3 Ways To Reduce The Anxiety Of Those First Few Weeks Of Being A Parent

Relationships & Family Blog

Becoming a parent for the first time is often a confusing mix of joy and anxiety. You probably can't wait to meet your precious baby, but there's also the worry of whether you're up to the job. You may feel weary from the weight of the responsibility that comes with being a parent, but don't let this new challenge overshadow one of the happiest events in your life.

Doing what you can to prepare for your transition to parenthood before your baby is born can help you feel more confident and settled in those early weeks in your new role. Here are three ways to reduce anxiety associated with bringing your little bundle home:

Educate Yourself On SIDS

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is likely one of your biggest worries right now. There's posters warning you about it in your obstetrician's office and your midwife seems intent on bringing it up as often as possible, but just thinking about it happening to your child can feel overwhelming.

Reading up on the causes and annual cases of SIDS is probably the last thing you feel like doing, but knowledge trumps fear. SIDS and Kids, a national not-for-profit organisation, provides a range of free resources on their website including a Fast Facts information sheet and advice on how to create a safe sleeping environment for your baby.

Tips for reducing the risk of SIDS include the following:

  • Keep your baby away from cigarette smoke before and after birth
  • Keep your baby in the same room as you for at least the first six months
  • Don't cover their head when putting them down to sleep
  • Position your baby with their feet at the foot of the cot to prevent them from wriggling down under the blankets
  • Keep cot bumpers, pillows and soft toys out of their cot
  • Always place your baby on their back

Make Some Healthy Freezer Meals

Are you worried about how you'll cope and keep your home functioning when you're getting little to no sleep? A little planning and preparation can go a long way to ensuring you don't burn out during those first few chaotic weeks.

Making and freezing some meals is a great way to ensure you continue to eat a healthy diet when you're too exhausted to cook and it'll save you valuable time when you're adjusting to a new routine. The following meals freeze well:

  • Lentil soup
  • Lasagne
  • Beef stew
  • Chicken curry
  • French toast
  • Quiche
  • Bean casserole

Have The Car Seat Professionally Fitted

The car seat being incorrectly fitted is another common concern for new parents, so avoid tension building between you and your partner by having it professionally fitted. This will give you reassurance that your baby will be safe and secure on their way home from the hospital, and the person who fits it will be happy to show you how to do it should you have to remove it from the car for any reason. Here are a few car seat safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Your baby's car seat should be labelled as suitable and approved under the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1754
  • Airbags that could come into contact with the car seat should be deactivated before your child travels in the car
  • Check the car seat straps aren't twisted, which could injure your baby in the event of a crash
  • Keep your baby in a rearward facing car seat until they are at least 6 months old

Your midwife is there to help, so don't hesitate to ask them questions or share any concerns you have. They can also recommend local classes, information sessions and parenting groups that can help you feel more prepared for this special time in your life. Try contacting a company like Baby Barn Discounts if you have questions about car fitting for your child.

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18 August 2015

Family Matters: Musings From A Rural Pastor

Blessings from Andrew Jamison. I work as a pastor in a rural community. It is fulfilling and rewarding work. I really love interacting with the wonderful down-to-earth farming and mining families I meet in my area. Some of my parishioners have unique struggles such as the droughts and floods faced by farmers, but, in general, they have the same ups and downs as families everywhere. As a pastor, I get to share in the joys and sorrows of so many families. Baptisms, weddings, funerals and counselling are part of my daily duties. I think we never stop learning in this life and I am currently completing my Ph.D in Psychology in order to be able to provide the best possible assistance to the families I serve. I humbly hope that my experience and knowledge may be helpful to those who stumble upon this blog. Peace and goodwill to you all.