For new moms, surviving the first week with a new baby can be a scary thought. Not only are you adding a new edition to your family, but you may always stress about having everything you need to make the transition as smooth as possible. In this post, I’m going to share a few practical tips to help ease your mind and have the best new mom and baby experience ever. Don’t forget to bookmark this page and pin it to your favorite new mom Pinterest board.
Surviving the First Week with a New Baby (for New Moms)
Now that you’ve gotten through some of the toughest parts of early motherhood – pregnancy, labor, and delivery – it’s time to talk about what your first week will be like. By now, you’ve had your baby shower and gotten your baby’s nursery put together. The clothes are washed, the changing station is stocked, and the bottles have been cleaned. You and your baby are home…now what?
Be prepared to take care of yourself (and your partner).
This typically isn’t considered until having a second child, which is why I wanted to lead with it first. All while planning for your baby’s first week at home, also consider you and your partner. This includes, but it not limited to:
- Having at least a week’s worth of meals prepped, precooked, or ready to easily cook. You can do this yourself before having your baby or set up a meal train for friends and family to pitch in and help.
- Stockpile your household items (cleaning supplies, food, etc.) so you don’t have to worry about going to the store.
- Make sure you have plenty of postpartum supplies. Think tinctures, teas, sitz bath products, pads, mesh underwear, creams, ointments, snacks, and drinks to stay hydrated (in addition to water).
Have plenty of toiletries and accessories to care for baby.
I’m sure you’ll have an influx of diapers and wipes, but don’t forget anything that’s needed to help with breastfeeding, pumping, and daily care for your precious little baby. While some moms opt out of giving their babies baths for the first few weeks, you may still want to do sponge baths or need an ointment/cream for any dryness. If you’re nursing, be sure to have what you need for any spit ups, overflow from your brests (think breast pads), and ointments for sore nipples.
Hire a lactation consultant or doula to help with nursing.
Breastfeeding is an amazing way to feed your baby and it can also be very frustrating in the beginning. This is completely normal and it’s also why I suggest having a lactation consultant or doula who is trained in this area on call. Many moms get frustrated to the point of giving up, but having hands-on support can do wonders. Give you and your baby time to bond and learn how to work with one another.
Make sure your newborn gear is in place.
This is another area where you’ll have to take into consideration your lifestyle, the space in your home, and how you plan to care for your baby. Some moms purchase ALL the things – the baskets, bassinets, cribs, changing tables, etc. Others choose to co-sleep, which means they don’t need much more than a crib. Some moms are also active and plan to take walks, travel, and the like with their baby. In this case, you’ll want to make sure you have a good stroller, car seat, baby carrier, and the like.
Don’t be afraid to ask for and ACCEPT help.
Seasoned moms know all to well what it’s like to be a new mom, which is why it’s almost crucial to accept the help from those you know and trust who have been there and done that. They don’t have to do a ton of things and don’t think they’ll be in your way. At the very least, allow a friend to come over and help prepare food, do a load of laundry, or tidy up. It’s also very smart to solicit friends to run your errands.
Give yourself grace through the transition process.
At the very least, give yourself grace. There’s no perfect mother and thinking that everything is going to be smoothe sailing is setting yourself up for failure. Some of the best advice seasoned mothers have given is below:
- Don’t worry about resting when the baby rests. You’ll most likely want to use that time to get things done.
- Sometimes your baby may cry and it will seem impossible to soothe them. It’s okay and it’s not your fault.
- There will be times when you feel helpless and that’s okay too.
- Adjusting to a newborn will feel very much like an emotional rollercoaster, so tighten your seatbelt.
- It’s okay to cry and need to take a few minutes to yourself (even if it’s a quick shower).
First and foremost, congratulations on your new bundle of joy. The tips and advice on surviving the first week with a new baby is not an exhaustive list; however, they are important things to keep in mind as you transition into your new normal as a mother. If you’re a seasoned mom reading this, comment with some of your best tips for surviving the first week with a new baby.