Nobody is born with parenting skills. Everybody has to learn how to feed, bathe, and generally take care of her/his baby.
While you are in hospital the nurses will prepare you on how to care for your child when you both go home. Remember it’s a learning process and it’s something you’ll be learning for the rest of your life! Don’t stress about being the ‘perfect’ parent (there’s no such thing!).
Its okay to be ‘good enough’.
Just take it one step at a time and enjoy this special time in your and your baby’s life. The Public Health Nurse (PHN) will visit you soon after you come home and she can be a great help in advising you about caring for yourself and your baby. Don’t be afraid to tell her anything that you are worried about. She has seen it all before and is there to help and support you. The first few months can be difficult as you lose sleep and have no life of your own but when your little one eventually smiles up at you it makes it all worthwhile.
Ways to Cope With a Crying Baby
- Check if the nappy needs changing.
- Is your baby hungry?
- Is your baby lonely?
- Gently hug and cuddle your child so that s/he is close to you body. This may help soothe her/him.
- Use eye contact, smiling and talking to communicate with your baby.
- Take your baby for a walk or a drive to help her/him sleep.
- If necessary, make sure baby is safe and walk out of the room for a short time, making sure that you are nearby. Count to ten and allow yourself to calm down.
- Ask someone else you trust to take over for a while.
- Contact your public health nurse or community mother for advice.
- Never slap or shake your baby.
Produced by TREOIR, The National Information Service for Unmarried Parents, visit www.treoir.ie for more information.