Surviving the first week with your new baby – how hard can it be?! The nursery is ready, the onesies & vests are sparkling, ironed & folded (that won’t happen again). The hospital bag is packed & in the boot (if its not check in HERE).
The hours of labour & the 24 hours following will pass you in a daze of excitement, exhaustion & new experiences. Its a complete whirlwind. You may wonder why nobody stops you on the way out of the door, with your new baby tiny in their car seat, to ask if you know what you are doing! (newsflash – we’re all winging it & three babies later no-one has yet handed over the manual)
A little preparation & a few decisions made together in advance can help you ‘survive’ the first week – take a look at our top parent hacks.
Decide your New Baby Visitor Rules
Deciding when/who/where in advance of baby arriving can prevent out of joint noses and frazzled new parents. Chat to your partner & have a think about your boundaries. Do you want a few days to yourselves to bond as a family? Do you love to be in the centre of a full family celebration with everyone over and done at once? There are lots of options:
- Visitors at the hospital / Let us get home for 24 hours first
- Immediate family only for x days / all welcome as & when
- Drop in between x & y time / book an appointment please so we can give your our attention
- We’re bonding as a family & we’ll tell you when we are ready / Bring on the cards!
Swap Chores for Newborn Cuddles
Whilst you may have high standards for your beautiful home, visitors won’t expect to be waited on & you should make time to rest. Accept help you don’t need to try & be superhuman!
- When people say let me know if there’s anything I can do – direct them to the hoover
- pop a note on the fridge with grocery bits people can pop and get you. Or ask them to grab on the way – quick picture message brings that pint of milk through the door
- Batch cook & freeze easy to portion down meals like lasagne – lots of super markets now sell take away style foil containers, defrost & chuck in the oven for home cooked meals in minutes. Failing that get the take out menu stash out!
- pop a tray out by the kettle with everything needed for your visitors to make their own brew & one for you too
Lots of people will advise you to ‘sleep when baby does’ please try – the laundry will keep & you can add it to your swap chores for cuddles list. Your body clock will take a battering & there will be days you don’t make it out of your PJ’s. Thats ok! If baby is fed & sleeping, grab the opportunity to shower pop on fresh pjs and nap too. If that feels too topsy turvey pop baby in their Moses basket next to you and doze on the sofa in from of some binge worthy tv.
Noise is Good
Most new parents go quiet in the studio watch the awesome things their baby can do whilst sleeping & being photographed. But noise is good, in the studio we have background music & white noise (you can find my favourite app HERE my preference is amazon rain). Sounds in utero can reach around 90 decibels from the noise of your blood flow, digestion & outside sounds. 85-90 decibels is around the noise level of a busy restaurant! This means that quiet to a newborn is stranger than noise, turn on the TV, do the hoovering & let siblings play to their hearts content.
Quick Parent Hacks
- Keep a small storage box with a folding change mat, wipes, nappies & muslins beside the sofa to save you trekking all over the house
- a muslin folded in thirds, wrapped securely around the Moses basket mattress under babies head can save you stripping the whole basket at 2am when baby spits up
- learn about envelope shoulders for poonami episodes – genius
- Great batch cook recipes
- Glow in the dark soothers – a life saver in the middle of the night. I find most babies prefer the old school cherry style especially if breast or mixed feeding
- Keeping spares in the car for you & baby can keep travelling with baby & getting caught in traffic worry free – check out our top tips HERE
- Babies are not discerning who they spit up & poop on, a vest top & leggings in the change bag for you, stashed with spare maternity pad and breast pads can save discomfort on an outing.
Got some experience to share – pop it below! Every baby is different, even if this is baby 3 or 4 be open minded & roll with what this new little human decides their style is 🙂