The hospital doesn’t send you home with a manual, but they really should! Although the constant knocks on the door could get a little annoying, it really does help knowing you can just press that little button on the side of your bed and in a matter of a minute hear, “Hello, how can I help you?” – It’s magical. Thanks again to all you amazing nurses out there!
Talk about FULL HOUSE! You’ve got a nurse, a pediatrician, a neonatal nurse, a lactation consultant, and let’s not forget the darling helpers that come in to make your bed, and bring up your food .. all just a call away! To be honest, I was really looking forward to my stay at the hospital my second time around. I often joked when I was pregnant with my third (3 kids under 3) …” Why do you think I get pregnant so often? I enjoy my two days of vacation .. it’s the only way I get a break around here!”
As a Mom of FOUR, I’d like to think I’ve gained the experience needed to survive the first week, or at least I’d hope so. LOL So here’s how I’ve learned to survive the first week x4.
✨PANIC and Move OnI can promise you there will be times you will feel anxious, very anxious. You just gave birth, have a heightened sense of emotion – throw in a screaming baby while running on no sleep, no shower, bleeding, still in pain, and constipated from all those darn pain killers. It’s torture.. crazy, beautiful, amazing torture. You will panic, and you will make it through. I promise. Just remember to breathe, even if you have to walk away for a minute-Breathe. It’s okay for the let the baby cry. As a first time mom, I was afraid the baby would explode but I promise he/she will not remember that you let them cry for 3 minutes to actually finish using the bathroom, or to brush your teeth. They will be fine and MAMA, you got this!
✨Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
You can’t do it on your own. Well maybe you can, but you really should ask for help if you need it. And it is totally OKAY to do so – we’re only human. Your partner, your mother, your best friend, aunt sister or children – heck even your neighbor! Chances are, they would really love to have the baby to themselves for a little while. And you could really use a shower. Seriously, go shower … like now ☺️
✨Organization is Key
I cannot stress how important this is. I have little baskets to organize socks, mittens, hats, and a caddy for diaper changes. A little time goes a long way. You need to get yourself and the babies necessities organized, and most importantly your partner needs to know where everything is as well.
Flash back to my first: I asked my husband to get me the Aquaphor… daughter screaming, my anxiety at an all time high and he turned and looked at me like a deer in headlights! No idea… I mean he had NO IDEA where anything was .. to no fault but our own. So please make sure to do a run through with your partner before baby comes home. Which brings me to my next point …
✨Eat and Drink
Sounds easy, right? WRONG! Tired. Everyone is tired. Baby is tired, your tired, your partner is tired. But in order to take care of a little person, you really have to take care of yourself. You need to eat to keep up your strength and you NEED to drink water. Especially if you are breastfeeding. Just when you think you’ve had enough water. Drink more! Food prep, frozen breakfast, frozen dinners … Try to prep as much as you can beforehand. Unless your ballin’ I mean .. then you can just DoorDash! But for us frugal folks.. a container full of boiled eggs really goes a long way!
Whether your breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Try to plan shifts with your partner. A newborns bedtime will typical be between 9:30-12pm. And so plan 12-3 am as your loved ones shift and 3-7 as your own. You need to get some sleep.
*Bottle warmer shaves off a few minutes.
*Pumping from the get go to give yourself a break.
✨Sleep when Baby Sleeps
No ones coming over, if they are .. have them clean up for you! Don’t watch an extra episode, don’t spend an hour scrolling through Facebook. SLEEP when the baby SLEEPS! Those little naps make a huge difference. It’s the only way you’re going to make it through this. They’ll be plenty of time for everything else soon.
Your baby will wake him/herself up with the slightest little movement. Think about it, they have been tightly nestled in the womb for quite some time before their magical arrival into this world. Swaddling=Comfort .. It’s what they know. You’ll go through about 100 Muslin cloths the first week. Learn how .. and if you just can’t get it right, practice makes perfect. Grab a teddy, they already have at least 4 ☺️ Still can’t get it right … SwaddleMe’s! I’ve tried to make other swaddle blankets work .. and well Aden + Anais wins by a long shot for me. I have swaddles in great condition since my nine-year-old. They simply can’t be beat! FYI : you may be able to find some for a lot cheaper sometimes at T.J. Maxx or Marshalls.
✨Pillows and Comfort
I am a breastfeeding mama, but I had to cut it short my first time around. Liliana was allergic to something I was eating. So I went from My breast-friend which I LOVED … to the Boppy Pillow, which I also LOVE!
You’ve either just had an epidural, or a C–Section and so you want your back to be comfy! Shout out to the natural birth mamas with no meds too! All of which need some back support! I would invest in one of these to help make feedings a little easier. Trying to save money? Use pillows to help prop up baby! They start feeling heavy, fast ☺️
✨Wipe Warmer & Diaper Changes
I’m honestly not sure how I did it without one! My poor Lily got wiped down with a cold wipe in the middle of the night.
The Prince Lionheart Wipe Warmer I use also has a little built in night light that helps big time during those middle of the night changes.
I’d get a little night light too! Make sure it’s close to where you’ll be changing the babe .. or babes!?! Amazon sells Motion Sensored Light Strips … Not gonna lie, pretty awesome!
I don’t have a diaper changing station. I change my babe on my bed. I keep all my necessities by my bed side. A few diapers, wipe warmer, Aquaphor to coat the babies little tushy just in case she poops during one of those long sleep stretches. – If you’re lucky!
Arm & Hammer Diaper Baggies also come in handy .. The least amount of movement possible in the middle of the night is golden, especially if your recovering from a C-Section.
Stay in Bed
Although it feels tempting to stay in bed with the baby and cuddle especially when it’s 2am and you’re tired, DON’T! Feeling tired? Keep a damp cloth by your bed side or the rocking chair. I rub my face down when I’m feeling sleepy, helps me to stay awake for a little longer.
By stay in bed I mean, don’t get up the second you hear the baby cry or whimper. Chances are the baby has a little gas pain and will fall right back asleep. So .. don’t worry, stay in bed for a little longer.
Please do not take lightly the fact that 7 layers of your body were cut open to get that beautiful babe out! Strictly at least four weeks of just lifting the baby. Take it easy!
Make sure to take time out and spend some time with the older kids. It’s easy for them to feel left out, or even unloved! Just a few minutes makes a world of difference. Remind them this is what happened when they were born. Tell them a story about when they were a newborn and something funny Dad did while trying to change their outfit.
I make sure to tell big sisters how much I appreciate their patience and understanding.
When I notice even the slightest hint of jealousy or resentment, I ask them to help out. It’s funny how quickly their jealousy turns into excitement. “You’re mommy’s helper!” OR “Wow! You’re such a great big sister!” AND “I love the way you care for your sister, I hope she appreciates it one day .. as much as I do right now.”
And last but certainly not least ….
Enjoy every moment. Every cuddle, every cry. The way they look up at you when you are feeding them, their finger holding yours, their paper thin nails scratching up against your chest, the way that tiny little body feels resting on your chest, the smell of their little round head. Close your eyes and take it all in, live and love in the moment. Every single little bit of it because it’s all over .. way too soon!
* Enjoy the heightened sense of emotion but please reach out to your provider should you feel too overwhelmed or the crying spells last a little longer than those first few weeks. Remember to take care of yourself first ❤️ It’s the only way you’ll be able to make it through this beautiful roller coaster.
Hey mama ❤️ Nice to meet you ✨☺️