As exciting as it is to bring your newborn home from the hospital, many mothers experience a moment of panic once they realize the baby is now their sole responsibility. Don’t worry—you’re not alone! A baby is a big deal and a massive change in your routine. You’ll learn a lot as you go, but there are a few key pieces of advice that can help you prepare for those first few days where you and baby both learn to adjust. Check out these tips for surviving your first week as a new mother.
Tag Team the Night Shift
Chances are, you’re not going to manage eight hours of solid sleep a night, but you do need to get what you can to prevent sleep deprivation. The more time you have to rest, the easier it is to manage the highs and lows that each new day brings.
Before your little one arrives, make a plan with your partner (or parents, in-laws, or any other helpers you've enlisted) to tag team whenever your baby wakes up in the middle of the night. Split duties and take turns getting up to feed or soothe the baby. This will help everyone get a little more sleep, making every other task much more bearable when morning comes around.
Ask Questions About Breastfeeding
Many first-time moms feel nervous or confused about breastfeeding. After all, it’s an important practice that you have no experience in—it's normal to be a little anxious! There’s a lot that new mothers need to know about breastfeeding, so don’t be afraid to ask any and all questions you have. While opinions from friends and family can be helpful, remember that every mother and child are different. It’s best to consult your doctor or a lactation expert to discuss your specific nutritional needs and breastfeeding practices.
Soothe and Swaddle
Just as you’re making a big change in your life, newborns are adjusting to a lot as well. The world is big and exciting and scary at times. Every experience your baby has is brand new. That’s why infants crave sensations that make them feel as if they’re in the womb again. Cuddling, rocking, and swaddling your baby are all ways to help them feel comfortable, secure, and safe. One of the most important tips for surviving your first week as a new mother is to experiment and see what soothes your baby best. Figuring it out will help calm them down when they’re crying, saving you a lot of stress and creating precious bonding moments between the two of you.