deceptively simple—food, love and care. In practice, though, it can be hard to know how to keep a newborn happy.
The solution: Cut yourself a break, parents. You are still getting to know baby and who you are in this new role of parenting. No one can have all the answers overnight, but there is a whole lot of beauty in the process of getting acquainted. In the meantime, it can help to feel equipped and supported as you're learning to navigate together.
Mastering feeding—and feeding and feeding: Whether you're breastfeeding or bottle feeding, the fact remains: Keeping baby's belly full can feel like a full-time job in the early days. Add to that the learning curve you are both experiencing, and it can be challenging. But the good news is every new parent has been in your place—and, as a result, us modern moms and dads have some great tools at our disposal. Make it your mission to figure out what makes feeding the most comfortable experience for you, whether with a nursing pillow, assistance from a lactation consultant or a state-of-the-art bottle warmer.
Getting the sleep you both need: It may seem like newborn babies spend more time sleeping than awake. That is until you are ready to sleep, too. For now, work on meeting both of your sleep needs by giving baby a safe, comfortable place to snooze so that you can doze off, too.
Making tummy time into bonding time: For newborns, tummy time is an important way to begin priming those trunk muscles for all the movement that is soon to come. They just may need a little encouragement during the tummy training sessions. Get down on the floor with baby's play gym to explain what they are seeing and cheer them on.
Confidently venturing out of the house: You didn't used to think twice about running out to the grocery store, but now it seems like a monumental task. Make an event out of it by enlisting your partner for backup—and know you can handle what comes your way, especially if you are prepared with a fully stocked diaper bag, a calming toy and snap-and-go stroller for easy transitions from the car.
Pro tip: Baby has been listening to (and loving!) your voice for months now. So even if you've never considered yourself much of a singer, now it time to put on a show with those lullabies.
You've got this.
Motherly + Kids 2 provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
The milestones presented are averages. Any questions you may have about your child's development should be shared with his or her doctor.
Return to Go2Guide: Life with a Newborn