With the world’s focus currently on the birth of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s first child, Earl of Dumbarton, it is easy to forget that countless other first-time parents are facing many of the very same stresses that Harry and Meghan are worrying about right now.
Here are a few practical tips that Meghan and Harry won’t necessarily need as new parents but which could make the transition into the new-parent phase simpler for the rest of us:
For the average new parent, one of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself for this new phase is to realise that everything in your life will change. For Meghan and Harry, having a mid-size army of staff at their disposal, this will largely be manageable, but it won’t be the case for the rest of us. In those first few weeks it’s okay if it gets to two-o-clock in the afternoon and you still haven’t managed to have a shower.
With a major focus of ensuring that they keep up with their royal “duties”, the new parents will have no option but to accept help as they travel across the UK to cut ribbons and fundraise for charities.
For all new parents, especially new mothers, there’s a lot of pressure to do everything yourself. While admirable, it can do more harm than good. For a less stressful adjustment to life with a baby, family should be encouraged to help, and paid help should also be considered.
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Only Buy The Essentials
The cost of nappies, formula, baby clothes can quickly add up, and this doesn’t even take the big-purchase items into account. Every gadget and do-hickey for the little one may seem like a must-have but many of these things turn out to be little more than fads in parenting.
Of course, there are the essentials. For those on the lookout for cheap finds in unusual places, try Facebook groups where savings on essentials like cots, changing mats, and prams can often be found.
Tag-Team To Get Some Sleep
For Harry and Meghan, having staff on hand for 24 hours of the day means that how much sleep they lose out on is actually up to them. For other new parents, one of the biggest struggles is learning to manage on the least amount of sleep. While it’ll be very tempting for both parents to get up if baby starts crying in the night, rather designate who’ll be dealing with that beforehand. A good idea is to do two nights on and two nights off for each parent to ensure that there is sufficient time to rejuvenate between shifts.
Take Time For Yourself
With baby at home, it’ll be tempting to spend every waking moment with all your attention lavished on them but to be the best parent you can be, quality time away from your child is just as important as quality time with your child. This can be as simple as taking a soak in the bathtub or just having a nap.
Giving yourself the space to relax, away from the immediacy of someone else’s needs, will ultimately make you a better parent.