Step 3: Baby Care Plan in Action:
Make it Work for You
By now baby care probably feels like your sole purpose in life, the only thing you will be busy with until you simply drop dead, spent and exhausted. Now is a good time to get someone to take over from you for an hour or three, and let you take some time out to evaluate your situation and to help you see where you can make improvements.
Because caring for a baby is such a labour intensive responsibility, it is quite easy to lose your direction and objectivity. If you can have a good and critical look at how you are doing and identify areas where you would like to cope better things can be changed around more easily.
While doing this evaluation, you need to keep asking yourself two critical questions:
1. How is baby doing?
2. How is mom doing?
Also, if you are in a family environment, another question should be added:
3. How is your family doing?
Now evaluate your situation, while keeping the above questions in in mind, by going through the following steps:
A. Review the Baby Care Elements
Go back to Step 1 of the Action Plan, consider each of the care elements and give each one a rating out of 5.
For instance, if your baby feeds well and looks like he or she is gaining weight as expected, you may give Feeding a 4 or 5. In contrast the same baby may dislike water and bath time is mostly difficult with lots of crying, so you will rate Grooming to be a 1 or 2, depending on the frequency and degree of trouble you are having.
Of course this rating process will be very subjective, but you only do it for your own sake so that's fine. As long as you can see your own relative progress and learn something out of it.
It is very important that you please do not see your ratings as a reflexion of your own capabilities as a mother - it has very little to do with how good a mom you are! Most babies go through difficult stages with most things, and you probably don't have much control over your baby's little niggles. What you can control is the way you react to a difficult situation, like a colicky baby.
And this is where the next step will take you: how will you react on the results you got from step A?
B. Improve your Baby Care
Your most important and useful tool to use during the improvement step is Information. After using the Action Plan diagram to identify your baby care problem areas, you can now use the rest of this website as well as other resources to get more information.
Taking the difficult bath time baby as an example, do a few internet searches using keywords like bathing newborn baby, bathing tips etc to get some advice from good websites and also forums. This may take some time, but it helps if you can at least narrow your questions down to the most important ones. If you search for help with newborn baby it may take you much longer to find answers and advice on bathing problems. It is always better to be more specific with your keyword searches. And don't forget to ask people in the real world also, you'll be surprized at the clever plans mom's have come up with over the time to solve this type of issue. When it comes to health issues, I recommend that you check with your doctor before doing anything out of the ordinary.
Once you've armed yourself with the necessary information to address the issues that make you struggle, you may consider buying or borrowing a few things to make life easier. Be very careful because this is exactly where you are desperate to solve a problem and may be targeted to buy useless gadgets. Get good recommendations from people you know before you spend a fortune, or even better, see if you can try out (borrow) something before you get your own.
The last step to improving your strategy is to perform additional preparations where necessary. This applies to your own specific areas of difficulty, but also other things that you think you can generally improve on. This includes actions like preparing lists and schedules and getting other resources ready when needed, or rethinking your general way of doing things. As an example, because I never planned to bottle feed, I didn't really figure out beforehand how to go about it. When I suddenly had to start with exclusive formula feeding (severe breastfeeding failure) it took me a while to develop a good way of having a "production line" of feeds ready way before they were needed. This aspect mostly includes getting reorganized, but sometimes you also need to make a mind shift to handle a certain situation better. Going back to my own bottle feeding experience, once I managed to accept the fact that breastfeeding was out of the question and bottle feeding was the only way ahead for us, I started thinking about it differently as I realized this will be a permanent situation and I have to find a proper way to deal with it.
Example: My Own Newborn Baby Care Experience
This may seem to you like a lot of talk and no action, so to drive to point home I will now show you by means of a table how I would have gone ahead to apply Step 3 to my own newborn baby experience. I will also include a blank template for you to use if you choose to do such things formally on paper. Although it seems like a big schlep, it actually works well to pin your ideas down and trace your progress.
Step 3: My Own Example
Step 3: Template
Once you've worked through Step 3, you will know and understand the Action Plan and you will probably find value in repeating the Action Plan Steps as your situation changes and new baby care problems arise.
When you are satisfied with your personalized Newborn Baby Action Plan, congratulations! Now go forth and explore the rest of this ever-expanding website...
Back to Action Plan Step 1
Back to Action Plan Step 2
From Baby Care Plan in Action back to Newborn Baby Care Action Plan
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