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New Baby Survival

If you're about to become a parent for the first time, you've probably heard the stories from fellow parents about those sleep deprived nights that can last for months.

In this month's issue of American Baby magazine, new moms share some helpful tips on surviving those first few months after you bring your precious bundle home. Managing Editor Kate Kelly joined us to fill us in.

First, have realistic expectations. Before your baby is born, you may hear all the stories of your friends having sleepless nights, but you still might have the idea you are going to have all these blissful moments and have this free time. "The reality is your baby cries, you're tired, you don't know what you're doing and at times you feel like, 'why am I not loving every minute,'" explains Kelly. But remember, this is normal and it does not make you a bad parent.

Also, make peace with housework. There are two strategies to this. One is your housework is going to be there, and your baby isn't going to be a baby for long. You don't have to get everything done. But the flip side, as Kelly says, is "you are spending a lot more time at home and you are looking at all that clutter and for some people they just can't let it go." Try putting a baby in a sling, and you have both hands free to clean up.

And when family or friends offer to help, be willing to accept it. Do not say you can manage. People love babies and they not only want to help you out, they like knowing they are helping out a new mom.

And just because you have a newborn, this doesn't mean it's the time to stay inside. In fact, now is the time to get out of the house. A newborn sleeps a lot during the day. It's easier to go to the movies and a restaurant with an infant than a toddler.

And last, make some mom friends. "They're the people who get it," Kelly explains. "They're the people who understand that you may not finish a sentence, you may just hang up the phone with little notice." They will also share tips and help you along the way.

For more information on this and other parenting topics, click here.
by Jenn Eaker