Congratulations on your new little bundle of joy! Babies are such an incredible pleasure whether this is your first or your last. But sometimes we can get so focused on the delivery and excitement of receiving all the stuff that we fail to plan for The Moment. You’ll know it when you experience it. That moment you get home, with your new little one and all your flowers and balloons, and the doctors and nurses are gone and you ask yourself, “What do I do now?” Here are some tips for parents of newborns:
No kidding, if at all possible sleep when the baby sleeps. For sure you, mom, as your body needs rest in order to recover from delivery. This is not a time to try and clean the house or make a meal. This is a time to rest.
Hopefully before you delivered your new bundle you pared down your to-do list and made some sort of plan for meals either by having friends help out or stocking your freezer. Keep your days very simple the next few weeks. Do not plan anything and just enjoy cuddling with the new baby and sleeping when she sleeps. Your mind and body will thank you.
Every parent wants to get their child on a schedule and you will. In time. Not now. Now is the time for both of you to rest and settle into feeding times. Right now the only thing your child does is eat, sleep and poop. Play does not yet exist in her world. So enjoy this time while she is sleeping a lot. Rest yourself and take it easy. Soon enough you will be into a routine and schedule.
Experts say to get out on a date with your partner during the first week of being at home. It sounds like a lot but it is good for both of you to go out for a cup of coffee or a meal, nothing too extravagant, and catch your breath. This is a time of huge transition. Maintaining your connection is imperative.
Just give up the house looking perfect or making gourmet meals for a while. You will have time enough to do those things. For now, rest. Take it easy. Sleep as much as you can. Otherwise catch up on that series you’ve been wanting to watch or read a good book. This time, although it can feel so wasted, is precious in terms of being a cocoon. You really won’t have many opportunities to bow out of commitments or expectations. Play the New Baby Card to your advantage right now. Your time will come soon enough to get back to work.
Although you may not be used to someone else cooking for you, or cleaning your house, or even washing your clothes, let them do it. There’s something about having a new baby that allows us to let down our guard enough and allow others to help us. If someone offers to bring you a meal, say thank you. If someone offers to clean your house, say yes. If someone offers to do your laundry, swallow your pride and let them. There’s nothing more relaxing than having a clean house, fresh laundry and a good meal served up by friends.
Swim in Delight
Intentionally try and drink in this time. It truly does go so fast and before you know it, you are back into a new routine with commitments and pressures and expectations. Relish your new little family member. Take time to snuggle and cuddle together as a family without feeling guilty.