With the world’s focus on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s first child, it can seem like it is the only baby about to be born at the moment. Of course, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Countless first-time parents are also facing many of the very same stresses Harry and Meghan are worrying about right now. But facts are facts. If you’re living in a palace with a mid-sized army of staff at your disposal, things can be a little easier. Unfortunately, not all new parents are that lucky.
So here are a few practical tips that Meghan and Harry won’t necessarily need as new parents, but which could make the transition into the new-parent phase simpler for the rest of us:
If tradition is anything to go by, the post-baby life will start with Meghan appearing for the world’s press mere hours after giving birth wearing full make-up and heels. For the average new parent though, one of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself for this new phase is to realize that everything in your life will change. For Meghan and Harry, whether it’s having a glam squad on hand for that hospital makeover or just having the privilege of being able to take some time for themselves, the degree to which their lives will change will largely be manageable. But this won’t be the case for the rest of us and in those first few weeks, it’s okay if gets to two-o-clock in the afternoon and you still haven’t managed to have a shower.
With a major focus of ensuring that they keep up with their royal “duties”, Harry and Meghan will have no option but to accept help as they travel across the UK to cut ribbons and fundraise for charities. For all new parents, but new mothers particularly, there’s a lot of pressure to do everything yourself. While admirable, it can do more harm than good. For a less stressful adjustment to life with a baby, family should be encouraged to help, and paid help should also be considered. For instance, a service like SweepSouth, which allows users to find and book vetted domestic cleaners all from the ease of your mobile phone as and when you need one, can be invaluable during this time.
Only buy the essentials
Supported by both UK taxpayer pounds and a massive family fortune, not to mention Meghan Markle’s own Hollywood money, the Duke and Duchess won’t have to worry too much about paying for their bundle of joy. For most new parents the cost of nappies, formula, baby clothes can quickly add up, and this doesn’t even take the big-purchase items into account. For most new parents, every piece of gadget or do-hickey for the little one may seem like a must-have, but many of these things turn out to be little more than fads in parenting. Of course, there are the essentials, for those looking out for cheap finds in unusual places, like Facebook groups where savings on essentials like cots, changing mats, and prams can often be found.
Tag-team to get some sleep
For Harry and Meghan, having staff on hand 24 hours of the day means that how much sleep they lose out on is actually up to them. For most new parents, one of the biggest struggles is learning to manage on the least amount of sleep you’ll ever have had at a time you need it the most. While it’ll be very tempting for both parents to get up if the baby starts crying in the night, rather designate who’ll be dealing with that beforehand. A good idea is to do two nights on and two nights off for each parent to ensure that there is sufficient time to rejuvenate between shifts.
Take time for yourself
With the baby at home, it’ll be tempting to spend every waking moment with all your attention lavished on them. But to be the best parent you can be, quality time away from your child is just as important as quality time with your child. This can be as simple as taking a soak in the bathtub or just having a nap. Giving yourself the space to relax and center yourself, taking you away from the immediacy of someone else’s needs, will ultimately make you a better parent.