You've read the books, talked to your friends and planned as much as possible, but the first few weeks after your little one arrives can be a whirlwind. We asked BabyFit moms to share their best tips for getting through their babies' early days and collected their advice into one helpful article.
Sleep and Bedtime
- Take advantage of all of the sleeping that newborns do in those first couple weeks. Enjoy, and take a LOT of pictures!
- I second the "sleep when the baby sleeps" comment. I didn't do it enough with my first, and now that I have an older child at home, I'm longing for those midday naps!
- Rest when the baby sleeps. Don't worry about trying to "sleep when the baby sleeps." Instead, just lie down, take deep breaths and clear your thoughts. Don't think about all the chores you could be doing. Don't think that it's your only chance to sleep. Just clear your mind and you will be refreshed when the baby wakes up.
- When you are woken up at night for what seem like the 100th time and just need sleep, try to breathe out and chant to yourself, "It won't last forever." Snuggle your baby and try to enjoy it even though you are cross-eyed because of lack of sleep.
- After baby's umbilical cord stump falls off, start a night routine ASAP. Bath, lotion, diaper, sing or read and rock, and put the baby down. If you do this from early on, it WILL click. Stick with it!
- When you milk comes in, feed, feed, feed! I was so engorged and just thought that I was supposed to be that way, but ended up running a fever and all.
- Learn how to nurse lying down. It is so much better and more restful for nighttime feedings.
- Clean and assemble your breast pump before your baby is born. Many times, milk comes in fast and furious and a breast pump can easily relieve engorged breasts so a newborn can better latch on.
- Don't just buy nursing bras; invest in some nursing tops, too.
- Stick with breastfeeding and set small goals. I read somewhere if you can make it 4 weeks, you will be set. It does get easier and less painful. Just tell yourself, "I can do this one more day and then I'll quit/go to formula if I need to." This got me through the early days.
- If you are returning to work at some point, start pumping after every feeding session to build up a good supply for your return to work. This saved my nursing relationship (among other things) with my DD.