Coming Home With Your New Baby
There is so much to think about when you are preparing for a new baby. The first week is full of joy and exhaustion so to help yourself and your family, here is a simple guide of things to do before and after your little one has arrived. If you are having a hospital birth remember to have the car seat all strapped in and ready to be used as you will not be able to drive back with your baby without it. First of all be prepared to rest whenever you can. Accept the help offered by your family and friends so that you can rest and ideally sleep as often as you can. If you have older children prepare them for lots of quiet time. When your baby sleeps try and sleep too, if you cannot then just lie down and rest at least. Accept that your house is not going to be spic and span for a while. You can use disposable plates and cups for a while to save time and let your friends and family do as many of the chores that they are willing to do. Before your baby’s due date a good tip is to cook and freeze meals so that for at least the first few days all you and your partner have to do is grab stuff out of the freezer and re-heat. This time-saving tip will be an incredible help to you. Putting some money aside for a few take-outs during that first week is a good idea too. If you have more than one floor to your house it is wise to keep stocks of nappies, wipes, lotion and clothes upstairs and downstairs so that you are not constantly running up and down. Concentrate on conserving your energy and resting during the early days rather than overexerting yourself. Relaxation is so important to you and your baby at this time. Make sure you have an appropriate seat that is comfortable for you to sit with your baby for feeds and cuddles. Have something to support your feet too. If you are tense and uncomfortable your baby can sense this and this can cause him to be fussier. You will no doubt be inundated with relatives who want to visit you. It is a good idea to ask your partner to manage everyone. For some new mothers lots of visitors are not a problem but for others it can be stressful especially if they are breastfeeding. Do what is right for you. Ask your partner to limit friends and relatives to one or two at a time or whatever you are comfortable with. If young children want to hold the baby check whether they have colds or bugs first and if you would rather they did not hold the baby just yet that is fine. With brothers and sisters it is a good idea for them to hold the baby to help them bond. Getting older siblings involved with helping look after the new baby makes the older children feel valued and important in the family so emphasise to them how important their help is to you. Be prepared to stay at home for a while so that you are as rested as you can be and also your baby is not exposed to any germs and bugs that are more prevalent on trips out where there are lots of other people. Your baby will appreciate a simple routine as he can get pretty stressed going here, there and everywhere during his first few days. Pamper yourself and your partner by offering back rubs or sharing nice meals by candlelight. Have some magazines put aside for you to read when you get some quiet time and drink herbal teas which will calm and soothe you.
By Eirian Hallinan