Having a baby is one of life’s joys. It’s an exciting time. A newborn brings a whole new set of responsibilities you didn’t know were possible. The first few days in the hospital are great because you have the help of nurses. They’re helping you with swaddling, nursing, diaper changes, etc. They’re educating you on what to do when you get home. Taking your baby home for the first time is a bit nerve wrecking, you’re driving like your taking your driver’s test again and then your home. You can read every book out there but until that baby arrives, you don’t know what to expect.
The first week in my opinion is the toughest. You’re trying to figure how what it’s like to be a parent and there’s no instruction manual. The first week really does consist of just getting by. There’s always sound advice on what to do and what not to do. I’m sharing with you what are small, important tips that will get you through that first week.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps! This is a piece of advice I heard over and over again and it really does hold true. Everything else can wait. You will want to do laundry, wash dishes or whatever else needs to get done around the house, resist the temptation! It’s hard because it’s your “free” time. You will need sleep, take it when you can get it.
- Plan for easy meals. The last thing you want to think about is cooking after having a baby. Some will recommend to have meals made prior to having the baby and then freezing them. I never did this but I do think it’s a great idea. If you have a crockpot use it for a chili or stew. Friends and family will offer up bringing over meals, take advantage of it!
- Shower daily. Prior to having my own children, I heard new moms say they don’t even have time to shower. I really never understood that until I had my own and more so after the second one. There will be some days where you don’t even leave the house. Taking a shower will refresh you and you’ll feel accomplished.
- Bottle feed. We were fortunate to have my mom stay with us the first week we were home with our daughter. It was the second or third day home and my mom came into the bedroom (I was sleeping), she said she was giving her a bottle and wanted me to sleep. I had such anxiety about it because of “nipple confusion”, plus I wanted to start saving breast milk and really didn’t want it used. That was some of the best rest I ever had, I really saw the importance of having someone else help out. I had read so much about “nipple confusion” and was terrified by it but it’s rare. We’ve had two kids and both were bottle fed the first week of being home, I still nursed (still am nursing with our second) and didn’t have an issue with it. So don’t be afraid of doing it, this was a misconception I had. Bottle feeding will give you a break and will also prepare your baby if you plan to return to work.
Once you get through the first week, you kind of start to get a feel of what you can do. There will be times where it will feel overwhelming, take a deep breath you’ll get through it. There will be hard times and when that happens, remind yourself that it’s only temporary and they aren’t little forever.
What advice did you give or get that helped you get through the first week with a newborn?