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When you first bring your baby home, life can be a bit hectic while you try to figure out how to manage life with a newborn.
This is especially true for first-time moms who have never had a baby before. Finding just the right balance to take care of everything as well as your newborn takes a few weeks or even months.
The truth is that the first few weeks with a newborn is tiring even for an experienced mom. Between the frequent feedings and diaper changes, your newborn baby needs lots of care and attention in the beginning.
But don’t worry. The newborn stage will pass and your life with a new baby will become a lot more balanced once you’ve passed the newborn stage. Until then, here are 19 tips that were crucial for me surviving the first few weeks home with a newborn baby.
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1. Stock Your Kitchen
Try to stock up on everything you will need while you are still pregnant. When you are getting your house prepared for your newborn to come home, make sure to stock up your kitchen.
Making freezer meals, and having healthy snacks on hand can make your first few weeks home with a newborn much easier and make cooking simple meals a lot more manageable.
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Are you planning to breastfeed your newborn baby? If so, taking a breastfeeding class will give you all of the advice you need to learn how to properly breastfeed your baby and what to look out for.
I personally love the Milkology breastfeeding class that is taught exclusively by Stacey Stewart. She is a Certified Lactation Educator and also a mom of 3. She also has an extensive history of helping moms to learn how to breastfeed their babies from the start.
If you plan to breastfeed seriously you need this class to become a breastfeeding pro.
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3. Breastfeed on Demand
One huge tip that worked for me when I first brought my baby home and was breastfeeding was to breastfeed on demand. Breastfeeding on demand is basically breastfeeding anytime your baby shows signs that they are hungry. Even if they just breastfed 10 minutes ago. Breastfeed them.
At the beginning of your breastfeeding journey, your baby is likely to want to breastfeed very often and this is called cluster feeding.
By allowing your baby to cluster feed on demand, you are not only comforting your baby, but you are also letting your baby tell your body how much breast milk they are going to need.
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4. Make Breastfeeding Comfortable
Another great tip for breastfeeding – especially in the first few weeks is to make it as comfortable as possible.
So instead of sitting in an awkward position and leaning over to breastfeed your baby, bring your baby to your breast and give your back some support with pillows. You can also learn to breastfeed while laying down in bed to help you through those late-night feedings.
Basically whatever position you are comfortable in go for it.
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5. Track Your Baby’s Feedings
As a new breastfeeding mom, it is completely normal and common to worry about your baby getting enough breast milk. Since you cannot actually see how much your newborn baby is drinking like you can with a bottle this can be a bit worrisome for moms.
That’s where tracking your baby’s feedings comes in handy. By logging how many times your baby breastfeeds along with how many wet diapers they have you can track how much they are taking in and be reassured that they are hydrated and getting plenty of breast milk.
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6. Establish A Routine
Having a newborn baby around can sure make it difficult to start a reliable routine, but having a very loose routine can definitely make the first few weeks with a newborn baby at home easier.
For example, you can start your day off with breastfeeding, getting dressed and feeding yourself, and then maybe putting your baby down for a nap.
Even just having a simple outline of a routine can make a huge difference for you and your baby.
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7. Keep Baby Supplies in Multiple Rooms
After giving birth, and taking care of a newborn baby at home each day, you are sure to be exhausted.
That’s why it’s important to keep your newborn baby’s supplies in multiple rooms so you are always prepared and don’t have to run to another room or even upstairs just to change a diaper or fetch a burp cloth.
I recommend making a designated basket and filling it with all of the basic essentials you may need throughout the day.
What do you need the first week with a newborn baby?
Some great things to include in each room are:
- diaper cream
- a change of clothes
- burp cloths
- nursing pads
So just about anything you may need during the day can keep you from running frantically to look for that one thing that your baby needs.
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Bringing home a newborn baby can be very hard on a postpartum body. You’re tired and probably very overwhelmed.
So by using these supportive baby products you can make your daily life with a newborn at home easier.
The number one baby product that I recommend to all new moms whether they are breastfeeding or not is a Boppy Pillow. The Boppy Pillow helps you to hold your baby up closer to your breast which is great for breastfeeding support but can also do the same for bottle-feeding moms.
