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Getting used to Baby

by Rebecca Garland

Pregnancy is an amazing thing. It prepares both baby and mother for impending birth, and gives you nine months to get used to the idea. By the end of the nine months, most parents are beyond ready for the pregnancy stage to end and they are most assuredly ready to meet their new baby. What catches many parents off guard however, is not the overwhelming love they feel for their baby, but how truly unprepared they were to deal with the mysteries of a newborn.

Who is This Creature?
No matter how long your stay in the hospital after delivery, the newness of it all will shock you when you get home. The hospital or birthing center is full of qualified medical people that know exactly what to do when your new baby cries, sleeps, spits up or makes a funny face. Once your new baby is put into the car with you for the ride home, you are virtually on your own. Nothing will make this point clearer than walking into your home with your newest family member in tow.

The world that previously revolved around you shifts completely to the little wonder. You love him to death, but you feel lost when he has trouble latching on or spits up what seems like his entire feeding.

There is no button to push to call a nurse or lactation expert when you have a question. Daily reassurances from doctors are long gone and now you are in charge. This can be overwhelming for even the most capable individuals.

The Slow Adjustment
It is perfectly normal to adjust to parenthood at different rates. While one parent might seem to be a natural after the first few days, the other may take a few more days, weeks, or even months to feel comfortable around the little tyrant that has completely stolen your heart. The trick to keeping calm during the transition to parenthood is to focus on your love for the baby and ask for help when needed.

The first week at home is the hardest. Your old normal is gone and seemingly overnight you are on a new schedule and at the mercy of a single cry. Your own sleep and meals are dictated by baby’s sleep and meals. Like anything new, it will take awhile to settle into a new routine or no routine at all, as the case may be. Knowing that your partner is experiencing the same thing can be reassuring, so be sure to lean on him or her when you feel you need a boost.

Freedom Issues
One thing new parents have trouble getting used to is the overall loss of freedom. Spur of the moment trips to the movies or to a favorite restaurant are still feasible, but much more complicated. Lazy days lounging in bed are a thing of the past unless you’ve been blessed with a very easy going baby. Sleeping in takes on a whole new meaning and your pleasure reading suddenly has more to do with infant development issues and potty training – if you even have time to read, that is.

While the limitations and complications of a new baby may be overwhelming at first, you will eventually settle into your new life. Best of all, any stress or resentment you feel about the more unexpected aspects and emotions of parenting will fade quickly with time. It is normal to get upset or frustrated as you get used to your baby, but when you’re least expecting it, things will just click into place and you will simply be unable to even imagine your life any other way.

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