If you’re about to become a parent or recently gave birth to your first child – congratulations! It’s one of the most incredible experiences you’ll ever go through, and something that’ll change your life forever. But, it’s okay to feel scared or nervous - everyone finds becoming a parent for the first time pretty daunting.
To help you put your mind at rest, here are some useful tips you can follow during your first days with a newborn baby.
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First night with a newborn
Your first night with a newborn at the hospital is likely to be spent in a sort of daze; you’ll be tired, probably on pain medication, and will no doubt be feeling a little overwhelmed by it all. As hard as it might be, try to use this time to get some rest and let all the emotions wash over you. Rest assured, you and your baby are in good hands for the night.
You should also write down any worries or questions you’re having and ask the midwives or doctors before you go home. Taking advantage of their professional opinion is never a bad thing.
Bringing baby home
When you’re leaving the hospital with your baby, make sure that you have all the paperwork that you need (as well as your baby’s red book, which you will need whenever you take your child to the doctor or for vaccinations), along with any medication that has been prescribed for you. Make sure that you have a car seat to transport your little one safely home, along with a blanket to keep them cosy.
When bringing your little one home for the first time, it can be nice to have people with you. If you’re not with your partner, have a close friend or family member with experience come over to be with you. Their knowledge and support will help you in more ways than one. At the same time, having time alone with your baby can be exactly what you want. If you think this might be the case for you, just make sure you have a support system on call for when you need advice or help.
Having the kind of support your partner, friends, or family can give you is great for your first day home with a newborn and can help you feel less overwhelmed. Don’t feel bad for needing help – every new parent does!
First night at home with a newborn
During your first night home with a newborn, don’t expect a full night’s sleep! Although babies sleep a whole lot, the timing is very different to us adults, being spread out across the day in shorter bursts. To make sure you don’t become completely sleep-deprived, get sleep whenever you can - somebody from your support network might be able to help during the day so you can take naps too.
Try to enjoy your first night and relax; don’t overthink everything you’ve got to do or start planning the weeks ahead. Just be in the moment and enjoy finally having your baby in your arms.
First week at home with a newborn
The best way to get through your first week at home with a newborn is to prepare. Read up on baby care tips and make sure you’re stocked up on supplies, like bibs or cloth nappies, so you don’t have to leave the house if you’re not ready. Make sure you have enough food in the house, or organise deliveries beforehand to take some of the stress off. It’s these little things that’ll make the first week a whole lot smoother, now that your life is going to very much revolve around your little one.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t have to do it all and no one expects you to. You’re taking on the biggest job in the world with very little preparation, so make sure you reach out when you need to.