The first week at home with a newborn baby can be challenging.
The routine you have been used to before the birth of the baby will be completely turned upside down. And both parents will be feeling exhausted. Here, we have some helpful tips for making the first week at home with a newborn more manageable.
You might have gotten all the obvious things done – like choosing a bassinet or crib, washing the baby clothes and stocking up on diapers. But, there are often many things that first-time parents don’t think of when it comes to the first week at home with the baby. Many moms don’t realize how tired and sore they will be after labor and birth. It’s important to allow others to help out where they can so mom has time to rest and the body can begin to heal.
On a related note, it’s important to get dad involved from the beginning too.
Give him a chance to learn how to change a diaper, and take turns with feeding if you are bottle-feeding. If you are breastfeeding, ask dad to make you a drink or a snack whilst you are feeding.
Another important tip for breastfeeding moms is to seek help early if you feel you are struggling. There are professionals available to help new moms who are having difficulty mastering breastfeeding. Or who feel like things maybe aren’t going quite right. If you have support early on, you are more likely to enjoy and continue your breastfeeding journey for longer so don’t suffer in silence.
No matter how tired you are during those early days with the new arrival, it’s important to get outside and get some fresh air. Even if it just a short walk around the block, you will feel so much better after seeing some daylight. Your little one might enjoy a nap in the stroller or baby carrier too.
New parents will be spending those early days getting to know their new arrival.
It is during this time that you will learn to read your baby’s cues for hunger and tiredness. Try to observe your baby and learn what their different cries and gestures mean. Don’t worry about finding a routine in the beginning. Let baby lead the way and everything will fall into place eventually.
A great habit to get a baby into is staying awake during feedings. If they stay awake whilst feeding, they will continue until they are full and should then sleep better with a full stomach. Gently tickle your baby’s cheeks or feet to help them stay awake to finish their feed, before putting them to sleep when they are finished.
Learning how to swaddle a baby can also help them sleep better in the early days.
Any square blanket can be used. Although there are also special swaddles available which have Velcro fastenings, making them easier to use. White noise machines can also help newborns drift off. As they help to recreate the atmosphere of being in the womb.