Surviving the first few weeks of life with a newborn doesn’t sound so hard when you first find out you are pregnant, but things change. You’ve arrived home from the hospital with the most precious gift you’ve ever held and if you’re anything like me, you’re wondering why the heck something so complex and so fragile doesn’t come with an instruction manual. The new found excitement can quickly take a back seat to exhaustion and frustration, however. Although it’s completely normal to feel that way, there are some tips I want to share with you to help minimize the stress of your first few weeks at home with your newborn.
5 Great Tips For How To Survive Life With A Newborn
Go through your house, or at least, the areas where you will spend the majority of your time, and make everything you need there easily accessible and organized. For me, this was our living room where I created a little diaper caddy that held plenty of diapers, wipes and of course, the beloved butt cream. You don’t need to try and fit every little item, just the basics that you’ll be using over and over. I also set up a little station in our bedroom where the baby would be sleeping, so that in the middle of the night, we would have the same diaper essentials at arm’s reach. You can utilize the same approach for a little bottle station (with formula, a cooler for breast milk, extra bottle nipples, etc.) or for your pumping essentials. Trust me, it will all save you time and your sanity and make life with a newborn possible to survive without too many breakdowns.
Invest in Swaddles
Yes, a few great swaddles can make the world of a difference. Not only does it calm our little one, but it also seems to help her sleep longer. And if you haven’t checked out the book (or movie), The Happiest Baby on the Block, you need to do so, like yesterday. In this book (or movie), Dr. Harvey Karp gives five sure-fire ways to calm and soothe your baby. One of these is swaddling, and it really does work.
Share the Duties
When my husband and I first came home from the hospital, we would both awake to our little girl’s cries and scramble to get bottles ready, change her diaper, or play find-the-pacifier-in-the-dark. We’d both wake up crabby, exhausted, and frustrated which is not a winning combination let me tell you. After about a week, we figured out that if we took shifts during the night, one person could sleep while the other took care of the baby and vice versa for the next feeding. That way, both of us at least, got a 6 hour stretch of sleep which is highly coveted in the life of a new parent and definitely helps you when trying to survive life with a newborn.
Forget about Housework
People gave me this advice while I was pregnant and I thought I’d be able to do it all, but life is a lot easier when you just accept the fact that you can’t. My mom gave me the wise advice to just focus on taking care of your baby and don’t try to be Superwoman – I still hear this voice in my head when I’m at my wits end trying to get things done and take care of my little one, it’s a good reminder to just stop and enjoy the moment, everything else can wait.
You’ve been through a lot, so give yourself a break and let yourself enjoy something you love. Whether it’s a glass of wine, a trip to Starbucks, or just your favorite candy bar. You can’t forget to reward yourself for all you’ve been through and are currently going through. Don’t forget for a second that you deserve it! Life with a newborn means you are pushed to new places that are tough to manage. Don’t forsake taking care of yourself in the process.
Being a parent to a newborn is an extremely difficult job! Give yourself a break, and don’t be afraid to accept help sometimes. It can make the world of a difference! And remember, this stage only lasts a little while so enjoy the good parts and push through the difficult ones. You’ll be just fine.
Check out some of our other tips for managing your new life as a parent!
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