Surviving the First Week at Home with a New Baby

Surviving the first week with a new babyIt’s an amazing feeling. You are a mom. You go through hours of labor and pains and a nurse hands you this tiny human, who you already have the deepest love for. Fast-forward a day or two, and it’s time to go home. What are you supposed to do with this tiny baby? How do you survive the first few days? Here’s what I’ve learned after having my two wonderful babies.

  1. It’s okay to ask for help! I hate to ask for help. I expect others to read my mind and make things how I want them. When you first have a baby, you are in a fog, emotionally and physically. New mom land can be a scary place. Ask for help. If you live near family, have your mom, aunt, friend, whoever, come over and watch the baby so you can get some rest. If you are fortunate enough to have a loving spouse, allow them to serve you. Daddies can make supper, do light cleaning, and entertain older siblings. Asking for help doesn’t make you a bad mom. It makes you a normal mom.
  2. Don’t stress over the small things. Don’t worry about your physical appearance. You just gave birth. It’s okay if you have sweat pants on every day and don’t get a shower every day. Just don’t stress.  Babies can pick up on that. Let your house be. The laundry will be there next week. Don’t stress about your baby’s schedule, color of his poop, or how often he is nursing. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember to let your body heal, too. It’s okay if you have no clothes that fit. You just had a baby.
  3. Enjoy your baby. You will never get the first week back. As hard as that can be, enjoy it. Snuggle with your little one. Nurse and hang out in your PJs all day. Have valuable time as a family where you cuddle up watching movies and welcoming your new member. Celebrate new life. Have visitors when you want them. Don’t feel obligated to have company. Just enjoy your family.
  4. Sleep when your baby sleeps. Even if it is just a catnap, any sleep helps. We all function better well-rested. Have coffee on hand, too. If you are lucky enough to have your spouse at home for a while, rotate naps. He needs sleep, too. Remember, babies sleep a lot during the day. Newborns sleep 16-17 hours per day.
  5. Spend some time with older siblings. Make time for them, even if it’s just a board game or reading an extra book or two at bedtime. Have your spouse or a family member take them out for ice cream or to the park to play.

Remember mom, you can do this!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2 in Northeast Indiana. She wishes she would have enjoyed those early days more with her kiddos.

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