Hi Mama! Congrats on the arrival of your sweet baby! It’s such an exciting time and the first week although feels long while you’re in it, it truly goes by quickly when looking back. Before you know it, you’ll be posting your baby’s first week photo on your social media feed.
I believe that many mothers really struggle during the very early days. Particularly if you’re a first time mom. I’ve been there five times and have some advice that I’d like to share to make things go smoother for you. I’m also here to tell you, you don’t have to have it all figured out. It is important to give yourself grace during these challenging but special moments in your life.
Now to get right into it. I have 3 suggestions that I’d like to share with you that will help you “survive” your first week with baby.
1. Prepare an essential basket.
I suggest you prepare this basket in advance before baby’s arrival. Place this basket on your bedside table with items for baby and yourself. For example, for baby, make sure you have diapers and wipes, burp cloths, change of clothes, blankets and a soother. For yourself, stool softeners, nipple cream, pain relief medication, hair elastic, your water bottle (ideally with a straw which makes it much easier when feeding baby), a nursing pillow, your phone and charger and even a pen and paper to write notes about baby's last feeding and wet diapers. Also, make sure you have a basket full of pads, perennial cold packs and a peri bottle for postpartum pain readily available in your washroom. Preplanning is key!
2. Listen to your body + ask for help.
When it’s your first child you will be able to nap when the baby naps so take advantage of that time and rest. You’ll be experiencing a myriad of emotions post delivery, just know that they are completely normal and should pass. If you need to cry, cry it out. It will help you feel better and that does not take anything away from the love and happiness you feel towards your little miracle. I always cried after day four and it wasn’t for any other reason than feeling exhausted and hormonal. My suggestion, if you feel this way, talk about how you’re feeling and also let others help. If it’s your husband, or mother, or friend, let them help you in anyway they can. They can change diapers, bathe the baby, start a load of laundry or bring you something to eat. I couldn’t agree more with Rachel Hollis who said it best; A new mother’s daily list of goals should boil down to 1. Take care of the baby. 2. Take care of yourself. BOOM. The end.
3. Discuss and have a plan for visitors.
My biggest advice when it comes to having visitors is to discuss ahead of time and have a plan. You need to decide together if it’s a good day for company or not. Because let’s face it, fathers are so excited to show their newest addition to family and friends but often don’t realize how exhausted and emotional you may be. Baby blues and postpartum depression are a reality for many mothers so you need to be very open about your feelings. It’s also very important to talk about what you expect when visitors do come. Like, if you are wanting them to wash their hands before holding baby, or if you allow kisses etc. Communication is key.
I hope these three insights will help you navigate your first week at home with baby. Always remember, that you are doing great and you got this mama! Enjoy these precious moments, they truly pass by quickly.