Your baby is finally here! There are so many emotions at this time and you are feeling both overwhelmed with joy and demanding life has become. I want to share with you how to be your happiest in the first month with a newborn.
Newborn coping tipsFirst off, let's start with the basics. Humans need food, water, and sleep to survive. Before your due date, see if it can be arranged to have friends and family prepare and deliver meals for you. During this time, meals that you did not make will be priceless, and a week of these would be amazing. I was so blessed to have a group of my friends from church bring our family meals after both my girls were born.
If this isn't possible or you feel too awkward bringing that up, prepare your own house to a have quick meals available. Many casseroles can be made ahead of time and frozen. Keep your dietary staples stocked a few weeks before your due date so trips to the grocery store will not be necessary. Frozen meat can easily be thawed and thrown on the grill. The less preparation and clean up the better. Realize that this month, meals will be probably not be fancy but will get the job done. But, remember to continue to eat clean, whole, raw, unprocessed foods as much as you can. Not only will mom and dad feel better, your new baby is directing getting what you're eating too. If you don't feel good after eating fast food, your baby probably won't either.
On to water. Make sure you drink tons of water the first month after baby, as well as beyond. This is especially important for breast feeding mothers, as dehydration negatively effects your milk supply. Not to mention the headaches, and lethargy that comes along with being parched.
Sleep is beautiful word those first 3 months. Of course you want to get as much sleep as possible. But, I think coming into terms with reality on how little sleep you will get helps the process. You need to accept that your baby will be eating every 2 1/2 to 3 hours during the day and possibly a slightly longer stretch at night. During the first month, frequent feedings are crucial to your baby's growth and your milk supply. You may want someone to feed your baby a bottle of your milk but it is still important to pump during the time your baby is eating. Since you can't get a break during feedings, try and rest between them. Have your partner care for the baby after you feed them by burping, changing their diaper, singing, rocking, etc. Not only can mom catch a wink of sleep, dad or friend will spend quality time with the baby.
Other newborn coping tipsSome other things that really helped me get through the exhausting first month:
- Take showers at night. It is more likely that you will actually get one if its not during the morning rush hour trying to get siblings dressed and fed, or partner to work. Really enjoy the white noise of a shower, I jokingly called it a vacation. It is the only place in a house where it doesn't matter who's crying, whining, or needing anything. But, let me warn you about "phantom cries." Phantom cries are when you think you hear your baby crying when they actually are not. This is common in the shower, when you're doing the dishes, or watching a tv show. Hopefully your night-time shower doesn't include any of these.
- Stay on top of household chores, but don't try to do too much. Simple things such as making the bed, keeping countertops clean, regular laundry, and a clean kitchen will make you feel like you are a put together mommy. Now is not the time to clean the windows, scrub the grout and baseboards, or the oven. You were supposed to do those things when you were nesting! Keep your house in order but do so by doing little things daily. If it doesn't get done sometimes, try again the next day.
- Get a baby swing and use as often as necessary. A swing is a great place to lay your baby sleeping or awake. It is up off the ground saving your back, and a slight incline will help with any reflux. Babies can be settled easily by the rocking motion and also enjoy being high enough to be a part of the action.
- Try to get your family on a routine but allow flexibility also. There are many popular baby books that outline a routine for your baby. They are best taken as guidelines paired with mothers intuition. A routine has allowed me to be mentally prepared for my day and have some control of how the day unfolds. A routine gives me the confidence that I know what my baby and family need, and when they need it. Children thrive on repetition and because of a routine, I am prepared to deliver it.
Author: Unique Ultrasound