You have spent months preparing for the arrival of your baby, from getting the nursery room ready, to buying clothes, to packing your hospital bag, to making necessary changes in your home to welcome your little one. You have taken care of the minutest details possible. However, not even a perfectly curated plan can truly prepare new parents for the reality of bringing a newborn baby home from the hospital. The first few weeks with your newborn can be filled with highs and lows. Your life will be hectic as you try to figure out how to manage life with a newborn baby. This is especially true for first-time parents who have never had a baby before. The first few weeks will be a tough and tiring one as new moms continue to juggle between frequently breastfeeding and diaper changing as your newborn baby needs a lot of care and attention in the beginning.
But do not worry; as the newborn stage passes, you will be able to strike a balance and learn to manage your time with your baby around. Until then, we have curated a guide that contains essential tips on how to survive your first week with a newborn baby. Go ahead and bookmark this!
Setting up and enforcing a strict routine in the first week with your newborn is entirely pointless. Your newborn baby has no idea about the difference between day and night, and in such early days, it is pointless to try and force any regularity in their feeding and sleeping patterns. However, you can keep in mind the following essential tips, for they are every new parent's guide on how to survive for the first week with a newborn.
While you are still pregnant; try to stock up your kitchen with all the essential items, as this is one of the most critical things to do while preparing your home to welcome a newborn.For instance, you can make meals and freeze them, have some healthy snacks handy. This can make your first few weeks with a newborn baby easier and makes cooking much more manageable and more effortless.
Before you head to the hospital, make sure you make a list of significant phone numbers that include your OB-GYN's office, newborn baby's pediatrician, doula or midwife, urgent care phone numbers, lactation consultants, as well as and emergency contact numbers. Keep these handy and pinned on the fridge and also on the speed-dial of your mobile.
The first few weeks of breastfeeding a newborn may very well want you to quit straight away. It is exhausting to breastfeed after giving birth as you tend to feed the baby often, which means an irregularity in your sleeping patterns. The thumb rule of breastfeeding a baby in the first week is to put your baby to the breast every time you think they are hungry. It may seem that you are feeding them most of the time, but remember that this is a crucial time for stimulating your milk supply. To give you a hassle-free experience of breastfeeding your little one, here is a breathable nursing bra with a front end opening and a breastfeeding undershirt that is the perfect lounger to wear for you while you feed your baby.
If you want to introduce a bottle to your newborn to give yourself a brief break, you can do so. You can use a breast pump to extract some breast milk for your baby. As per the World Health Organisation guidelines, newborns are to be given only breast milk in the first six months and then add food along with breast milk from six to 12 months.
A newborn baby does not need bathing frequently, and more so in the first week, it is better to sponge bathe the baby as their umbilical cord is still healing. Wash your baby with warm water with cotton wool balls or a soft and absorbent washcloth. If your baby's skin is dry, you can add emollient to the water to soften it. You can massage baby oil into their scalp and leave it overnight to soften the flakes if your baby has a cradle cap.
Your first week with the newborn is so exhausting with completely disrupted sleeping patterns that any exertion will leave you frustrated and tired. So it's best if you stock up on your baby supplies in each room so that you do not have to run into another room to change their diaper or fetch a burp cloth. We recommend you make a designated basket and fill it with all essential baby care items. For instance, you can keep this compact healthcare kit with enough space for storing all necessary things for your baby. Other important things you can include in your basket can consist of:
Newborn babies tend to experience startling responses or the Moro reflex during the first few months. This could lead them to scratch their face accidentally. You can swaddle your baby in a blanket or a cloth with the hands tucked inside to prevent this. Perfecting a swaddling technique requires practice, but it is a crucial skill to soothe your baby.
As much as a baby care routine is essential, you must take care of yourself and your body. Postpartum care is vital for all the new moms out there, including following instructions from your doctor, eating right, and sleeping when you can. Talk with your partner before your baby arrives, about splitting the household and baby care duties, so that you can get time to take care of your physical and mental health.
Newborn babies often take short naps and wake up several times to eat, poop and then go back to sleep. The trick here is to get some rest while your baby is sleeping. So if you breastfeed your baby and they fall asleep, take advantage of this to get sleep for yourself too.
The first few weeks, your baby will be on eat, poop, sleep and repeat mode. So you will end up changing his diapers very frequently throughout the day. It is best to dress the baby in easily accessible clothes such as onesies or zip-up sleepers to make diaper changing much more manageable.
Yes, your home is going to look like a mess for the first few weeks once you have got your newborn home. But do not let this upset you; let your housework take the backseat for a while because your baby needs immense care and attention now. You can split up your household duties with your partner to make things a lot easier.
Last but not least, the newborn stage will not last long, so savor every moment with your little one. Over time you will start to look back and miss those days when your baby was this tiny. Take lots of pictures with some cute photography props and get as many snuggles as possible.
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