Fight the temptation to be a one-woman show by practicing these tips after baby’s arrival.
Start out small
Accomplishing an easy task can help with easing into separation while keeping your mind focused on something else. Do the dishes in the kitchen while your partner bonds with baby in the next room. Let them be the lookout during naptime, so you can try to sleep, too. (You’ll know she isn’t in need, and should she wake up, someone is there to let you know.) Sooner or later, you’ll be able to sneak away for a solo grocery store run or much-needed date night without feeling too overwhelmed.
When it comes to childcare, there’s no such thing as too much information. If you have plans to leave your wee one with family or friends, you can—and should—let them know your baby’s likes, dislikes and routine. It’s always helpful to have a reference guide on hand when deciding how many ounces of milk should go in baby’s bottle or trying to remember exactly how she likes to be swaddled. Everyone will feel more prepared and equipped when given clear expectations and instructions.
Stick to it
Now for the hard part. After you’ve made your list and given everyone the rundown, you have to actually let go and give them the opportunity to do their job. As tempting as it is to be a backseat driver, remember your reasons for doing this in the first place: to get some healthy rest and allow others to bond with your newborn. You’re completely within your right to periodically check in, but try to limit it to avoid causing stress for everyone involved. Take a deep breath, relax and let those you love and trust take their turn.
Share a meal
Just because dad can’t breastfeed, doesn’t mean he can’t be part of the team. For nighttime feedings especially, ask him to bring baby to your designated nursing spot to keep you comfortable. Afterwards, he can handle the post-meal diapering/soothing your infant back to sleep. And if you’re pumping or using formula, your partner can also take over a few feedings a day, so you can score a little extra you-time.