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3 months ago · · 0 comments

How To Boost Self Confidence As a New Mum

new mother at home with baby or todderAre You At Risk?

When you become a new mum, your self confidence and self esteem can quickly take a dive, particularly when things don’t go quite as well as planned. One of the major issues new mums face is shifting from being in control of your child during pregnancy to feeling completely lost as your child begins to develop and grow into this new life. When things such as breastfeeding and regular sleep do not go well, new mums often begin to question their parenting methods and begin to assume they must be doing something wrong. Add to this the opinions of friends, other mothers, family members and health  professionals, its no wonder so many new mums begin to feel like failures.
So what can you do if you begin to feel like a failure, or begin to self criticise yourself ?

Reduce the pressure you are placing on yourself

One of the first big mistakes new mums make is to stop listening to their instincts and to begin listening instead to everyone else’s advice and opinion on how best to parent their new baby. As a new mum, it’s very easy to begin to doubt yourself when things you try (like breastfeeding or placing a baby in a swaddle to sleep) simply do not work, particularly when you have been told by experts that these are the best ways to feed or get your baby to sleep. What no-one seems to tell new mums (or perhaps as new mums it’s hard to believe), there is no 1 manual of parenting that works for every child. Each baby is different and also has a mind of his/her own. Some babies will easily soothe, for instance, whilst other will not. Some babies will sleep for 2-3 hour stretches at a time, whilst others will only power nap for 30 minutes at a time. If you begin to place too much pressure on yourself to be perfect, you will quickly begin to start feeling overwhelmed and self criticism will begin to seep into your mindset and quickly reduce your self confidence. So, the key is to have a parenting plan and then to just go with the flow. Sometimes your parenting style will work wonders, but other times it won’t (for instance if your baby is feeling overtired or unwell). These are the times to take a brake and just try something new when you are feeling more calm and rational.

Do you trust that you know your baby best?

As a primary carer, no-one knows your baby better than you. Other experts and parents can provide you with support and advice as to what they have observed or perhaps trialled successfully with their children, but ultimately, you know your child best. You will know if your child will respond well to new environments, people and parenting styles. you will be able to assess whether sleeping methods such as controlled crying are right for your child and your family. Trust that you have your child’s best interests at heart and always look at things from the perspective of ensuring your child is safe, healthy, happy and secure (eg living in a harmonious environment).

Catch yourself in moments of negative self-talk

If you begin you hear yourself speaking negatively about your parenting style, try to catch yourself in the moment and rephrase your words. For instance, if you catch yourself saying things like “I’m never going to get my baby to sleep”, alter this to “Every baby eventually sleeps, we just need to keep adjusting things until we get things working well for our family”. Reducing negative self talk will go a long way towards boosting your confidence and ensuring you maintain a healthy self esteem throughout motherhood.

We have a great FREE ebook to help new mums boost self confidence straight away – check it out here

6 months ago · · 0 comments

What to do when you lose your self confidence as a new mum?

Boosting Self Confidence As A New Mum

When you become a new mum, your self confidence and self esteem can quickly take a dive, particularly when things don’t go quite as well as planned. One of the major issues new mums face is shifting from being in control of your child during pregnancy to feeling completely lost as your child begins to develop and grow into this new life. When things such as breastfeeding and regular sleep do not go well, new mums often begin to question their parenting methods and begin to assume they must be doing something wrong. Add to this the opinions of friends, other mothers, family members and health  professionals, its no wonder so many new mums begin to feel like failures.

So what can you do if you begin to feel like a failure, or begin to self criticise yourself ?

Reduce the pressure you are placing on yourself.

One of the first big mistakes new mums make is to stop listening to their instincts and to begin listening instead to everyone else’s advice and opinion on how best to parent their new baby. As a new mum, it’s very easy to begin to doubt yourself when things you try (like breastfeeding or placing a baby in a swaddle to sleep) simply do not work, particularly when you have been told by experts that these are the best ways to feed or get your baby to sleep. What no-one seems to tell new mums (or perhaps as new mums it’s hard to believe), there is no 1 manual of parenting that works for every child. Each baby is different and also has a mind of his/her own. Some babies will easily soothe, for instance, whilst other will not. Some babies will sleep for 2-3 hour stretches at a time, whilst others will only power nap for 30 minutes at a time. If you begin to place too much pressure on yourself to be perfect, you will quickly begin to start feeling overwhelmed and self criticism will begin to seep into your mindset and quickly reduce your self confidence. So, the key is to have a parenting plan and then to just go with the flow. Sometimes your parenting style will work wonders, but other times it won’t (for instance if your baby is feeling overtired or unwell). These are the times to take a brake and just try something new when you are feeling more calm and rational.

