If you are nearing your due date, you’re likely excited and eager to meet your little one, and probably anxious about delivery – especially if you’re a first-time parent. With everything running through your mind, perhaps you haven’t thought beyond giving birth and leaving the hospital – what will your first week be like? How much will your routine change?
We aren’t going to fib – the first week, even couple of weeks, can be tough. A new baby is a complete change to the way you live. There will be many, many happy moments but it’s perfectly normal to go through an adjustment period whilst you get to know your baby and settle into your new role.
Read on for some top advice on getting through the first week as a new parent.
Your Sleep is as Important as Babies
You are going to feel tired the first week after giving birth – no doubt about it. Feeling extremely tired naturally leads to irritability and for that’s why we advise getting as much sleep in as possible! Your baby needs plenty of rest, as do you. One of the best ways to get those extra hours in, is to sleep when baby does. As soon your baby goes down for a nap, grab half an hour yourself. It makes all the difference when you’re exhausted.
Don’t Turn Down Offers of Help
Have you noticed how many people are offering to do things for you? Even relatively simple things, such as calling to the shop or putting a load of laundry on? It’s likely they have children and know how hard it is trying to get everything done yourself! That first week especially getting to grips with baby care is a full-time job. So, when people offer to do things for you, say thank you and accept here offer!
Try Gentle Exercise
We all know exercise helps boost our mood so while it’s important you rest; a little bit of gentle exercise can be a real lift. By gentle, we mean walking – take your baby out for a walk around the block or to the local park. Getting out of the house and spending some time with just your baby can be a relief from the stream of visitors too. Plus, it will give you a chance to road test your snazzy new stroller that you probably haven’t tried beyond the four walls of your house yet!
Expect the Unexpected When Changing Nappies
To save yourself having to wash endless bed sheets, or even worse, getting poop and pee on your sofa, get into the habit of using a changing matt. Babies tend to go to the loo when you least expect it, or there could be a surprise in their nappy you weren’t aware of. Using a changing matt means any mess is easily wiped up. You’re going to have lots of laundry to do anyway so the last thing you need is to add more to the pile.
Relax, Take it Easy
Ok, this is easier said than done, but above all, just try to relax and take your first week as easy as possible. This is especially important if you’ve had a caesarean or a tricky birth. Even a typical ‘fine’ birth is still a massive thing to go through and your body needs time to recover. The week after birth is your special time to do absolutely nothing except get to grips with your babies needs and bond with them.
Remember, this advice can be carried through to your second, third, even fourth week with a new baby. Having a new tiny human totally relying on you to meet all their needs can take some getting used to! Resist the urge to compare how you are doing with other mums – we all adapt at our own pace and no two babies are alike.
Good luck, and don’t forget to take plenty of photos and enjoy your magical first few weeks as a mum.