I didn’t plan for my baby to be gentle. Maybe I’m lucky that it’s just her nature to be that way. But I find that the certain things I do differently from when I was a first-time mom certainly helped. So here I am sharing that list to help aspiring moms, moms-to-be, new moms get a perspective of gentle parenting during babyhood, that it’s not as hard as everyone says it is. It will certainly help you to care for a newborn easier.
1. Embrace your pregnancy to care for a newborn
I’m saying that as if you don’t already?! But really, take a moment to be with your baby, envision what life will be like when he or she arrives. It won’t just be sleepless nights, public tantrums, endless laundry, lack of time for self-care, stretch Marks etc. It’ll be an irresistible baby scent, adorable baby giggles, sweet cuddles, the first time they sit up, crawl, walk, first tooth, first words, funny things they do or say. But then also they grow up so fast that you’d find yourself questioning the whole concept of time! There are so many things to look forward to. I’m trying to say that whenever you feel a burnout brewing, take a deep breath and remember that they will only be this little once. So be sure to enjoy the moments, make as many memories as possible.
2. Baby is chill when mom is chill
It’s about both of you, not just the baby. Two hours before I started having contractions with baby no.2, I still managed to cook dinner, take my boy to the park, give him his bedtime routine. Chill is an understatement. The second time around, I didn’t have time to panic about labor. I sort of knew what would happen anyway. An epidural saved my life the first time around (not literally, but it did give me a few beautiful hours of sleep and keep me from total exhaustion), so I made a point to get one this time. I didn’t worry about my milk supply. I knew I would be able to breastfeed 🤱, despite having absolutely no early milk discharge. And I was right. She constantly suckled pretty much from the moment she was placed on my chest for hours until the numbness in my legs disappeared. And slowly, my body responded to her need, and just the right amount for her demand, too. The second time around it’s all about instinct, and a bit of experience (or rather, knowing that it’s all going to be okay), but mostly doing what my heart tells me to do, and not listen to an ounce of unsolicited advice from anyone! I’m just doing my thing, and everybody leaves me alone, it’s great! This makes it so easy to care for a newborn.
3. Breastfeed your baby if possible to care for a newborn
It’s the most natural thing, and if for some reason it doesn’t work, seek help, be it your problems or baby’s. It’s a connection unlike any other. Time stands still as I watch my little ones drift off to sleep at their safest, most favorite place in the world. At 23 months, little miss still loves her feeds, but already I’m dreading the day she no longer wants them. My humble breasts have been doing an amazing job serving their purpose of nurturing my children, both nutritionally and emotionally. This made the care for a newborn easier.
4. Co-sleep to care for a newborn
Before my first child came into this world, I didn’t know it was even an option. You’d hear about SIDS and safe sleeping, and sleep training, and anything else that manufacturers can use to sell you products. But no one ever tells you that a mother cuddling her child to sleep is the most natural thing ever done. Just watch all the mammals in the animal world. Do you see them building little nests for their young to sleep in separately?
From what I’ve heard and read about other people, you have two options: either sleep train your kid, which would inevitably involve a certain amount of tears, or leave your kid in their own cot/bed, get up to feed, or rock them back to sleep, both seem like a lot of work to me. Nobody likes to hear the sound of a crying baby piercing through the quiet night. My baby hadn’t done that for months. What do I do? The moment she stirs, I pull her to my chest. She latches and falls back to sleep within seconds. I barely wake up myself. Babies aren’t meant to sleep through the night. It’s a mutual pull towards each other for mom and baby. This leads to my next point.
5. Respond to Your baby to care for a newborn
My baby girl rarely ever cries, which seems to surprise other people, but not me. She has no reason to cry when all her needs are met, simple. You cannot spoil a baby by responding to her needs, as these are as valid as you wanting to eat when hungry. They’re instinctive and real. I’d always say there’s something almost primal about my relationship with my baby. She communicates with me in her baby language. I listen and respond. She would often wake up from her sleep, sits right up, then just patiently waits for me to come to her, and if daddy comes first, he’d tell her to lie down and wait for mommy, she’d do just that, even if it takes a few minutes. This might be the key to her gentle nature, she knows mommy will always come to her, so there is no need to make a fuss.
Many would call this attachment parenting. Maybe it is, but why put a label on it? I’m doing these things because they’re easy, and most importantly, they work for our family and us. I like to have my baby sleep next to me, where I can see her, feel her, make sure she’s warm and breathing, and most of all, I know that she’d love nothing more than to be able to snuggle up next to mom. Other people put their babies in a cot, in a different room, because it works for them that way. I wouldn’t judge, but I’m glad I’m not one of those babies. I’ve seen my relatives try the cry it out method. Baby cries mom cries; grandmother cries, dad yells, grandfather hides in a different room because he can’t stand to listen to the noise. My babies get to go to sleep without shedding a tear, only giggles as they know boobies are coming!
Hope this article provided you enough information to care for a newborn easier.