Tips for your first few days and weeks at home with your new baby
No matter how much you plan for it, those first few days after you bring your newborn baby home will be a huge change. I remember as we were leaving the hospital with Wyatt, thinking to myself, are they really going to let me take this baby home when I have no earthly idea what I am doing?!?!
Luckily, we made it through it but not without a couple hiccups along the way. If you read my blog on Wyatt’s birth story you’ll remember that he was delivered via unplanned c-section. This threw a little wrench in some of my planning as I didn’t expect to be recovering from surgery when I got home. The hardest thing for me was when the doctor told me I could not drive for 2 weeks as I would be on pain meds. 2 weeks?!?!? No way I thought but it was definitely a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to focus completely on recovering and bonding with my new baby.
Tip 1: Have a helper if you can!
Thankfully my mother offered to come and stay with us for a week after Wyatt was born. On the advice of my friend (who also happens to be a doula), I had a long talk with mom about exactly what I would need help with and she was amazing! My friends were also wonderful and set up a food plan where they each took turns bringing all of us a meal. My friends over at Earth Mama Organics have a great program called the Lying in Plan. They offer advice on how to make sure you care for yourself when you return home. They also have a great plan you can download and fill in for yourself. Check it out here Lying-In Postpartum Plan
Tip 2: Crockpot Freezer Meals
Once my mom left I had to assume the household responsibilities again. My husband works from home so he was able to help out quite a bit but to be honest, I was glad to get back to cooking. Before I had Wyatt I knew I was going to need meals that were easy and quick to make but also healthy(ish) since I planned to breastfeed. After searching Pinterest I found a couple great blogs that had lots of recipes for me to choose from. Here’s a couple that I ended up making, one even includes a shopping list (which I definitely took advantage of!):
Tip 3: Prepare a list of shows to watch
When I first brought Wyatt home I basically lived in my my bed because all he wanted to do was eat and sleep. Thank goodness we have both Hulu and Netflix because I was able to find a ton of great shows to binge watch. While the sound typically didn’t bother him, I went ahead and got some wireless headphones just to be safe and I still use them when I’m feeding him now! Couple of my favorites were The West Wing, Hawaii 5-0, Elementary, Law and Order SVU, and Blue Bloods.
Tip 4: Multiple Changing Areas
Prior to babies arrival, my husband and i figured that one changing area in his room would be good. We quickly learned that wasn’t always convenient considering we have a 2-story home. One of the gifts we received for a shower was a pack and play that included a changing station and newborn bassinet. We quickly set this up in our bedroom and used it too many times to count. Next we ended up buying a changing table for downstairs as well to we didn’t have to run up and downstairs every time he had a dirty diaper (which seemed like it was every 5 minutes!). Speaking of diapers, I highly recommend the ones with the wetness indicator! Now that Wyatt is older I can tell pretty easily but at first that was a big help! Especially for daddy 🙂
Tip 5: It’s ok feel overwhelmed!
This was a big revelation for me! I always tried to do it all and I really thought even with a baby that I would be able to. After grandma left, the dishes, laundry and basically all household chores quickly piled up. At first it gave me a ton of anxiety because i felt like i was failing then I realized, I wasn’t failing, I was adjusting. By focusing on my newborn and myself, I was doing exactly what I needed to be doing. Eventually we got into a good routine where I was able to get things done while baby napped or I would put on my Tula and get to work. Little man loved being in the Free-to-Grow Tula baby carrier. I highly recommend getting a baby carrier of some sort as it definitely came in handy!
I started to add some tips about breastfeeding and the things you will need but then realized that is a whole blog in itself so stay tuned for my next blog on breastfeeding tips and tricks!
The most important thing to remember when you get home is that having a baby is a complete life changing experience and it’s ok not to know what to do right away. All of us first time moms learn by doing and while it takes time, remember to enjoy the ride! It’s so true what everyone says, one day you will look back and miss those days! I know I do!