A new baby is definitely life changing. It is an experience that attacks your heart, emotions, mind and life in a pivotal and powerful way. To say there is no greater experience isn’t too much of a stretch to those of us who have children. It’s a heavy trip to say the least. Parenting is an emotional rollercoaster of tired nights, happy days, trials, tribulations, successes and failures. However, though it might not be said often, sometimes that trip can go bad. Here are some tips to handle that new baby trip, when things turn awry.
A bad “baby trip” is when you start to have troubling thoughts or high levels of anxiety while you are caring for your new baby. You might bottle up these frustrations, or start to feel resentment towards your parter or child. This isn’t as uncommon as some would have you believe. A child isn’t all roses, it is tough, demanding, but very rewarding work. Remember, it is all temporary. Your situation isn’t permanent. Fussy babies, tired partners, added pressure and responsibility definitely take a toll, but they are not a representation of your reality. They aren’t a representation of how things will be indefinitely. You must bring yourself into the moment, and in this moment, choose to be calm. Take a deep breath and focus on the positive. Focus on things you are grateful for, focus on your child and what a miracle they are, crying or not. Focus on how strong your partner is, how much you share together, and how you’ll work together to make it through.
Much like taking a heroic dose of some ancient tribal psychedelic, a bad “baby trip” can feel pretty rough, but it doesn’t actually hurt you or cause you any harm. Just remember, you can make it through this and ride it out just like you have many times before. Sleep deprivation and additional responsibilities of being a new parent can really weigh on you mentally and physically, but remember… you will make it through and it gets easier. We have all been there, and we have all made it through just fine.
A bad “baby trip” can feel pretty terrible. Confusion sets in and you can start to wonder if you are doing a good enough job as a parent. “What does the baby want?” you might be thinking as it is crying its lungs out with no consolation in sight. Babies feed off your energy, so the first step is to relax, calm down and know you will make it out just fine.
Breathe deeply, in through your mouth and slowly let it out. This is the simplest way to influence your body toward being calm. Anxiety you might feel is partly because of tension, so with every deep breath, let you mind and body relax. Sometimes it is helpful to lay your child down for a moment or two. They will be fine, focus on being the most calm and collected parent you can be.
When you are feeling stressed out, remember you are just having a baby “baby trip”, and make your environment comfortable for the both of us. Many times my baby has seemed inconsolable, and immediately calmed down when I dimmed the lights a little, and began to hum softly to her. Take a deep breath and assert to yourself and your child that you are both just fine. You will make it through this, just as you always have. Babies are an amazing and wonderful experience to have, but few people are willing to share the frustrations that can be felt as well. I assure you, it’s normal, you aren’t alone and it does get better.