Ask for Help with Baby
As a new parent, you may feel compelled to do everything yourself. When someone offers to help, you may automatically say ‘no thanks, I'm doing OK' — even if you could use a hand. However, one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby is to recognize that it's OK to ask for help.
It may feel like your job as a parent is never done — soothing baby, changing diapers, cleaning laundry, feeding baby, and grocery shopping. Everything stacks up! If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't try to hide it. Tell someone.
Lean on Family and Friends
If you have family and friends who live nearby, you can lean on them for emotional support and possibly babysitting and other tasks. Where to start?
- Ask for help. Let your loved ones know how things are going for you, and ask for their help if you need it. If you need help caring for baby, taking the dog for a walk or vacuuming the carpets, find out if someone is willing to assist on a regular basis or as needed.
- Make a list. Perhaps you have a friend or neighbor who wants to help, but they don't know what you want them to do. Identify a few ways that they could help you stay on top of things. Maybe you just need a break for an hour so that you can go for a walk or go to the grocery store by yourself.
- Know when to say no. If you have family members or friends who criticize you or otherwise add to your stress, you may need to take control to keep drama at bay. You might decide to limit visits and/or be clear about how you feel.
Count on Your Community
If you don't live near friends and family, you may feel isolated. But you don't have to do it all on your own. When someone says ‘let me know how I can help' it's more than something nice to say — it has real meaning! Reach out to people in your community who care about you and your baby:
Neighbors and community groups: The people you know through your neighborhood, community center or place of worship may be able to lend a hand, even in the smallest ways.
Child care providers: If your child attends daycare, your caregiver(s) can be your best ally in meeting your child's needs. Ask them for advice or referrals to others who can help with weekend or evening babysitting, etc.
Parents: You'll cross paths with other parents at playgrounds, baby classes and in the baby supplies aisle at the store! Connect with other young families so you can swap stories and advice. You may build lasting relationships with other parents you trust and count on each other for help.
Early childhood educators: Sign up for an early childhood program in your community that's designed for your child's age and developmental stage. Regular meetings give parents a chance to talk through challenges and connect with resources for help.
Team up with Your Partner
If you feel like you need an extra hand (or two!), talk to your partner. Together you can brainstorm ways to get the help your family needs.
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