A few other supportive baby items that I love are a baby swing, pacifiers, and a sound machine.
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9. Baby Wearing
Have you heard of babywearing?
If not, it may sound a bit weird but trust me you won’t think so once you’ve tried it.
Babywearing is when you have your baby up close to your body supported by a baby carrier or wrap. This allows you to “wear” your baby. In the first few weeks of bringing your baby home, babywearing can really save your sanity and allow you to take care of other children and even household duties all while holding your newborn baby.
I personally loved having a Moby Wrap for my newborn since it is made of soft breathable fabric and allowed my newborn to be snuggled up against me.
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10. Learn to Swaddle
Since babies spent their entire lives being in a cramped uterus where they were all bundled up, they often love to be swaddled after being born. This is why learning to master the swaddle is so important for new parents.
After you give birth most nurses will teach you how to swaddle your baby from the start to help you out.
However, some parents never learn how to swaddle and find it complicated. That’s where these special swaddle wraps come in handy. Really it doesn’t matter how you swaddle your baby. They will appreciate the safety and security they feel when being wrapped up and warm.
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11. Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps
Do you feel like you will never sleep again? This is super common when you bring your newborn baby home.
Newborn babies often take short naps and wake up several times to eat and then go back to sleep. The trick to getting some rest with a newborn baby is to sleep when your baby sleeps.
So if you just breastfed your baby and they fell asleep take advantage of that time and get a little nap in as well. You probably won’t be sleeping through the night any time soon so taking little naps along the way will give you some rest though out the day.
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12. Eat and Drink
Sometimes new moms forget to take care of themselves after bringing a newborn baby home. However, it really is crucial for new moms to eat and drink plenty of fluids – especially if they are breastfeeding.
Think of it this way. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have the energy to take care of your baby. So make sure to get plenty of rest and help your body to recover from giving birth.
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13. Use Easy Access Baby Clothes
Newborns like to drink a lot during the first few weeks. And because of this they often have several wet diapers each day.
This means that you will be changing their diaper very frequently throughout the day and even at night.
During these first few weeks, one great way to make diaper changes easier is to dress your baby in easy access clothing like onesies and zip-up sleepers. This way you don’t have to take off and put back on several layers of complicated clothing while you are exhausted.
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14. Keep Your Baby Close By
Since I had c-section deliveries with both of my babies, I always kept them close to me rather than putting them to sleep in a different room. This cut down on the time I would have to walk to another room to get them every time they needed to eat or have a diaper changed.
By keeping your baby close by during the newborn stage you can meet their needs much quicker.
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15. Ask For Help
I know everyone likes to think that moms have superhuman powers, but we get tired and need help too.
This is why asking for help is so crucial when you are tired, or just feeling overwhelmed. New dads are often the best ones to ask for help because it also gives them time to bond with their baby while giving you a break.
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16. Don’t Feel Bad for Turning Away Guests
When there is a newborn in the family, everyone wants to meet them and start to build a relationship. However, sometimes this can make adjusting to life with a newborn and recovering from giving birth a bit hectic.
Having a revolving door with guests coming though can interfere with a new mom getting rest, starting to breastfeed, and even with your newborn baby getting sleep.
So do not feel guilty for turning away guests or asking your family to wait until a few weeks have passed to come over and visit. This is completely normal for getting the rest and relaxation you need.
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17. Put Housework Aside
Yes, your home is probably going to look like a bomb went off once you’ve been home with your newborn for a few weeks, but don’t let it get you upset. Adjusting to a newborn being home takes a lot of time and honestly, housework is probably the last thing you need to think about.
Making sure that you and your newborn are eating and sleeping enough is your number one job right now.
18. Take Things One Day At A Time
Sometimes during the newborn stage, you can feel so overwhelmed and stressed about how everything is going. This is why you have to try to take each day one at a time.
Having a newborn around can literally turn a house upside down, but this will not last. You will get your life back to normal eventually.
19. Stop and Enjoy It
As I said the newborn stage will not last. So stop and enjoy it. Your baby will not be this little for long and overtime you will start to look back on and miss those days when your baby was so tiny.
Take lots of pictures, and get plenty of snuggles in while you can.