After nine months of pregnancy that included nausea, gaining weight, sleepless nights, stretch marks and more excitement than could be easily contained, your baby has finally arrived. Now you are going home from the hospital and will be totally responsible for this little person’s care. What lies ahead? Your newborn is going to be the center of your universe for a while; at least until schedules are established and you have a little time to yourself. Caring for a newborn is an exhausting experience for sure, but it can be one of the most precious times of your life. When you don’t think you can handle one more late night feeding, here are 8 ways to survive life with a newborn.
1. Accept Help
Don’t try to be a superwoman in the weeks immediately following the birth of your baby. Many friends and relatives will be more than willing to help you out. Let them bring meals or do the laundry. If your mom wants to help out for an extended period, let her come. Face it, there are not many times in your life that others are going to be willing to drop whatever they are doing to help you out; accept help gladly.
2. Slow down
Having a newborn means slowing down and emptying your schedule. Do only what is essential to running your home and leave the rest for later. Your newborn will require all the energy you can muster.
3. Take Lots of Pictures
As tired as you are, taking pictures of your little one is so important so don’t forget! New mothers are often so tired they have little memory of the first days at home with their newborn. Taking lots of pictures is a great way to document your baby’s expressions.
4. Sleep Whenever Possible
Nothing is truer than the old adage advising moms to rest with their babies. Sleep deprivation is common to mothers with newborns, so take every opportunity to rest. Even if you cannot sleep, sit down and relax while Baby is resting.
5. Live in the Moment
Don’t wish away the time, even if those first few weeks are brutal. Don’t wish your newborn days away because someday when your child is older you will look back and realize time has passed all too quickly. Be content and live in the moment as it is; the newborn days are fleeting and very precious. The newborn days provide mothers with the best opportunity to bond with their child and learn all about their personality.
6. Treat Your Older Child to a Special Surprise
If you have older children it is wise to put together an activity box or bag full of things for your older kids to do when you come home with your newborn. Stuff the box or bag with age appropriate games and activities that are new to them. Items like puzzles, color books and crayons are always good for entertaining older kids. This will keep you from feeling torn between your baby and your older child.
7. Ask for Paternity Leave
Does dad have a job that offers paternity leave? Many men welcome the opportunity to spend time at home with their newborn. Like mom, dad needs time to bond with the baby too. Mom and baby both benefit when dad stays home for the first couple of weeks while mom is getting her energy back and routines are being established.
8. Be Prepared
Have everything ready well in advance of your due date. Be prepared with clothes, blankets, diapers, formula and all other necessary items before baby comes. The last thing you want is to be out shopping for necessities when you have just brought your newborn home. Being prepared early enables you to be less stressed as your due date nears.
The newborn period goes by very fast, but it is a time of exhaustion and exhilaration. Treasure this time; it is gone all too soon. When it gets really difficult during those first few weeks, use these 8 ways to survive life with a newborn. What tricks did you find helpful for surviving the newborn days?
Top Photo Credit: djrockout