The first few days of parenthood are a blur of feedings, diaper changes and many, many sweet snuggles. All the tasks and duties and long nights can easily leave new parents feeling overwhelmed. But with these tips, we hope the first few days and weeks can be a little easier for you!
Most likely you will have many friends and family members offering to help you in the days and weeks following your little one’s birth. Don’t feel like you’re taking advantage of them by accepting their help. Allowing your friends and family to help you will allow them to feel like they’re a part of this new journey for your family and it will help you to get some much needed rest!
When you are asked what you need help with give concrete answers rather than vague suggestions. Your loved ones want to help in real ways. Give them a list of chores that need to be done. Ask them to pick up a meal that you’ve been craving from your favorite restaurant. Or simply ask for them to hold your baby while you take a nap.
Take time for your family
While we’re talking about accepting help from friends and family, we should also note that it’s important to make time just to be together as a new family. Having other people in your home all the time will likely be more draining than refreshing. If you have family staying with you for the first few weeks ask them politely to give your family a few hours of time by yourself. Maybe suggest a good restaurant or coffee shop in the area where they can hang out. Or ask them to run some errands for you.
Prepare meals in advance
If you’re reading this article before delivering your new baby then make sure to prepare some freezer meals! They are truly a lifesaver! Especially if you don’t have family in the area to make you meals. Try to prep 2-6 weeks worth of meals. Remember that most meals will provide plenty of leftovers so you don’t have to make a meal for every day.
Check out this article from The Kitchn with 15 freezer meal recipes that look amazing!
Be Aware of Postpartum Depression Signs
Research the signs and symptoms of PPD before the birth of your child so you know what to look out for. The Baby Blues can affect most new moms but PPD affects about 1 in 7 new mothers. Be aware if depression symptoms last more than the first two weeks. It’s important to talk to your doctor about how you’re feeling. The American Pregnancy Association has a list of list of symptoms of PPD.
Get a little sleep
Ok…I know this may seem like a pipe-dream but do try to get a little sleep! Everyone says to sleep when baby sleeps and it may seem difficult to do, but you need to do it. Sleep is so important for battling roller coaster hormones and demanding days. You don’t need a clean house right now. Let someone else deal with dinner. When baby is sleeping soundly drop what you’re doing and get some rest. Even 15 minutes will help you feel like a new person!
On the same note, when it comes to caring for baby at night, take turns waking up instead of waking up together to care for the baby. If mom is breastfeeding, consider adding a pumped bottle of breastmilk to the night time routine so she can get a longer stretch of sleep at night.
There are so many tips out there to help you as a new parent but hopefully the few tips here can help you to feel like you’re thriving in your first few days of parenthood rather than just surviving!