Tips To Surviving A Newborn. That first week coming home with your newborn baby brings so many emotions that it’s hard to figure out where to start. Here are a few tips to get you going…
We all know those last few weeks of pregnancy can be tough, but trust me! You will be grateful for the prep you did beforehand. We all get so excited about planning the baby’s room, that we forget to think of a few other things. Make sure your freezer and pantry are loaded with healthy snacks and meals. If you have other children, organise carpools and play-dates. Diarise all that will be happening in that first week and plan accordingly. You don’t want the added worry of having to deal with that. For that first week or two, let time standstill.
When in hospital, use the resources around you. Write down all the things you are concerned or unsure about and ask. Whether it’s about breastfeeding/bottle feeding, sleep routines, even something as simple as how to wash your baby, (trust me, I had NO clue) no question is too simple. (And this leads neatly to the next tip.)
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
We all seem to think that we are in this alone, or that if we ask for help we may look like we have no clue or can’t look after our own baby. The truth is, we HAVE NO CLUE! Especially with baby #1. I learned very quickly to suck it up and ask for help. The reality is that most people are MORE than happy to lend a hand, but won’t volunteer the help because they don’t want to intrude. Let people know that you are happy to accept help, it’ll make life so much more bearable.
This was an absolute lifesaver for me. I was lucky enough to have friends and family that made me a stack of meals that I could put in the freezer. There is nothing better than knowing you can feed your family by just shoving a pre-cooked meal in the oven. Knowing also that the meal is healthy and home-made – no need for cheap and nasty fast food. If you don’t have a support system large enough or able to cook for you, start preparing meals a few months in advance. Simple, delicious, and healthy meals that will get you and your family through those first few weeks.
Yes, it’s easier said than done, but you don’t have to do it all. There is no such thing as a super mom. We are all just moms trying to get it all done. When you bring your little bundle home, forget about the laundry, the dishes or washing the floors. Sit and enjoy your baby, read, sleep, lie on the couch and watch movies whilst you enjoy those new cuddles. Don’t be in a rush to get chores done – there will always be more dishes and laundry to do, but you will only have those first few moments with your new baby once.
Take care of yourself
Nobody else in your home will thrive if you don’t allow yourself to heal. Your body has just created the most amazing and beautiful gift, but it has also been through the wringer! So slow down, let the healing process happen. Emotionally, psychologically and physically we need to look after ourselves in those first few weeks. A happy mom is a well-healed mom. Pour a bath, sip on a cup of tea, and just be.
Enjoy being bedroom bound
When I had my babies, my husband knew that I would not be venturing around the house (unless I got bored ?) I stayed in my bed, feeding, sleeping, and healing. It got a little more difficult the more children I had. But I allowed the kids to join me, to be involved with the baby. We read we sang and we spent valuable time together. Do not feel guilty about lying in bed and bonding with your baby. Some of my most special memories are from being “bedroom bound”.
Set guilt aside
Do not feel guilty. And I will say it again, DO NOT feel guilty about anything. Not about taking time off work, or not making meals, or not packing lunch boxes like you used to. Not even about wanting to be alone and not inviting friends for tea. The moment we allow ourselves to feel guilt, we are setting ourselves up for trouble. It will eat away at you until you cannot climb out of that hole. Trust me. I’ve been there… I still have guilt feelings, but as hard as it is, we need to try and set those feelings aside. To be KIND to ourselves! Life is different now that there is a new baby in the house, it must be… but it will not always be this way. Things will return to new normalcy eventually and then you can pick up again on all the things you leave undone now (so don’t feel guilty about it).
Involve your partner with Newborn duties
I know we want that cute baby all to ourselves, who wouldn’t, but our partners made the baby too? They didn’t have nine months to bond as we did, but they were there – they had their own experience of those nine months that is just as real as our own, they are just as eager and emotionally invested. We need to share the load. I remember when I finally allowed my husband to feed our daughter. The look on his face will remain etched in my heart forever. It was a beautiful sight. He also was the first one to bathe all our children. Not only did it give me time to just be, but it allowed him and baby to bond and gave him that special moment with his child.
YES! Exactly that. Everything can wait. Just take a deep breath and enjoy. It’s hard and we are all dealing with different situations, but if you just allow yourself to relax and savor the moment, even for just a minute, it will allow you to be more present. Do it! One last note; I often found that if I didn’t get it all done before my husband came home, or the kids finished school, that I just wasn’t a good wife or mom. The reality is our families would rather have a happy mom, than a stressed, depressed and unhappy one. So enjoy those first few weeks and let time stand still as you fall in love with your new baby.
