Your first week with a newborn will come with a lot of emotions.
Joy, nervousness, relief, panic, anxiety, excitement, all at the same time!
While you are beside yourself with happiness, there is an immediate feeling of panic when you realize you are not preparing for a baby anymore.
Your baby is finally here, you no longer have to wonder what having a new baby is like.
The reality of having a little human being who fully depends on you exactly 100% of the time can be daunting.
It is enough to send you into panic mode in an instant!
I remember getting so worked up the week before giving birth to our firstborn thinking that soon I will be changing diapers full of poop and I won’t be sleeping as much as I want.
You might not worry about the same things but you will definitely be anxious thinking about the reality of having a baby.
Will I manage? You ask yourself.
Of course, you will!
Raising a baby is not as complicated as it may seem.
You will survive.
The first week with a newborn is often the most challenging as you are still learning to adjust and settle into your new role.
Use the following tips to make these first days with your newborn baby as easy and enjoyable as possible.
Tips To Survive The First Week With A Newborn At Home
Here are my top tips for surviving your first week with a newborn when you have no one to help you.
First and foremost, don’t panic.
Having a baby is not as complicated as it may seem.
Yes your baby is small, and yes you are doing this for the first time and you might have absolutely no clue of how to go on about this.
A lot of moms have done it without having a clue in the beginning. You can also do it.
When I had our second baby, I realized that I unnecessarily over-complicated things with our firstborn.
It is easy to stress and put yourself under pressure when you don’t have any experience of being a mom.
I am here to tell you that there is no need.
You will feel overwhelmed and unable to cope, we all did. But you will get through it.
Not everything will turn out the way you expected. There will be very bad days.
Some days you will feel like things are not working out.
Sometimes the diaper will leak and force you to change all your baby’s clothes immediately after putting them on.
And other days you might just not be in the mood for anything.
When you feel down, acknowledge what you are feeling and tell yourself that things will be okay tomorrow.
Know that life with a newborn has many ups and downs.
Bad days will be there but they won’t last.
Skip House Chores
This is not the time to be worrying about keeping your house clean or doing your laundry.
This first week is both challenging and exhausting.
Spend this time getting to know your baby.
This is when you will learn your baby’s sleeping and feeding patterns, find your rhythm and see how you can make this work.
If there is no one to help you with your baby, rather get someone to help with cleaning up around the house instead of trying to do it yourself.
Similarly, don’t schedule anything for this week.
No appointments, no deadlines, nothing.
If you are behind on some work, let it be.
Besides, it won’t be the last time you miss out on doing something because you are taking care of your baby.
This is a famous tip for first-time moms.
It does sound easier said than done, but it is so important.
Make time to rest.
You don’t necessarily have to sleep every time your baby sleeps, it is not really realistic or even practical.
The first week with my newborn I slept when my baby slept, but that was because I had help.
It really isn’t the same when you are alone with a newborn baby.
Pick one time when your baby takes a nap during the day, forget about everything, just close your eyes, and sleep.
You might wake up feeling fuzzy (because your baby is going to interrupt your sleep), but your body would have rested.
And your mind will be refreshed.
Write Down Everything You Need And Get It All At Once
Or better even, get it delivered to your doorstep.
Nowadays things are so convenient because you can get almost everything delivered to you.
Groceries, clothing, toiletries, laundry collection and drop off.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be rich to be able to make use of these delivery services.
I really wish I thought of this the first time I became a mom.
Getting things delivered certainly saved me a lot of time and energy with my second baby.
It is something else going to the shops while thinking of your baby’s next feed, burping them, and changing diapers.
You will get to do shopping in the next few weeks, not during the first week.
Don’t Entertain Visitors
Be upfront with friends and family and that you won’t be welcoming any visitors.
Unless those visitors will be coming to help you.
You’re not being rude and you’re not being hostile, you are just looking out for yourself.
The problem with visitors is that they might come at the wrong time (like when your baby is sleeping or when you need to catch up on some rest as well).
They arrive when you are still exhausted and now you have to switch your focus onto them.
To be honest, most of the time everything is exhausting during the first week with a newborn baby, entertaining guests just makes things worse.
