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Health & Baby

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25 Ways to Handle the Stress of a New Baby

Bring some calm to the chaos with first-year survivor strategies that work.

Making the Transition continued...

"The combination of new baby and his training schedule did not mix well. I did a lot of single parenting, felt lost as a new mom, and had no time for taking care of my own exercise needs post-pregnancy. It takes time to adjust. And if that adjustment is not a team effort, it can cause tension that will impact the whole family for years to come."

3. Plan for Baby's Arrival -- Now

Before the baby is born, create a schedule of day care drop-offs and pick-ups, planned down time, and date nights. "It sets the pattern for the next 18 years of schedule juggling," one mom says.

4. Stay Flexible

The first year of a new baby's life requires a huge level of adaptation on the part of parents, Kirst says. "Let your baby teach you about structure, flexibility, and creative problem-solving," she says. "Babies are life-altering in the challenges they present. Learning to respond and adapt to the issues babies bring to your life can be life-enhancing. You learn to think on your feet."

5. Keep a Log

Gold suggests writing down baby's feeding, sleeping, and crying habits. It will help you identify patterns and give you a record you can use for instructing caregivers.

6. Rethink Priorities

Jennifer Shu, pediatrician and co-author of Heading Home With Your Newborn, says to "only put on your (regular) to-do list tasks that absolutely have to get done." How do you know what kind of task to put on that list? Shu says, "If it doesn't get done, your family's health, safety, and well-being would be at risk. Outsource things that you dread doing -- yard work, grocery shopping, laundry -- or that can be done just as well by someone else."

Singer seconds that notion, saying, "They'll appreciate helping and you'll appreciate the break."

7. Farm Out Meals

Sign up for a meal delivery service for the first year or even the first month if financially feasible. Prepared meals are nutritionally balanced, healthy, and tasty, and they provide variety. They also eliminate the need for grocery shopping, menu planning, and cooking. Likewise, stock up on takeout menus.

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

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