The first week home with baby was a total blur.
Slightly less blurry were the days leading up to the delivery of my baby. The nerves had begun to set in and I was growing more and more anxious as we counted down the days. I was so nervous about labor and delivery, but even more nervous about the first week home with baby. The thought that after about a 48 hour hospital stay, we would be bringing baby home was surreal. Our time in the hospital flew by and before we knew it, it was time to head home.
It was scary at first but I made it through and you can too! Having done this a dozen times (kidding, just once), I’m here to help you survive the first week home with baby.
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Newborn babies have a lot of doctors appointments those first few weeks, and the doctors will have a few questions. One of those questions will be how much and how often the baby is eating.
They will also want to know how many wet and dirty diapers your little one is making within 24 hours. With the lack of sleep, you may struggle to know these things off the top of your head.
Baby tracking apps help tremendously with this. I used this app while my daughter was a newborn. I actually still use it sometimes when I feel like my baby isn’t getting enough milk. The app is cute and easy to navigate, but there are a ton more just like it if you wanna try them out!
MAKE FEEDINGS COMFORTABLE
Newborn babies spend a lot of time eating. This is a great bonding time for you and your baby, so you want the both of you to be comfortable during this time.
Your sweet baby will be eating very often, and your arms and back will grow tired pretty quickly. A boppy pillow will help save you the limp arm from holding your baby for however long it takes the baby to eat. It make feedings a whole lot easier!
I was gifted one at my baby shower and realized it was a must have before we even left the hospital! A boppy pillow isn’t just great for the first week home with baby, you’ll likely use it until they are off the breast or bottle.
Postpartum Tip: If you have more than one boppy pillow, use one to sit on during your postpartum recovery! Sitting can be painful, especially with stitches, and the pillow helps relieve that pressure.
KNOW THAT THERE MAY NOT BE AN INSTANT BOND
I know that I bring this up a lot, but I really want people to know that it’s normal! It is very likely that from the moment your baby is born that the two of you will go together like peas and carrots.
However, if you and your baby don’t seem to have an instant bond, that is totally okay too! Everything is so new in this stage and you will do a lot of bonding during the first week home with baby. Motherhood is exciting and scary, so just take it all in!
It may take you a while to get into the swing of things, but you will get the hang of it, Mama!
Almost everyone sings the praises of a good swaddle, and I jumped on the wagon after giving it a try. Swaddling your baby can help them sleep better and longer if they enjoy being swaddled.
Most babies love being swaddled because it reminds them of the womb and prevents them from being disturbed by their startle reflex. Sometimes newborns have trouble adjusting to the “outside world” and I’m down for anything that helps comfort them!
Before you leave the hospital, they will show you how to swaddle your baby, and hopefully you’ll be able to do it. Despite being shown a dozen times, I still couldn’t manage a good enough swaddle that my baby couldn’t break out of. Velcro swaddle blankets helped a ton with this.
SLEEP WHILE YOU CAN
I know that everyone says this, but it’s worth saying again. Your body needs sleep, so sleep while you can!
This will probably mean leaving the dishes in the sink, the laundry in the basket, and sleeping when your baby sleeps.
What helped me most was going to bed an hour or two earlier than usual and leaving my husband up with the baby. He would feed her one last time before he went to bed and then lay her down.
This would buy me a few consecutive hours of sleep before my baby woke for her first night feeding. You may not get much sleep the first week home with baby, but hang in there, it gets better.
ASK FOR HELP
This is another one of those that you will hear a million times, but let me tell you one more time. It is okay to ask for help.
You do not have to be super mom and try to do it all. Call your mom, sister, aunt, best friend, whoever you trust, and ask for help if you need it.
They don’t necessarily have to help with stuff pertaining to the baby. They can always wash a load of clothes for you, sweep the floor, bring dinner over, etc.
Everyone needs help some time or another and there is nothing wrong with asking for it!
IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO TO GUESTS
There is something about a new baby that brings a crowd of cheek pinching, baby kissing, crazy heads. I’m being a little dramatic, but seriously, if that ain’t your cup of tea, just say no.
You can politely explain that you would rather not have visitors during the first week home with baby (or however long) and leave it at that.
It’s not likely that you will want to worry about entertaining guests while trying to navigate motherhood and deal with everything else going on with your lady bits. You may hurt some feelings, but most people will be super understanding!
Even if you are not a naturally organized person, you will probably benefit from all your baby supplies being organized and easily accessible.
Everything having a specific place will make finding things a lot easier, saving vital time in the event of a baby meltdown.
This will come in handy when you have a screaming baby ready for a diaper change and you can tell your husband that the diaper cream is in the cute basket on top of your baby’s dresser.
Looking back on our first week home with baby, I can still feel the nervousness in the pit of my stomach. The newborn phase can be a real doozy, but it does get better. You will sleep again, and it will not be this way for long. You’ve got this!
How did you survive the first week home with your baby? Do you ever find yourself missing the newborn stage?