Besides being exhausted, if you had planned anything like washing your baby’s clothes or cooking, you will probably have to stop whatever you are doing and focus on your visitors.
Even if you do it at the same time when they are there it’s still going to take longer because now you are doing two things at the same time.
If you don’t mind visitors, at least set visiting hours.
You can even ask friends who come to see you and your baby to help you out around the house.
Tell them to feel free to make food in the kitchen or make drinks.
You can also ask them to help you do whatever it is that you wanted to do later like cleaning up or cooking.
They care about you, that is why they are there to see you and your new baby so they won’t mind helping you out to get some load off your shoulders.
Otherwise politely ask anyone wanting to visit to come over after a few days.
Get Off The Phone
Searching the internet for great mom tips and hacks, taking pictures of your newborn, and responding to congratulatory messages, the list goes on.
All these can get you carried away and before you know it, you have spent the whole day without bonding with your baby.
Don’t let anything steal this precious time with your little one.
You can always get a chance to be on your phone later but the opportunity to share special moments with your baby comes only once.
Try to schedule a time where you can be on the internet or chat with friends when your baby is taking a nap.
Cook In Bulk And Freeze
One of the things that surprised me after I gave birth was constantly feeling hungry. Like all the time!
The fact is that you need to eat. You need some fuel to replace all that energy you used when giving birth.
Unfortunately during the first week with your baby, there’s basically no time to do anything (let alone cooking) besides looking after your baby.
You are also in pain and you’re exhausted, you still need to recover.
It’s going to be difficult to find time to cook each and every day.
Rather cook in batches.
If you can’t cook enough for the whole week, at least cook enough food for two or three days in advance and freeze the food.
Here are some ideas for healthy meals you can freeze.
Doing this will ensure you eat well and it will really save you time.
Make Things Easier For Yourself
Making a point to make things as easy as possible for yourself.
Don’t overcomplicate anything. It is still the first week and you still have to find your feet. Don’t make it any more difficult than it already is.
Organize your baby’s items so you know where everything is.
You don’t want to be worrying about where you can find the diaper when it’s time for a diaper change or where to find a bib when it is time for a feed.
Dress your baby for convenience, there’s really no need for over-the-top baby outfits. It is a little too early for those.
A fancy outfit with lots of buttons is going to be a problem when it is time for a diaper change, which you will be doing often in the first week with your baby.
Be Comfortable When Feeding
Your baby will be feeding frequently during the first week.
Whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, make sure you are comfortable when your little one feeds.
Besides tired arms, sitting uncomfortably when feeding your baby will leave you with persistent back pain.
After carrying your baby for 9 months, your back really took the strain. You don’t want to go through backache all over again while having a baby to care for.
It is also important to get necessary items to make feeding easier for you.
If your baby is on formula, here are great formula feeding tips to formula-feed like a pro.
Don’t forget to get these formula-feeding must-haves you will definitely find convenient.
And here is a great post for breastfeeding must-haves.
Keep Supplies Close
Keeping with the idea of making things easier for yourself, keep the stuff you use frequently within reach.
Wipes, diapers, diaper cream, burp cloths, baby moisturizer, etc.
One of the things that I found most challenging and really annoying was constantly discovering that I need something that I thought I brought with me, only to find that I actually forgot it in the other room.
Having your baby’s things in every room will save you the frustration.
If you can’t put supplies in every room, get a caddy to carry things to wherever you are.
Establish A Routine
Try to start noting your baby’s nap and feed times.
The reason I am saying ‘try’ is that I know how hard it can be to do this even in the first 3 months, let alone during the first week with a newborn.
Knowing your baby’s cues lets you know what to expect, and this makes things easier for you.
Your baby will also sleep better with a routine.
Enjoying The First Week With Your Baby
We often stress so much when we arrive home with a new baby.
Worrying about how much baby sleeps, how much milk they get, counting wet and soiled nappies.
We forget the most important thing.
Being present in this moment and enjoying it, because it passes.
The first week at home with your baby might be challenging since you are still adjusting, but it is no different than the next few weeks.
If you manage to get through this first week, you will definitely know how to survive the first 3 months with a newborn, and the next 3 months, and so on.
Before you know it, your baby will be 1 year old.