3 Anxiety Reducing Tips For First Time Parents

Finding out you're having a baby is exciting, but first time parents can also experience anxiety thinking of how their life will change and whether they'll be able to cope with the demands of a newborn. Getting organised before the baby arrives can help you feel more confident and at ease, so here are three tips for reducing anxiety ahead of meeting your little bundle of joy:

Get The Facts On SIDS

As a new parent, the prospect of spending an afternoon reading about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) probably isn't appealing in the slightest. However, knowing the facts can help you rest in the knowledge you're following the guidelines and doing what you can to keep your little one safe. There is a range of free resources, including a Fast Facts leaflet, available from SIDS and KIDS, a not-for-profit organisation that provides advice on ensuring your baby's sleeping environment is safe. Here are a few of the steps you can take to reduce the risk of SIDS:

  • Don't cover your baby's head with a hat or anything else as overheating is thought to contribute to SIDS
  • When you place your baby in their crib, ensure their feet are at the foot of the crib. This stops them being able to wriggle down and cover their face with their blankets.
  • Smoking is linked to SIDS, so keep your baby's environment smoke-free both before and after they are born

Batch Cook Healthy Meals

If you're worried about how you'll look after your own health and keep up with household tasks during those first few chaotic weeks, get a step ahead with your meals by cooking healthy freezer meals before your baby arrives. Being able to pull a healthy dinner out of the freezer will ensure you keep your energy reserves topped up and save precious time. Either set aside a day to make meals especially for the freezer or cook double portions of your meals in the month before your due date and freeze one. Here are a few suggestions that are easy to prepare and freeze well:

  • Beef stew
  • Lentil soup
  • Cottage pie
  • Fish curry
  • Burritos
  • Bean burgers

Use A Professional To Fit The Car Seat

As a first time parent, you may be worried about getting your newborn home safely from the hospital. You can't control some aspects of that first car journey, but you can make sure your baby's car seat is installed safely. A professional car seat fitter will show you how to remove the seat and can also help you select a seat with the make and model of your car in mind. When selecting and using your baby's car seat, keep the following points in mind:

  • Babies should travel in a rearward facing seat for at least the first 6 months of their life
  • The seat should be approved under the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1754
  • A child car seat should never be fitted to a seat with active airbags

If you find yourself unable to sleep or focus on normal day-to-day tasks due to anxiety, speak to your midwife or GP. They can answer any questions you have about parenthood, help you access support and recommend local classes, such as baby and child first aid sessions, that may help you feel more prepared for the arrival of your baby.