Being a new mom is one of the most exhilarating feelings in the world. On the same token, coming home with a newborn can prove to be quite the challenge the first few days/weeks.
All kind of feelings and emotions kick in the minute you hold your little baby for the first time.
You feel relieved, excited, scared, exhausted, blessed, sleep deprived… I mean the list goes on.
It is no longer yourself you must worry about. But now you have this beautiful little being that requires around the clock care and attention.
So, how can we make sure that we keep a good balance as a new mom, so that we can function properly and give the very best of ourselves to our baby?
In this new mom’s survival guide we will go over important tips to help you navigate your few days/weeks at home with your newborn.
New Mom Survival Guide: Newborn Days
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1. Postpartum Care
Postpartum care is one of the most important things in the first few days home from the hospital.
After all, the better you feel physically, the easier it will be care for your new baby.
Your body just underwent a very physically demanding journey. Whether you have a vaginal delivery or a c-section, taking care of yourself and your body is a good idea.
Ensure you have a postpartum care kit prior to giving birth so that you aren’t scrambling to buy things at the last-minute.
2. Sleep when the baby sleeps
Okay, so I am pretty sure you have heard this from almost everyone, “sleep when the baby sleeps”.
The first few days as a new mom, sleep will become a thing of the past. You will cater every minute of your day (and night) to your newborn, especially if you are breastfeeding.
It is important that you are getting some much-needed rest to keep up with the baby’s demand. One of the best ways to do that is to sleep when your newborn is napping.
Thankfully, they do quite a lot of sleeping at this stage, so it shouldn’t be hard to take a snooze when the baby sleeps, right?
Well, that’s easier said than done.
Although some new moms adapt perfectly well and take sound naps with their newborns, it isn’t as simple for other new moms.
It is normal to feel a bit anxious about falling asleep while your newborn sleeps. It is a mom’s instincts to want to make sure that the baby is safe and well while their sleeping.
As the weeks go by and you should start to feel more comfortable with your new mom more, so “sleeping when the baby sleeps” should become come easier.
In addition, knowing the principals for creating routines and establishing healthy infant eating and sleeping habits is crucial.
Although every baby is different, having the basic knowledge and techniques in place when the baby arrives will be sanity saving. Trust me!
Goodnight, Baby is a great eBook to have by your side before the baby arrives and after, which will teach you:
- How to get full feedings in and why it matters
- Why (and when) you should be waking your baby up
- What to do during middle of the night feedings
- Why nursing baby to sleep hinders the process and what to do instead
- Tired cues, wake times, and sample schedules
- Simple bedtime routines that work
- Teaching baby to take longer naps
3. Minimize visitors
Everyone wants to meet the new baby. So, everyone will want to visit as soon as you make it home from the hospital.
An important transition a new mom faces the first few days postpartum, is bonding with their baby, and establishing a new family nucleus routine.
When too many visitors stop by, it might interrupt the ability to rest, bond, relax, and even breastfeed.
Set clear boundaries with friends and family and voice your preference about receiving visitor after the first weeks postpartum.
4. Ask for Help
Asking for help or accepting it when offered can be a game changer in the first few weeks postpartum.
It is incredibly important to ask for help when you need it to prevent it from escalating to mom burnout and frustration.
When my first child was born, I went through a period of overwhelm and exhaustion.
I was blessed my husband was able to stay home for the first 3 weeks, but when he returned to work, I felt alone and overworked.
When my second child came around, my mother-in-law stayed with us for the first 6 weeks it was a lifesaver.
5. Dishes Can Wait
If you are anything like me having dirty dishes piled up in the kitchen sink and dirty clothes to be washed, drives you nuts.
I learned really fast that if I wanted to keep my sanity my priorities needed a big overhaul.
After you have a baby, expectations need to be realistic and attainable.
It is okay to fall behind on dishes, laundry, and cleaning for a little while… you are allowed to slow down and enjoy your new baby.
Actually, you are entitled to that and much more! After all, you just gave birth to a human.
6. Meal Prep, Freezer Meals, and Batch Cooking
If while you a reading this baby hasn’t arrived, try to look into meal prep (freezer meals). They will be sanity saving and money-saving when the baby comes.
Freezer meals will give you the ability to throw a few things together and let your slow cooker do the work.
Also, batch cooking and freezing meals are a great way to prepare for the first few days/weeks postpartum. Not having to worry about cooking is a beautiful thing.
Easy and delicious batch cooking meals include lasagna, casseroles, and chicken.
Trust me, when you are under slept, exhausted and hungry… leftovers will be your best friend.
7. Bassinet or Playpen
You spent months designing and decorating the baby’s nursery and now you can’t wait for the baby to come home so he can sleep in his beautiful room.
Well, in perfect world the baby would use his nursery from day one. However, that is seldom the case.
Newborns need constant care and supervision and new moms need sanity and time-saving alternatives.
In addition, you can use them to put it next to your bed for the first few days/weeks as you develop a sleeping routine.
Although breastfeeding comes completely natural to some moms, the reality is that it takes time, patience, and consistency to successfully breastfeed.
There are a lot of great breastfeeding tips for new moms that will make your life a lot easier. However, for the purpose of this article I will be mainly sharing with you those that are some of the most important.
Here is what you should know about breastfeeding in the first weeks home with your newborn:
- BE INFORMED! I can’t stress how important it is to learn about breastfeeding before baby comes. It will save you a lot of headaches.
Milkology has great and inexpensive breastfeeding courses you can take from the comfort of your home.
- Your milk supply will not be much the first few days (don’t worry, you are making what the baby needs)
- Remain consistent and feed on demand to establish a good milk supply
- Stay hydrated and eat nutritious foods that provide you with energy and healthy calories
- Keep a diaper count and discuss it with you health care provider on your first pediatrician visit
- You know baby is drinking enough if she is having at least 3-5 wet diapers by day 3 and at least 6-8 wet diapers by day 6
- 13 Must-Read Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
- My Breastfeeding Stories: Why One Failed and One Succeeded
Bringing home a new baby changes your life, forever.
It is a beautiful journey, but it is also filled with challenging phases.
As a new mom there is a lot to learn, get used to, and explore.
Know that these are just guidelines, but your story and your journey are unique.
Follow your intuitions, put you and baby first… and the rest will follow.
Welcome to motherhood my friend.
What advice will you give new moms that will help with the first week home with a newborn?