Coming home from the hospital with your baby in your arms can be a mix of emotions. It will be exciting, overwhelming, daunting and scary all at once. You don’t have a nurse, doctor or hospital staff to come to your rescue with the press of a button. Now it’s just you, your partner, and your baby. But with the correct info and right things by your side, we promise you are going to get through this. Surviving the first week is crucial. Once you come out of it unscathed with your baby fed and loved, you will be all set to embrace parenthood by learning things along the way.
But how do you get through the first 7 days? Gear up for parenting with our well-prepared guide for a smooth sail through the first week with the baby:
Get Your Information Right
Okay, here’s the first thing you should do. Keep your doctor and your baby’s pediatrician on speed dial. And the second thing is accepting advice only from a close circle of people whom you trust implicitly. Ask your doctor if you have any doubts or concerns about newborn care and health. Talk to your lactation consultant if you have any of your going-home concerns.
And read up as much as you can from trustworthy motherhood and parenting sites such as MomJunction. You will find a ton online. But if something doesn’t feel right, check up on it with your doctor or fellow moms before blindly following it.
Don’t Be Afraid To Spoil Your Baby
Hold, kiss or cuddle your baby as much as you please. Do skin-to-skin contact for a long time. The touch therapy may be all you need to calm your baby down. And don’t worry, despite what others say you are not going to spoil him.
Breastfeeding May Not Go As You’ve Hoped
You might have prepared yourself for it. Learning about all the breastfeeding positions, purchasing products that will help you along the way, attend breastfeeding classes… But it may not be easy or fun for some. So brace yourself if things don’t work out smoothly or if your baby isn’t able to latch on properly. What can you do? Practice, practice, practice. And you will get lots of it as you will be feeding your baby every few hours.
Be Ready For A Lot Of Crying
Yes, babies are cute. But they cry – A LOT! They cry to get your attention. Maybe they have a wet diaper or they are hungry or they want to be swaddled. Don’t beat yourself up if you are not able to figure out exactly why. Just be there for them and try every trick in the book to calm your baby down even if it goes in vain. Slowly but surely you will be able to calm your baby.
Don’t be surprised if you shed a tear or two either. Nobody said parenting is easy. And it’s even harder when you are leaking from everywhere. Things are going to get better, have faith.
Make Safety Your Priority
Safety is one word that is overlooked by many parents amidst all the other stuff. Learn how to properly hold, carry, and travel with your little one. Their necks may not be completely developed. So be careful when you hold them by giving the right support. Also, choose the right rear-facing car seat for optimal safety while traveling. Safety comes first, so don’t compromise on it!
SLEEP And EAT!
Sleep when the baby sleeps is one advice every new parent receives, but rarely followed. It may not be easy but try to get as much rest as you can. Resist the urge to do everything else and hit the bed for a power nap. You cannot function well without sleep. So prioritize it over the rest of the housework.
Whether you are breastfeeding or not, your body needs to get enough fuel to heal and rejuvenate itself, now more than ever. So eat healthy and don’t skip your breakfast no matter how busy you are.
Lastly, give yourself some credit. Don’t be so hard on yourself when things get rough. Whether you are a new mommy or daddy, it will take some time to adjust to your new role. And don’t be afraid to communicate your needs and ask for help. Talk to each other and work as a team. Remember, you are not alone in this. Also, talk to fellow new parents about their journey. Knowing someone who is going through the same struggle as you are will help you feel better. It’s just human nature.