We all know the first few months with your baby are not easy, especially if it's your first. Knowing what to expect when you have a newborn can ease anxiety and give you confidence as you bond with your new baby. We've identified five tips to make the first months go more smoothly.
Sleep when your baby sleeps.
Newborns sleep an average of 16 hours a day but only in short bursts. Although the number one goal is to care for your baby, be sure to take care of yourself. The adage of sleep when your baby sleeps really is the best advice.
Soothe like the womb.
Every baby is different when it comes to soothing, and through trial and error, you'll find what works best for your baby. Try to mimic the womb. Rocking, swaddling and laying them skin to skin on your chest can trigger a calming reflex. Remember to put a cover on top of baby when doing skin to skin.
Remember, “Mother knows best” ” with a little help.
Don't forget the saying, “Mother knows best.” It may be your first time as a mother, but it's also the baby's first time as a baby. So go with your instincts and make the call you think is best for your baby and family. That said, don't be afraid to ask for help, especially from other young mothers. This is your time to take in new information and fit it to your baby's needs.
For the first few trips out with your baby, take a few minutes to be prepared. Remember that your brain is handling a lot of new information and often you just can't think clearly. Take a breath and think through the steps of your trip. What will baby need, and what will you need? There's nothing worse than finally getting the baby ready, only to find that you're not. If possible, keep your diaper bag packed when you have time. For lengthier trips, stash a pair of adult clothes as well just in case things don't go as intended. Remember to keep your plans simple, and be ready to leave or go home at any time.
Enjoy your baby.
The first few days and weeks are often rough, but don't forget what a wonderful and precious time you are in. Instead of dwelling on feeling extremely tired and overwhelmed, focus on enjoying and cherishing every moment you have with your newborn. These few months will pass quickly and someday you will miss it.
Last note, remember, everyone makes it through, and so will you. You'll be rewarded with your baby's first smile soon enough.
For more advice, visit our Family Birth Center.