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The Newborn Stage: Five Ways it Gets Easier

February 11, 2013

2438220025_3fd5cdb912_zThere’s no denying that the newborn stage is intense. Along with the wonderful highs of meeting your baby for the first time, falling asleep with her on your chest, watching her blossom in those first few weeks and months, there are also a lot of challenges. Between sleep deprivation and the constant feeling that you’re not quite sure what you’re doing, you may have moments when you feel a bit at sea. Happily, some of the more challenging aspects of this phase improve with time.

  1. Sleep. Your sleep will never be as disturbed as during those first few weeks and months. Newborns wake up two or three times each night to be fed, which means that you’re waking up with them. Sleep deprivation can affect your mood, your cognitive abilities, and your overall sense of wellbeing. But with every week that passes, your baby will sleep for longer stretches. When you wake up at 3am to feed your baby in those early days, you can be consoled by the fact that it does, slowly, eventually, get better.
  2. Feeding. Feeding your baby, whether by breast or bottle, can be a wonderful experience and a great way to bond with your baby. But the frequent feedings that newborns require can be a bit taxing at times. Luckily, your baby will eventually need fewer feedings and may also adjust to a more routine feeding schedule, making your days and nights a little easier!
  3. Worrying. The first night you bring your baby home, you may feel a bit of panic. You are now responsible for this new life, and every sigh, twitch, or cry may cause you to worry about your baby’s wellbeing. But as the weeks go by, you’ll become accustomed to your baby’s mannerisms, and more confident your own abilities as a parent. While being a parent means that the worrying never totally ends, you won’t find yourself panicking quite as frequently as time goes by.
  4. Smiling and laughing. In the first month of your baby’s life, you may wonder what is going on in his little head. His facial expressions will change mainly in response to light, sound, and, frankly, gas. But as he enters his second month, you’ll begin to be rewarded with smiles and, eventually, laughter. Those long, sleepless nights can begin to feel much easier to endure when you’re greeted with a big smile during playtime!
  5. Movement. With age, your baby will become more mobile, and therefore, a little bit more fun! She may wave, kiss, and manipulate more objects as she gets a little more mobile. Being able to really “play” and communicate with your baby can be incredibly rewarding.

Cherish those newborn moments, as there’s nothing like those early weeks. But let it be some consolation that your long, sleepless nights, and constant feedings will yield something even more wonderful: a flourishing, happy, and healthy child!

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