Our new family member has been home for two weeks now. The first week was easier because Henri was at home. He helped a lot so that I was able to rest and recover from the labor.
This second week has been more challenging for both of us. In daytime I`ve been alone with the girls. I`ve been learning new organization skills and life with a quite big sleep debt. Henri on the other hand has been learning to go to work and getting busy with the girls in the evenings – and all that also with a quite a big sleep debt.
First weeks (and months) with the newborn include often many challenges and surprises for the whole family. That`s why you do a favor for your own and your family`s wellbeing and happiness when you don`t demand too much from yourself during the first weeks with the newborn.
Concentrate on the basic things during the first weeks with the newborn
When Unna was born I learned how much a child changes your life. Like how complete a newborn`s need of an attention is. And how much longer it takes to do anything with her than alone. I learned that during the first weeks it is best to concentrate on the basic things in life with the newborn:
- Sleep and rest when ever it is possible; The newborn doesn`t have any rhythm in the beginning. She or he may sleep or be awake at any time. Resting helps also you to recover faster from the labor.
- Cook beforehand and freeze the food; Time and energy for cooking proper and healthy food you may have little with the newborn. That`s why ready food portions in the freezer are a rescue. Your healthy diet is also good for your newborn (if you breastfeed). Later on a healthy diet helps you to lose your pregnancy kilos.
- Set your bar lower with cleanness; Remember that the main thing is that your newborn is fed and clean and feels to be in safe. Your home doesn`t have to look or be perfect. Also your visitors understand that.
- Accept help and ask for help if you feel like needing some; You don`t need to be a supermom who knows and can do everything. For example if your visitors want to bring you something, ask them to bring you food for freezing.
- Restrict the number of visitors; Remember that it is ok to say “no” to your visitors and ask them to come to see your newborn later on. They will understand that!
- Don`t bogart the newborn; It is important that the newborn is also getting used to be with the other family members right from the beginning. It helps you as a mom too in the long run. Let your spouse and siblings to get to know and take care of the newborn.
- Give time for your family members; The connection between a mom and a newborn may be incredible strong. Biology may insist you to to spend all your time with the newborn. In spite of that remember to give time also for your spouse and older children. It relieves jealousy and strenghtens you as a family.
- Make time for closeness; Eye contact and physical closeness is important to the development of your newborn. Closeness also increases lactation.
- Stretch; Your shoulders and back tighten easily when you carry your newborn. That means often headache if you don`t remember to stretch yourself. So stretch!
- Make time for yourself; Already 15 minutes own time per day makes miracles. Take a small walk, drink a cup of coffee, read a newspaper… Do what feels good and gives you energy!
- Take relax and enjoy: Your child is a newborn very short time. You don`t have to do something all the time. It`s ok to just be, relax and enjoy!
Changes in life need always time to adjust. A newborn at home is a big change. It is natural that it takes time to get used to live with your new family member. Give time to that adjustment. Enjoy that special time in your and your family`s life when you have a newborn at home!