How to Care for your Newborn – Your First 30 days

You’ve done it, the 9 months are over and you get to take your newborn home. This can be daunting for first time mothers. No nurses to help, no safety of being as close to a doctor as you can possibly be, just you, your baby and your clueless spouse.

What to do? This post seeks to help with the anxiety new mums feel when they first take their newborns home.

#1 Nursing

Babies eat and eat and eat then sleep and poop and eat some more. Nature has done a pretty good job of providing you and your baby with the proper equipment. In the beginning it’s almost guaranteed to be harder than you expected. Expect sore nipples and days when nursing seems overwhelming.

Seek help, talk to friends and use the hospital resources.  Ask if there’s a nursing class or a lactation consultant on staff.

#2 Sleeping

If your newborn isn’t eating, he’s probably sleeping. Newborns sleep as many as 16 hours a day but only in short bursts. The result: You’ll feel more exhausted than you ever thought possible but will be on constant alert. Even the best of us can come to resent the severe sleep deprivation.

Don’t obsess about being tired. You will either get a full nights sleep or you won’t , there’s no point in being angry and tired to boot!

Try to sleep when your baby sleeps and go to bed early. If your newborn has trouble sleeping, do whatever it takes to get them down. Don’t worry about building bad habits, the first few weeks are about your survival, you will learn by trial and error and can eventually start a schedule.

#3 Get Dad Involved

Your husband, who helped you through your pregnancy, may seem at a loss now that baby’s here. It’s up to you, Mom, to let Dad figure things out, just like you’re doing.

Most first time dads are hesitant of incurring moms wrath because they did something wrong. Allow your husband to make a mistake without being berated. Ask him to take some time off work if possible and divvy up the duties so you can have some time to yourself.

#4 Staying Sane

No matter how excited you are to be a mommy, constantly caring for a newborn’s  demands can drain you. Find ways to take care of yourself by lowering your expectations and stealing short breaks.

Rest while you can

Firstly, ignore all confusing advice. You are the parent, you decide whats best. Forget about housework for a few months and concentrate on knowing your baby. If someone has a problem with the unwashed dishes, smile and hand them the detergent.

Always, always remember to accept help from anyone nice or naive enough to offer it. Do you have lots of people offering to help, let them know exactly what you need, whether its cleaning the kitchen, dusting or buying diapers.

Finally, embrace the chaos. Keep your plans simple and be prepared to abandon them at any time.

If nothing else, remember that everyone makes it through, and so will you. Soon enough you’ll be rewarded with your baby’s first smile, and that will help make up for all the initial craziness.

Do you have any tips for first-time moms, tell us below.


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First published at parents

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