The second innings
The role of a mother, as women generally opine is a convergence of new excitement, musings, happiness as well as the horror of sleep lags, chaos and constant tiredness! New mothers out there- Don’t fret! Here’s a handy guide that will steer you successfully across the initial challenges of being a new mommy.
Your baby wails and you are in a fix! Remember, how many times you had mentally pictured this situation and how you would handle it? Well, when you get it hands on, confusion and chaos take over! ‘What do I do? Is this going to work?’
You wouldn’t come to know initially what your baby wants to convey to you- Is it feeling hot? Cold? Colic? Or just another temperament!! Try showing some crafty toys; which emit some dangling sounds, like a simple key chain or revolving toys. Such sounds distract the child and grab its attention. Moving objects like big, colourful balls; Throw them in one direction.
Singing a lullaby and whispering whistles work well. Cradling or better enough cuddling your baby close to your body gives that sense of security and calmness to your baby. Though it does take its time; GIVE time!
Baby diapers and sleeplessness
Changing diapers all through the night is a new mommy’s horror and not an easy job at all! There would be times when you wonder “Doesn’t the baby sleep?” You would be shocked at the number of times you need to change diapers! Worse, by the time you have changed a nappy and settled the baby and settled YOURSELF, its nappy time again!
This leads to sleepless nights and dozing at odd hours in the day. The baby is getting tuned to the world around and it takes near to a year for it to settle in a proper sleep cycle. So try rotating duties in the night between you and your partner to ease the stress! And importantly, take all this in your stride, enjoy these moments of infancy; it will vanish soon. Suddenly you find everything set, your child peacefully sleeping with less diaper changes! Till then tune yourself to the baby. Sleep when the baby sleeps; catch power naps in between.
The baby blues have affected many but you can battle this post-pregnancy depression by using your strengths and instincts. Laugh out loud, go out for a short walk even if it’s for 5 minutes, get fresh air and sunshine! In fact, take your infant too, at Kamla Nehru park at Prabhat road; your infant is sure to be gleeful seeing other infants like himself.
This is a tough one! Babies crave for attention and entertainment! They love different ‘amiable’ sounds they connect to like cooing, singing animatedly and babbling. Kids love crazy faces like sticking the tongue out, waving your hands in fun! Remember, babies will always try and replicate what they see in their ‘own’ way.
So, keep smiling, laugh out loud; see that your kid’s eyes glued to you! Rattles and musical rhymes work great too! They not only sooth the baby but stimulate his hearing senses too.
Other handy tips:
- Listen to your heart- your baby will listen too!
- Take your baby outdoors the best option is either Katraj Zoo which will entertain him or Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Udhyan at Kothrud Depot which has huge caricatures of an elephant, gorilla, lion and much more! Your baby is sure to love it!
- Read books on ‘preparing for parenthood’ along with your husband- It gives a little mental preparation of the challenges you need to face.
- Calm your nerves: Your Mantra- “I can do it! I will give my best shot.” Never aim to be a super-mom; just be what you are.
- Feel free to consult your gynaecologist/paediatrician; ask any question however odd the query may seem
- Let household chores take a backseat for some time.
- Getting puzzled with your baby’s different reactions is normal- Let the baby do the talking! A baby can help you teach you adaptation and on-the-spot decision and problem solving abilities you never realized you ever had
- When the baby continues to wail don’t shake him in frustration; Count to 10! Build yourself and remember your baby’s peals of laughter!
- Try to keep sounds like the door bell and music at low levels if you feel your baby is sensitive to sounds.
- So brace yourself for the ride of your life! This new lease of life for women is uncanny, unpredictable, funny and tiresome but at the end, it’s worthwhile.