After bringing your baby home from the hospital, things are going to be quite a bit different. Whether this is baby number one or baby number four, knowing a few essential tips to make life easier is going to help you out quite a bit. If you’re a single mom, these tips may be a lifesaver! So keep on reading to find out what you need to know to make your days - and nights! - with a newborn much simpler after bringing your baby home!
1. Plan Ahead
After bringing your baby home, the last thing you will have time and energy for is cooking. Even if you have someone drop off a few meals, or have a loved one stay a day or two to help, the first 4 weeks are going to be bedlam. So plan ahead! Cook and freeze meals, or stock your pantry and freezer with easy-to-make meals that you or your significant other can prepare in a moment's notice.
2. Designate Help
Whether you’re a single mom, or whether you have an armload of friends and family who are all willing to move in and help out for a whole month, you need to specify who you want to help out and what tasks they should do. Have someone in charge of taking hospital pictures and notifying the family of junior’s birth, someone who can grocery shop and meal prep, and someone willing to hold the baby while you nap or shower.
3. Put Convenience First
We live in a duplex, so I have three levels. I learned early on that keeping diaper changing supplies and feeding supplies on every level was essential to preventing me from running around all day! Climbing stairs is not what a new mom should spend her days doing. Cue a lesson from me and at least toss a pack of diapers and wipes and a travel changing pad on the floor if you don’t have the space to set up another changing station on each level.
4. Get What You Need for Comfort
You will learn early on what works and what doesn’t. Some moms love their boppies, but others never use them! A rocking chair may be an essential to some, while others prefer the floor. If your baby likes motion, a swing could be what gets you through the night.
5. Learn How Baby Likes to Sleep
What puts a baby to sleep? Some like rocking, others like to be swaddled. Certain babies need a pacifier; other babies like to nurse themselves to sleep. Learning what puts (and keeps) your bundle of joy to sleep can be the difference between a long night or a few hours of uninterrupted sleep!
6. Prep for Feedings
If you plan to breastfeed, take a peek at your wardrobe. After bringing my baby home, I discovered that I didn’t own a single button-up shirt! Having nursing-friendly clothing on hand will be a bonus if you breastfeed. For bottle-fed babies, make sure you have a couple different styles of bottles, a bottle warmer, and a couple different brands of formula. Some babies are picky!
7. Record Your Favorite Shows
Unless you have a bunch of DVDs or Netflix, you might be stuck watching the news during feedings or long nights where baby doesn’t feel like sleeping! Plan ahead and DVR your fave shows. You will be glad to have something to do as feedings will take up a majority of your time!
8. Stock up
Grocery shopping is going to be the last thing on your mind with a newborn in arms! So a few weeks prior to your due date, you should stock up on everyday essentials. Household supplies, paper products, and non-perishable food items are a great start. Don’t forget diapers and wipes! You don’t want to run out of those at midnight!
9. Take Care of Your Needs Too
My final tip for making life easier after bringing home a newborn is to remember YOUR needs as well. Take time to shower, eat, and nap occasionally. If you need a break, hire a sitter and get one. Downtime can really help you to re-focus and relax so you can be the best mama possible to your precious sweetie!
A newborn requires time and attention, and you may have little left to give of either if you don’t plan ahead and get on a schedule early on! Newborns are sweet and taking care of them is one of life’s greatest joys, it just requires a bit of planning and effort! How did you make life easier after bringing baby home?