The moment you’ve dreamed about has arrived, you are now holding your newborn baby in your arms for the first time. It might seem like you have plenty of time to get situated, but that hospital stay can go lightening quick depending on what type of delivery you had. Or maybe you’ve had a home birth and are already at home, and ready to start your life with your tiniest family member. Here are some tips to make it through that first week with your infant.
Have Meals Prepared Ahead of Time
If you can, while you are still pregnant, plan those meals ahead of time. This is a perfect time to utilize the crock pot. Prepare and freeze some meals so that first week you can concentrate on enjoying your baby instead of laboring in the kitchen. If you have other young children, this is even more of a helpful tip since you’ll have a lot of irons in the fire that first week, and cooking is not one you want to worry about. This also might be a good time to utilize those pizza coupons you have been saving. If you live in an area that delivers, this is the perfect time to dial that phone and get your meal delivered right to your door.
Clean Ahead of Time
What a great feeling it is to have a clean house and a fresh start so that when your baby arrives, everything is in its place. A place for everything and everything in its place really is a good motto to follow before the baby comes. It will make it that much easier to try to stay organized later if you have the diaper area ready and the dining room table free of clutter.
Everyone is going to want to see the baby. This is such a personal topic that you may want to decide ahead of time how you are going to handle it. You may be excited to show off and share your new child with all the family, friends, and neighbors who show up at your door, or you may want to consider setting some boundaries ahead of time. If you are like me, I choose to enjoy every second with my daughter without visitors that first week. I was well rested and remember it was one of the best weeks of my life. It was a time just to enjoy her and enjoy time together.
There were no sleepless nights with her sleeping right next to me ready to nurse her anytime of the day or night and then fall back asleep together. I personally would not have functioned as well with a lot of visitors. You also may want to consider a little sign ready to be taped on the outside of your front door that says “Sshh. Mama and Baby are napping” when you take a rest. People will understand, and there will be lots of time for visiting at a later date.
Prepare Your Other Children
If you are already a mom, you may want to prepare your other children ahead of time for what it will be like when their sibling comes home. Depending on their ages, you may want to give them a short list of how they can help mommy. You also may want to get them a little gift to congratulate them for becoming a big brother or sister. Jealousy could come in to play, so it’s good to try to schedule some time with each child that first week, and let them help you out so that the baby doesn’t just become someone who steals their time away from mom. This same rule holds true for your pets. They too can become jealous, especially if this is your first baby. Maybe have a bone or toy bought ahead of time and put it out that first day home.
These were just a few ideas to make that first week go smoothly. Be creative and think about what is a stressor in your household and try to eliminate it ahead of time if possible. Whether it be having the laundry done or having the lawn cut, it does help to prepare. That first week you’ll want your time kept for snuggles and photo taking, not working to the point of exhaustion. A well rested mom means a happy baby and vice versa. Enjoy that first week; it goes by fast!