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Parenting a Newborn When You Have ADD
My mother wasn’t ambiguous. She didn’t want me to have kids. While Attention Deficit Disorder wasn’t a topic on everybody’s radar back in those days, my ADD traits were there for anybody to see. I was distractible and had difficulty keeping everything going well. How would I care for a helpless newborn? That was my mother’s worry. After the years have passed, and my grown sons assure me that I am a good mother, her worries seem silly. But were they really?
Caring for a newborn is a demanding job that seems to have no end. It is never done; you cannot just say, “I don’t feel like doing this today.” That baby needs you and your attention! Your hormones are raging, and you never get enough sleep. That can cause your negative symptoms of ADD to go wild. How can you effectively care for him?
Get a good book- Your Child from Birth to Age 5 by Penelope Leach can answer most questions about what a baby will need and when he must have those needs met. A comprehensive book like this can help you develop a schedule and a structure for your life with a newborn.
Crying is communicative- A baby who is crying can be distracting and even irritating. It is important to remember that crying is one way that a baby communicates his needs. Baby’s cries have different tonal qualities to communicate specific needs. There is the cry that says, “I am hungry.” Babies have a variety of communicative cries. I believe that there is a good reason to help a baby meet his unique needs when he cries. Don’t let the child “cry it out.” Think about a time when you really needed help. Would you want the people who are closest to you to ignore your cries for help? A baby’s security is enhanced when parents meet his needs.
No procrastination- Attention Deficit Disorder has procrastination as one of its common negative symptoms. When there is a baby involved, you just cannot put things off. If the baby is hungry, feed him. A wet baby needs to be cleaned and diapered. With babies, the longer you put off taking care of situations, the worse the condition can get. A good rule of thumb is to “do it now” to limit problems.
Breast feeding takes care of the bottle problem- I always worried about heating bottles and keeping them clean. Breast feeding takes care of all of that. In addition to nutrition, breast feeding helps a baby’s immunity system. There is also a unique bond that forms between a baby who is breast feeding and his mom.
Keep lists of those tasks that are not daily jobs - You will build a routine with your child, especially if you do it consciously. The daily tasks that you do for your child will structure your day. Life with a baby can have a rhythm to it. For those events that do not occur daily, have a wall calendar and post the dates for everybody to see. Doctor’s appointments should be found there. Don’t forget to put in fingernail and toenail clipping. When you are going to spend time with friends and family needs to be on the calendar. Why is a calendar important? As your child grows, more items get added to your list. There are clubs, play dates, sporting events and hobby time. Keep the calendar from the beginning of your child’s life and make it a habit.
In spite of my mother’s fears, my children survived infancy. When you use these few simple ideas, you can do a great job of mothering your newborn. When our first son was born, my mother gave me some wonderful advice, “When that baby is down for a nap, you go down for one yourself!” Wise words to live by! Having a baby is wonderful, but also stressful. Treat yourself to a daily nap to help maintain your concentration and energy. Adequate rest always helps Attention Deficit Disorder.
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Content copyright © 2015 by Connie Mistler Davidson. All rights reserved.
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