Trust that you know your baby best

As a primary carer, no-one knows your baby better than you. Other experts and parents can provide you with support and advice as to what they have observed or perhaps trialled successfully with their children, but ultimately, you know your child best. You will know if your child will respond well to new environments, people and parenting styles. you will be able to assess whether sleeping methods such as controlled crying are right for your child and your family. Trust that you have your child’s best interests at heart and always look at things from the perspective of ensuring your child is safe, healthy, happy and secure (eg living in a harmonious environment).

Catch yourself in moments of negative self-talk

If you begin you hear yourself speaking negatively about your parenting style, try to catch yourself in the moment and refrase your words. For instance, if you catch yourself saying things like “I’m never going to get my baby to sleep”, alter this to “Every baby eventually sleeps, we just need to keep adjusting things until we get things working well for our family”. Reducing negative self talk will go a long way towards boosting your confidence and ensuring you maintain a healthy self esteem throughout motherhood.

1 year ago · · 0 comments

How to get your baby to sleep

getting-baby-to-sleep

How to get baby to sleep

Are you suffering from sleep deprivation?

As a new mum it’s highly likely that you heard about sleep deprivation but never really understood it until now. It would be great if all babies just fell asleep when they were tired but the reality is that all babies are different and most babies need some form of assistance from you as the new mum to help get to sleep and to stay asleep (download my free parenting made easier guide that details how to parent with child temperament in mind here).

When it comes to your baby sleeping there are two very important motivations – 1) to give your baby a rest and 2) to give you a rest. The second point is vital for both your sanity and for your ability to parent in a calm, rational and safe manner. So bearing this in mind there a few things you need to decide on:

A) am I prepared to let my child cry it out?

B) will my baby even respond to crying it out (see the child temperament ebook to understand that some babies won’t)

C) Do I care if my child does not sleep in a cot – eg co-sleeps safely?

D) what does my child need to go to sleep – eg comfort, reassurance, food?

E) am I prepared to relax my expectations and do what I think is right for us, rather than worrying about what I think will make others happy?

Now, besides all the usual things by now you know to look out for in your baby (eg first signs he/she is tired – like pulling ears and hair or yawning) there are a few extra things you can do to help your baby sleep – once you have addressed A – E above.

1) If your baby has a sore tummy due to excess wind, try picking her up and with one hand gently on the lower tummy gently bounce her/him to allow the wind to move down and pass through. You can also try rubbing the tummy or gently holding both feet and rocking the legs up and down and side to side to pass the wind. Both my girls had lots of wind and these methods worked for them. We also used a natural product called Colic calm which we found very beneficial.

2) if your baby is regularly waking up he/ she may just need extra comfort. Here you have several options.

-) invest in a baby sling so your baby can sleep with you and you can still get on with your day. Personally I have used the Baba Sling for both of my kids and I love it because it’s adaptable up to 2 years of age and has freed me up to have a normal life whilst my girls have received the comfort they need.

-) if your baby keeps waking up, check if your baby has a wet or dirty nappy. Some babies really feel uncomfortable so need to be changed more often. Keep the nappies close to the cot and sleep baby in a grow bag so it’s quick and not too disruptive to change the nappy at night.

-) ensure your baby has had enough to eat so she’s only waking up when expected. When your baby gets older make sure you leave at least an Hour between the last meal and bedtime to avoid a sore tummy, when you’re baby is smaller though keep her in a more inclined position in bed, the pram etc to avoid excess wind. For instance place an extra folded blanket under the head of the mattress to incline the top only slightly so your baby won’t roll to the bottom of the bed. Remember to always follow SIDS sleeping guidelines so your baby is save and don’t place any blankets on top of your baby which could cover his head.

-) with a baby who needs extra comfort it’s all about either giving in to co-sleeping (again ensuring you’re following SIDS safe sleeping guidelines) or investing in a cot that you can place next to your bed so you can gently roll your baby over to the open cot next to you without you baby realising. I highly recommend the Bednest Bedside Cot. Not only is it beautiful, it serves this purpose perfectly.

There are lots of things you can do to ensure you get some sleep and your baby does too. The important thing is to not get stressed if your baby doesn’t just gently drift off to sleep. Your baby has spent months close to you, so it only makes sense that he/she may need some assistance to get to sleep. Be kind to yourself and be patient. You may need to try a few different things before you get it right.

If you’re a new mum and you feel you need some more personalised support, contact me at info@happylife.net.au to book in a private session or visit https://www.helpformums.com/products/coaching_for_new_mums for more information about Wellness coaching for Mums

Lizzie O’Halloran, BBSc, MASR, NLP Prac

Positive Parenting Blog

Positive Parenting Blog