Having a baby is a life-changer. But until you are there, you can’t realize how much your life will change when your precious bundle of joy arrives. These tips on how to prepare for the first few weeks with baby might come in handy when the time comes.
How To Prepare For The First Few Weeks With Baby
Stock Up On Diapers
Babies use a lot of diapers. You’ve probably heard that before. But seriously – they go through A LOT of diapers. In the first few weeks with baby, they eat every 2-3 hours. It is not uncommon for them to poop and pee nearly every time they feed, and often in between. According to Verywell Family, an infant after 6 days should be having at least 6-8 diapers a day, and some even more. That is A LOT of diapers.
Make sure you have some on hand when you come home. The first few days will be a whirlwind. The last thing you’ll need is to have to replenish your diapers right away. A word of advice: have at least one pack of newborn diapers and one pack of size one diapers on hand before your baby gets here. That way, you are prepared even if your babe is a little on the heavier side.
Have More Clothes Than You Think You Need
Babies need outfit changes more than a pop star at a concert. Between blowouts and spit up and everything in between, it is important to have a lot of outfits ready to go.
You likely won’t be wanting to do a lot of laundry in those first few weeks with baby (you won’t have time, honestly), so stock up on some cute little onesies and make sure you are ready for frequent changes. People love buying clothes for itty-bitty babies anyway, so add some cute outfits to your registry to maximize your preparedness.
Extra Sheets, Anyone?
Imagine this: You are dead tired. The most tired you have ever been in your entire life. You wake up to your baby crying, and when you pick him up, he’s soaked. Well, time for a sheet change!
But wait, you don’t have any clean sheets. And the mattress is wet. Ugh. Don’t let that be you. Make sure you have extra sheets. Additionally, make sure to use a mattress protector (unless your baby’s sleep area has a mattress that can be wiped clean). One idea is to have two mattress protectors and two sheets layered on the crib mattress. That way, if your baby leaves a wet mess on the bed, you can remove one layer, and the other set will already be on and ready to go. So easy.
Make sure you are ready for anything in the middle of the night during the first few weeks with baby. This should be a priority as you will be running on so little sleep, and will need every bit you can get.
Prepare For Meals
As a new mom, you will be so exhausted and so hungry. It will be hard to focus on anything but your baby. You will need to make sure you are prepared to feed yourself. Maybe a friend will set up a meal train. Maybe your in-laws will offer to bring you dinner. Maybe you’ve prepared meals for the freezer to last you a couple of weeks (Cook Smarts has ideas for making these). Maybe you will buy some TV dinners to have on hand for those moments when you absolutely need them.
Make sure that you have a plan for the first few weeks with baby. Make sure that you can be fed. Especially if you are breastfeeding, you will be hungry all the time. Hungry, and way too tired to put effort into cooking. Feeding yourself is important so that you can be all that your baby needs. So make sure that you are ready to nourish your body in this incredibly demanding time.
Arrange For Evening Help
You will never forget how draining the first couple of days of parenthood are. They will feel like a blur, but the feelings will stick with you forever. Bringing a new baby home is scary. It is hard to sleep. You might be scared to stop watching your baby for a moment of shut-eye. And when you do finally fall asleep, you will have to wake up 2-3 hours later to feed your little one. It is likely that you will be more tired than you have ever been in your life during those first few weeks with baby.
The moment you call on family and friends to come to be with your baby in the evening, the moment you might actually feel like you can get some relief. If you have the support, try to plan for family to help you with your baby in the evening. If you can get a few solid hours of sleep without fear of your baby being unmonitored, it might help you out quite a bit.
Read More: Best Interview Questions for a Babysitter
Clear Your Schedule
This is a bit obvious, but important nonetheless: Babies change everything. Whatever you do, don’t make big plans for the first few weeks with baby. You might be up to doing something, but make that decision when the time comes.
When you bring home a brand new baby, it is easy to feel paralyzed by the immense responsibility and serious lack of sleep. It is very likely that you won’t want to (or be able to) do anything outside of your home for a bit. You will have to take care of your baby and yourself, and that is a lot in itself.
Make sure that you go easy on yourself, and don’t plan for too much. Give yourself and your family time to adjust to it all. A new baby is a big change, and you deserve time to process that.
Find Some Shows To Binge
This one is important: Watching TV might be what helps you get through those late nights feedings. Between pumping and breastfeeding and snuggling and lounging, you will likely spend a lot of time purposefully being still in the first few weeks with baby. Having a few good shows to watch can make that a lot more tolerable.
Go ahead and rewatch The Office. Find some Netflix documentaries to binge. Learn about renovating your home with Chip and Joanne. Enjoy Bachelorette nights guilt-free, and veg out with game shows on.
TV gives you a break. It lets you not think about your life (exhaustion and all) for a moment.
You might as well use that to your advantage and be prepared with a list of shows to indulge yourself in. Don’t leave it to your sleep-deprived self to decide what to watch – make that decision now so you are ready for it when the time comes.
Read More: Best of Netflix: TV Shows
Being a New Mom Is Hard, Especially In The First Few Weeks With Baby
As much as you prepare, you will never truly be prepared. That is important to know. It will be hard. You will be tired. You will be beyond tired. But that is just the reality of new motherhood. Prepare yourself as much as you can for those first few weeks with baby. Prepare for the hard. Prepare to feel unsure. Prepare to feel tired. You will get through it. If you prepare, you will be grateful you did.
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