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Adjusting to the newest addition in your family (source)

Round-the-clock newborn care can turn your life upside down. Appreciate the joy your newborn brings to your life — and cope with the rest one day at a time. Take care of yourself. Resist the urge to count caffeine as a major food group. Instead, eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water and get some fresh air. Do something you enjoy every day, either with your baby or on your own. Good habits will help you maintain the energy you need to take care of your newborn.

Get plenty of rest. Sleep is at a premium right now. Grab it when you can! Sleep when your baby sleeps. Work out a nighttime schedule with your partner that allows both of you to rest and care for the baby. Establish visiting hours. Friends and loved ones may come out of the woodwork to admire your newborn. Let them know what time works best, and ask anyone who's ill to stay home. When you have visitors, don't be afraid to set aside your social graces. Let them care for the baby while you get some much needed rest.

Go with the flow. It's never too early to establish a routine, but let your baby set the pace. Allow plenty of time each day for nursing sessions, naps and crying spells. Keep scheduled activities to a minimum. When you need to head out, give yourself extra time to pack your supplies and change the inevitable out-the-door dirty diaper. Expect a roller coaster of emotions. You may go from adoring your newborn and marveling at tiny fingers and toes to grieving your loss of independence and worrying about your ability to care for a newborn, all in the space of a single diaper change.

Share your feelings. Chances are, you and your partner are both tired and anxious. Talking about what's bothering you — such as a strained budget or difficulty soothing the baby — can help you stay connected. A shared laugh may help lighten the mood. Relax your standards. Hide the broom and leave dust bunnies where they lie. Store clean clothes in the laundry basket until you need them — or in stacks on the floor, for that matter. Clean the bathroom with a fresh diaper wipe. And yes, cold cereal is acceptable dinner fare once in a while. Get out of the house. If you're going stir-crazy with a fussy newborn, take the baby out for a walk. If you can, let someone else take over for a while.

Accept a helping hand. When friends and loved ones offer to help, take them up on it. Suggest holding the baby, folding the laundry, running a few errands — whatever would help you the most. Nurture other relationships. Your newborn needs your love and attention, but you won't let your baby down by spending time with others. Set aside one-on-one time with your other children. Schedule dates with your partner. Meet a friend for lunch or a movie. Keep your perspective. The newborn days won't last long. Step back and appreciate the moment, even amid the chaos.


 
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