The first few weeks of having baby home are exciting and fun but can also be exhausting for new parents! Here are some tips to help in the initial adjustment to baby’s arrival home so you can enjoy his or her first weeks in your new family.
1. Make and freeze a few meals before baby is born and have friends and family bring meals on a set schedule (so you don’t end up with a ton of food in the first couple of days home only).
2. Enjoy the late nights with baby. Although you may be exhausted and sleep deprived, the late nights can make for some special moments with baby Your little one will only be a newborn once and all too soon not be as dependent on you so savor these times of bonding with him/her.
3. Accept help from friends and family. I had a hard time depending on friends and family to do things like my laundry or running to the grocery store after my little one was born. In the end though, it was a huge relief and allowed me to rest and focus on my baby.
4. Sleep when your baby sleeps. Although it may be hard to sleep during the day, this may be the only stretch of sleep you will get so take advantage of it and let whatever else you have to do go for the time. Rest is super important for a happy and healthy mommy!
5. Stock up on eco-friendly paper products! This will save you time in doing the dishes (especially if you don’t have a dishwasher like me).
6. Don’t give up on breastfeeding! The first few weeks are the most difficult because baby is learning how to latch and feed correctly as well as eating frequently but this will ease up in the coming months. If you really need a break so you can rest, pump a bottle of breastmilk for your partner to help (just don’t make it a habit to skip feedings since the first few weeks are when milk supply is building and increasing to meet baby’s needs).
7. Get social! There are so many emotions you are going through as a new mom and it helps immensely to get out and visit with your friends and family.
8. Don’t expect your body to be perfect! It took nine months for your your little one to grow and it can take that long or more for you to get back to yourself. The first weeks are no time to diet (especially if breastfeeding).
9. Initiate a schedule for breastfeeding and your day’s activities. This will help you and baby have more predictable days (and eventually nights).
10. Set up stations of your most used baby gear and supplies (i.e.: diapers/wipes/blankets) in multiple rooms. I had diapers, wipes, nursing pads, blankets, etc. in my bedroom and downstairs. This saved me running up and down the steps each time I needed to change a diaper or nurse (which seems like all the time in the first weeks).