The birth of a baby is such an exciting time. It can be a whirl-wind of emotions and sensations. You have waiting 9 long months for your baby to arrive and they are finally here!
You can’t wait to get home and settle in. . . wait . . . I’m actually going home with a baby?!?
Do I have EVERYTHING I need? Will I have enough help? How will the first night go? Will I know if something is wrong?
Don’t worry Momma! You probably have everything you need and more. However there are 10 important things I think can help you have a smooth transition once you bring your bundle of joy home.
Be flexible and relax!
The next few week (an next few too) is ALL about getting to know your baby, taking care of them and yourself! Try not to make ANY big plans! Its definitely going to be touch and go for a while.
You will spend the majority of your time feeding your baby, caring for them, bonding with them and watching them sleep. In between that you are going to be taking care of yourself. Postpartum recovery is NO JOKE!
You will be on their schedule now and babies don’t take our needs into consideration. Don’t worry, it won’t always be like this!
This is a great time to binge netflix or get into a great book while snuggled up on the couch with your brand new baby!!
Visitors can wait, that is . . unless they offer to hold your baby while you shower.
I know this is a touchy subject and many may not share by belief however the first week postpartum can be really rough. You won’t get a whole lot of sleep or time to yourself.
Your breasts will be engorged and leaky and your boobs will be out A LOT as you learn how to breastfeed. You may not have the chance to change your clothes (or desire to) for a couple of days.
You feet and legs may be swollen. Your lady blossom feels like it is just going to fall right off. If you have had c-section you are going to be in pain and most likely on pain medication.
The last thing you are going to want to do (or should have to do) is entertain visitors. It is ok to say NO until you feel up to it.
Have a stocked home – basic supplies for the first week.
One of the most helpful things I did prior to my births was stock my home with essentials. No one had to run to the store because we ran out of frequently used items like
Freezer meals and a meal train are a new moms best friend.
When each of my children were born in the weeks leading up to birth I would try to make a couple of freezer meals to have to easy meals when baby arrives. You won’t have a whole lot of time to cook and won’t feel like it when you get home.
My favorite freezer meals:
- 8 Easy Crockpot Freezer Meals
- 20 Make Ahead Meals for New Moms.
- 19 Healthy Freezer Meals for New Moms.
My family and friends also set up a meal train for the first 2 weeks we were home and it SAVED MY SANITY. I felt to loved and cared for by the people who came over to drop off a hot meal that was ready and prepared for us to eat.
Keep supplies in multiple places.
There was nothing worse than having to go up and down the stairs in our home or searching various rooms tracking down baby supplies in the middle of a newborn meltdown
Create a newborn essentials basket in the rooms that you live in the most.
- diaper & wipes
- diaper cream
- petroleum jelly
- alcohol swabs
- change of clothes
There is SO much POOP!
Newborns poop. A Lot. Be prepared to change their diapers at least 12-15 times in a 24 hour period. That’s totally normal.
Your newborn baby needs to have at least 1 wet diaper for each day of life ( Ex: 1 wet diaper on the first day, 2 wet diapers on the second day 3 wet diapers on the third day ect . . ) and by the end of their first week you should see 6-8 wet diapers a day. If not you need to contact your pediatrician.
As your newborn gets rid of the meconium stools they will change to a greenish brown and then a yellow/seedy mustard colored stool if they are breastfed or yellow/brown if they are formula fed.
Breastfeeding can be hard – when to ask for help.
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When I brought my first baby home I intended to breastfeed him. However I never imagined how tough it could be.
Yes, we bonded. Yes, breastfeeding was best.
But when I struggled with a low supply and he wasn’t latching well I felt like a failure. I didn’t know I needed to ask for help.
Breastfeeding should come naturally right? It never occurred to me to take a breastfeeding course.
I highly recommend the online course created by Stacy Stewart, The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class. For just $19 you can learn the basics of breastfeeding at your own pace and in the comfort of your home.
I wish this course was available when I had my first child.It’s so easy to follow and the videos are super helpful!
If your hospital has a lactation consultant make sure you get their information before you leave.
Search your local area for an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) to help you when you get home if needed.
Having a few breastfeeding essentials on hand will help tremendously the first week you are home
- Breastfeeding Pillow
- Nipple Cream
- Hydrogel Pads
- Nipple Shield (be aware there are different sizes)
- Breast Pump
- Nursing Bra
- Nursing Pads
- Breastmilk Storage bags
Babies cry a lot – Learn the 5 S’s for soothing your crying baby.
The only way babies can communicate is to cry. They cry A LOT. For different reasons
- do not feel secure
- need to be comforted
Most of the time when you address a babies basic needs they will settle down. If not I highly recommend trying Dr. Harvey Karp’s 5 S’s for soothing a crying baby.
Sleep when the baby sleeps.
This is SO important. You will lose a lot of sleep with a newborn. Often they come home from the hospital and have their days and night mixed up. So they are up all night and sleep all day.
It definitely will take a toll on you. Don’t worry though, if they do that phase won’t last long. Take every opportunity you can to sleep when your baby naps.
Above all, ENJOY this first week.
You will never get this first week with your sweet baby back. It will pass before you know it so soak up every moment. Take it slow. Rest and recover. Snuggle and sleep.
There will be time to get back to all the other things that need your attention. Right now there is only one thing that needs your attention, your sweet baby.
Babies don’t keep.
How was your first week at home with your baby? Were there things that made it easier? What were some things you struggled with? Leave a comment below!