Help, Advice and Support for New Parents
On becoming a parent, it becomes near impossible to prioritise ourself.
As parents we need to know quick, effective ways to self soothe and re-group. It helps us be the best patient, loving parent we know we can be.
So, here at Parents Guide Illawarra, we turned to the best source of support for new families. We asked Illawarra Early Parenting Centre to share easy, effective ways to create parenting calm again. Taking a breather and implementing a few steps to self-soothe and re-group can be invaluable to you – and your baby:
With many thanks to the Illawarra Early Parenting Centre for sponsoring this article. Everyday they work with new families and provide help with feeding, sleeping, settling and parental mental health. Read more about the Illawarra’s only residential postnatal support service for babies from 28 days to 2 years of age HERE or scroll down to the end of this article for more information about their extensive support program for parents).
Here are the invaluable steps that make a difference to your parenting journey: Parents, it’s time to take a BREATHER!
Take some deep breaths. Bring your awareness to the breath and focus on that, just for now.
Take a moment to reflect on how you are feeling and consider “What is triggering the upset?” In many cases, you will probably find at the centre of the distress is the desire to comfort your baby. If you know what is making you upset, you will be better placed to soothe yourself.
Empathise with yourself
At many stages throughout your life, you are likely to have expressed compassion to others during challenging times, so it’s important to give yourself this same compassion during a time of upset. Express some compassionate self-talk, be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you are finding it hard (that’s ok to do!). Self-help reminders and awareness about your feelings will help you to self- soothe.
Assess the situation
Look around you and think about what to do next. Can you call someone for help? Can you phone a support line if you need to? Could a walk help? Or possibly a massage? If you can, try to let go of needing your child to stop crying; accept the situation as it is. Ask yourself, is your baby safe and comfortable? Then you are doing the best you can!
Take control of the situation by planning the next steps. Make a simple plan of what to do next; this will help you in moving forward. After all, one small step is a lot easier to tick off than an entire action plan.
Hold an image
Remind yourself of how you want to return to your baby: strong, wise and kind. That is all your baby needs from you right now!
Tell yourself, “You can do this!” (and you can). You have learnt what to do, you have calmed yourself on your own, you are returning to your little one in a much more settled state, which will help you and your baby.
Return, rest, repair
Go back to your child with a renewed focus. You are returning to them to help them through this storm. Remember your kind presence helps them, even if it doesn’t immediately stop the crying or ups and downs.
Get in Touch
The Illawarra Early Parenting Centre, located at Figtree Private Hospital, is the Illawarra’s only residential postnatal support service for babies up to 2 years of age. Their support program can assist with a range of common parenting concerns including:
- Sleep and settling
- Feeding difficulties
- Developing daily routines
- Maternal exhaustion
- Bonding with your baby
- Adjusting to parenting
For more information on how you can take a breather or self soothe as a new parent, the Illawarra Early Parenting Centre can help tailor your parenting style, please contact them online or call (02) 4255 5000. Alternatively, click here to learn more about the Illawarra Early Parenting Centre Program.