Having a new baby can already be a hectic experience. And, the current concerns and constant changes seem to only magnify our sense of uncertainty and confusion.
So if you and your family are feeling spikes of high anxiety—you are not alone!
Every generation goes through serious tests and challenges. It has always been a part of life. As Arianna Huffington says: 'Failure is not the opposite of success; it's part of success.' In fact, trials and challenges help us recognize what is truly valuable in our lives…and to find and appreciate the resilience and strength that each one of us has inside. If we keep our health, open our hearts, live in gratitude and service…we can come through all this even stronger than when it started.
This is a tough time, but in tough times we need to come together, to help each other. We are all in this together…and this, all this is going to pass.
As a paediatrician, my No. 1 priority is to do what I can to help you during this pandemic. Of course, that means offering ideas to keep you and your family healthy…but also helping you stay as sane and happy as possible.
You can follow our updates and tips in addition to the AAP and CDC health precautions, but here are a few other things to consider:
You are doing your best. Please cut yourself—and others—some slack. Trust that choices that stray from your norm—like allowing more screen time or ice cream, staying in pyjamas all day or skipping a bath (wash those hands though!)—are all totally fine. This is a no judgment zone. In fact, having some flexibility is a sign of savvy parenting.
Be kind and patient…with yourselves. It’s hard to be cooped-up—especially with kids in the house! So, practice some self-care. Whether it’s a relaxing bath, a break to breathe deeply or meditate (even 5 minutes helps!), or a nightcap (night time only), do something that makes you feel good. This is likely to be more of a marathon than a sprint. Like they say, “Put your oxygen mask on first.” So, take care of you.
Take turns. Parenting always requires a lot of effort (and gives big rewards, of course!). But remember, up until a hundred years ago we had large communities, extended family, and teenage kids helping you keep your 2-year-old entertained. Now more than ever, during this period of social distancing, it all rests on your shoulders and that is not easy. So, if you can, try to schedule a few 30- or 60-minute chunks where your partner or other support can give you a break so you don’t burn out. Read, listen to music, call a friend, do something to help refill your batteries…for which everyone under your roof will be thankful.
A great way to boost health is sleep, sleep, sleep! Here’s a blog about why sleep is such a good immune-booster. For all SNOO-families, our sleep specialists will still be answering your baby sleep questions 7 days/week. (For toddler sleep, here is a good resource.)
Parents have been asking us so many questions and we will use our social channels and website to keep sending our tips and info. And we will continue to collect your questions via Instagram stories which I will be continuously answering.
Wishing you all health…and peace of mind, love, and laughter.
Harvey Karp, M.D., FAAP