From the very moment you held your baby, there is a lot of changes that will happen in your life and they happen so fast that if you blink, you might miss out on something. Nobody really prepares you for it either. There are several things you will expect though - you will need to breastfeed, change diapers, put them to sleep and stay with your baby throughout the day.
What you aren’t told is that every mom and every baby is different. What works for one mom and baby may not always work for another. So, if turning the fan on helps soothe your neighbour’s baby, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby will fall asleep the same way too. The only you can figure out what your baby needs, likes and doesn’t enjoy is by spending more time with them.
So here’s a guide to surviving those first few weeks and then getting to know your little life!
1. Remember That You Are Human
Imagine waking up every 2 hours in the night because your alarm keeps going off. This is pretty much what happens when you have a newborn in the house. It doesn’t matter how much you fed them before you changed their diapers and put them to bed - they will wake up hungry because they have tiny tummies and can drink only a little bit of milk at a time. To save yourself some trouble, express some breast milk and store it for the night feedings. This way, your partner can also get up and help feed the baby. This tip also help when you want to give your breasts a break - feeding every two hours isn’t easy so store some away for when you are tired.
2. Sleep Often While Your Baby Sleeps
Your newborn baby is going to sleep for about 20 hours every day. It won’t be a continuous 20 hours sleep time - motherhood would have been SO much easier if this was the case - but multiple 1-4 hour naps. This means that they would be napping about 7-10 times every day. We know that these nap times are probably the only time you get to finish up other work but always try to sleep through at least 5 of these nap times - including the nighttime naps. Keep yourself free through the day by asking for help. Ask your partner and other family members to help with cooking, cleaning up and pacifying the baby. This way you can allow yourself to get some much-needed rest.
3. You Can Just Say NO!
You may feel like your house will simply not run if you only focus on yourself and your baby. What you don’t realise is that the world can function just as well if you disengage yourself from it for two weeks much the same way everything would be normal had you been on vacation for two weeks. Let others take care So if there are friends calling to say that they want to come home, it is alright to say “No, not today.” if you are feeling too tired for it. They will understand. If your friends or relatives ask if they can help you, you can, of course, accept the help but only you can judge of whether they are truly going to help or just add on to the burden.
4. Place Your Baby In A Cot Or Crib Near You
One key point to remember is to always keep your baby near you while you sleep. If you don’t, you are not going to be able to sleep well. Your baby will cry in the middle of the night and if you keep them in the other room, you are going to have to walk all the way around to the next room to calm them down. Keeping your baby in your bed is also not advisable. You or your partner may unknowingly roll over your baby and suffocate them. There is also the risk of your baby falling off the bed. Further, if you let your baby sleep next to you all the time, they will continue to do so even after they turn 2 because they are too used to it. This will not be ideal for you and your partner in the long run.
5. Make Full Use Of Online Shopping
Heading down to the grocery store to buy your supplies can become a real pain when you have a newborn baby to look after. Sign yourself up for monthly diaper supply subscriptions. They are usually available at a discounted rate if you decide to buy them in bulk. There are several sizes available according to the age of the baby so make sure you buy one that fits your baby just right - you don’t it too tight or too loose as both can pose different risks to your baby’s health.
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