Love this! To the person who said sleep when the baby sleeps….well they must NOT have seen my house after my family gets “settled” in ??? babies are little for such a short while, so we really should soak them up and enjoy the moments. Troll is my last baby and I’ve tried my level best to just be present in the moment. Some days I’m better at it than most days. But I’m trying….
With Dudie I was hell bent on being is sole caretaker…with Troll I played a different tune. The husband feels I am way more relaxed this time round. And I give him free reign with the baby, although sometimes within limits as you know he is in fact also just a boy at heart???
Absolutely! We need to soak about those moments without any guilt!! x
With my third, we went away to a beach resort (the airline we flew won’t even take babies under a week old anymore so bad us – opps – it was local, and she was late, so it was her fault). It was the BEST experience with a new born ever. The ONLY time frame I had was getting us to breakfast by 10. The other 2 kids had a great time, so there was no guilt, and the baby and I had lots of nice easy walking paths for the pram, and there was no housework building up because the hotel did it. It was just bliss. Probably not something for the first timer, but anyone after that, that’s my top tip!
That sounds heavenly! What a way to relax and enjoy your family! x
Great read. I got my midwife to visit the house every 2 days so that she can answer the questions I still had and help me with the breast feeding. It made my first week so much easier.
I did everything but the meal planning. I left that to my ex-husband or mother-in-law lol. This is very good advice for new moms:) Thanks so much for hosting #Globalblogging
Haha!!Doesn’t matter who does it hey! At least there is food :)… Thanks for commenting!
All great tips, and good to know that we are past this stage! Although, that makes me sad a bit, too! They grow so darned quickly! #globalblogging xo
They do grow quickly don’t they Lisa! x
I was 1000% guilty of not allowing myself to heal. In my defense, I had twins and there was a lot more chaos to deal with–but I was really bad about it. The pediatrician (not even my own doctor) even yelled at me. lol.
The biggest thing for me was the tip you mentioned about having food ready to go. We had a lot of people bring us stuff which was like…I can’t even explain how helpful it is. Especially when you’re trying to breast feed and you’re supposed to keep your calorie intake up. Sometimes I was so tired that I would have rather not eaten than cooked anything–so that food being there to just pop in the oven or microwave literally saved my milk supply at times.
As a daddy of 2 I found that taking care of yourself is so important to remember. Mummy needs time to recover from everything and have time to herself as well as being a new mum. Dad’s need to remember to help mum but also to take for themselves to keep their own MH stable. You’re no good to mum if you’re not looking after yourself as well.
Freezer meals and naps were tree two main things that helped me through the first well with a newborn. These are really good tips!
Definitely! Lucky my husband did pretty much everything else around the house both times our babies were born. Having a newborn to look after is obviously a great blessing but they do take up all your time including your sleep time. #globalblogging
I wish I had this post before I had my first baby. Every one of these points are so real. I didn’t take enough time to “just be” and I definitely had a lot of “not staying on top of everything” guilt. It’s so true that you can’t get that early time with your baby back! I hope every new mom (or mom-to-be) reads this and takes your suggestions to heart!
absolutely agree! Third time round, I made sure we meal planned and got some frozen pre made meals from Cooks – they are really lovely and not your standard TV dinner! #Globalblogging
Relax and enjoy, my favorite three words! #GlobalBlogging
Good advice for new mums #GlobalBlogging
Amazing tips I love the setting guilt apart.As new parents we tend to feel the pressure to be super mom which is impossible with newborns.Taking one step at a time is the surest way and enjoying the time you have with your baby. #globalblogging
This is such good advice. I remember those hazy days or not knowing what on earth I was doing and feeling cocooned in our own 4 walls. It’s a magical time, but you’re so right. We need to take all the help we can get! #globalblogging x
Love the term cocooned in your own walls… I don’t think it could be described in a better way!
great tips for parents! wish we had this list when our toddler was a newborn, but will keep it handy when our next one comes along, thanks for sharing
Love the way you explained the things.It was just like writing the true emotions for welcoming the new member of family.This is a precious time and every mom should enjoy every moment.
Thanks for this valuable post.
Thank you, that is such a kind thing to say. I’m glad you enjoyed reading. x
Perfect timing for this post! Appreciating the time and effort you put into your website and in-depth information you offer. You’ve really covered up almost all the possible info that every parents should follow and the explanation is so helpful. Worth sharing! Please do continue sharing updates! Thanks a lot!
Thank you Lily! That’s very kind.