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You had a baby! Congratulations! After all the lovey-dovey feels in the hospital, the actual scary part comes: taking your newborn home. Yep. In a car seat. All alone. Just you and your partner.
(Let me tell you, the most frightening moment by far was when I had to place my 2-day-old newborn daughter in the back of a vehicle and drive 5 miles back home. I cried- hard. It was a mixture of emotions. But mostly, I cried because I loved her so much that it physically hurt me. I had no idea what I was going to do with this perfect little human! When we arrived home, we placed her car seat on the sofa, took her out, changed her diaper, laid her back down and just stared at her. For a long time. Newborns sleep A LOT)
I had read countless articles on what to do the first week home. There’s lots of advice out there. I sifted through all of the online advice and have narrowed it down.
5 MOST Important Things To Do To Survive
- Be in the moment. I cannot stress this enough. As a first time parent, you wouldn’t believe how fast this time flies by. It literally seems like just yesterday that I gave birth to my little peanut. And now she’s a whole 12 pounds of 2-months-old, sucking on her fists. The dishes can wait. The laundry can be dirty for one more day. Just focus on your child and absorb every single second.
- Do not feel obligated to entertain visitors. This is YOUR time. You’ve been baking this bun for 9 whole months and you are totally entitled to some alone time. It’s a beautiful thing when family and friends want to visit immediately after the birth. However, I strongly suggest setting up visitor dates and times for anyone that wants to come see your little one. You just gave BIRTH.
- Get rest. This is hilarious, right? Rest?! With a NEWBORN?! You know how I mentioned up there how the dishes can wait? That applies to nap time as well. My saving grace was taking naps with my daughter, especially during that first week. And believe me, I know how hard it is to pass up on chores around the house. They. Can. Wait.
- Feed on demand. No matter how you’re nourishing your baby, whether bottle or breast, I would recommend on-demand feeding. I tried to keep tabs on exactly when my daughter was eating. I’d write down how long she nursed, on which breast, and posted a paper on my bedroom door. That all went out the window. She still gained well above her birth weight. Keep in mind, however, I’m not your doctor! But unless there’s a medical reason to feed on a schedule, I am totally team on-demand!
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. Motherhood is HARD. It’s so rewarding and amazing. But mama, it’s HARD, demanding, selfless work. I cried a lot. You will most likely second guess yourself every step of the way. It’s normal. Just love your baby, love yourself, and the rest will fall into place.
I’m hoping that these will help your transition your first week into parenthood. Enjoy the ride! It’s a wild one <3
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