Okay, so you are getting ready to push that baby out and enter the world of motherhood. You’re committed to surviving the delivery, but are unsure about Motherhood.
You’re a little scared and don’t know what you are going to do once you get home. Look, they don’t give you a course on Motherhood…..but I sure wish they did.
I get it.
It’s towards the end of your pregnancy and you are beyond tired. And now you have to get prepared to take care of this little person that you know nothing about. The only thing you know at this point is it will probably cry a lot, right?
The old saying that the first week is always the hardest is true. But, I would counter that and say the first THREE months were the hardest. But, let’s not fool anyone….it’s going to be always hard, which is why I wanted to share with you some tips and tricks to help keep your sanity while enjoying those all so lovely sleepless nights. Oh, I miss those days, NOT!
These tips and tricks are about survival. I want you to take a break from your phone and think about that. Not only do I want you to survive, but I want you to flourish. Relish in all these firsts that you are going to experience in the first week. Try and be conscious of the little moments you will be experiencing. Nothing else matters in this world other than you, your baby and your partner.
10 Tips and Tricks to Help Keep Your Sanity During the First Week of Motherhood and Surviving it
Try and sleep when the baby sleeps. I know this seems like a no brainer, but it’s hard to do. There are things you need to get done around the house. Maybe you aren’t tired when they are sleeping? But, believe me when I say you will hate yourself in a week in if you don’t. Try and get some shut eye with a nap in the morning and then a nap in the afternoon when they are sleeping. It will make those sleepless nights all the more easier.
Get a Routine
Set a routine for the running of your house. You won’t be at the point of a sleep routine, but you can set down schedules and routines for the house. I know it sounds regimented, but it’s necessary.
I set certain duties for my hubby, which included the diaper pail dumping, changing (more) poopy diapers, and bath time. I had the lovely job of setting up the bottles and formula daily, diaper/wipes shopping, and setting out the clothes for the day. We shared diaper duty, putting baby to bed and other baby duties.
Setting a routine and roles between the two of us made it an easy transition. We weren’t guessing what our roles were and we didn’t have to think or ask what needed to be done, because we already knew. Everything was on autopilot, which streamlined the process.
I tackled this portion a little at a time prior to the birth of our little girl. We had all the furniture in place, car seat purchased and diaper bag packed. I didn’t want to have to think about a thing, let alone running to the store for something.
I also had all blankets, sheets and closed prewashed. Needless to say, have everything done before you go into labor. I know it’s hard, especially with all the trials and tribulations of pregnancy, but it will make your first week home with your baby blissful. Start early and don’t forget to ask for help. Ask your family and best girlfriends. This time can be a real bonding experience and can also be fun. If you start early and do a little each day you will be there before you know it.
Easy Peasy Clothing
The best thing to purchase in the early stages are onesies and jammies. If you think you are going to be changing this baby like you did when you played with dolls….you are fooling yourself. Purchase easy access clothes that you can undo when the baby has a blow out, leaky diaper, spit up or throw up. Trust me, it will happen it’s just a matter of when. The fewer clothes the clothes the less laundry you have to do. Unless your hubby is the laundry king, think “less is more”.
Did Anyone Say “Concierge”?
If you do run out of something or forgot to purchase something that is needed, use a delivery service. No, it’s not a concierge, but you can think of it like that. Your own personal concierge, how fun does that sound?
Now, wait….before you huff and puff about price, think what your time is worth. In the first week you are not going to have a lot of time and believe me when I say you will not want to drive anywhere. Unless you have an errand boy, purchase thru an overnight delivery service. I use Diapers.com. I don’t use it for everything because they will charge an arm and a leg for some things (pay attention to pricing) but for diapers, wipes, bottles, etc., the small added price is golden. It feels like Christmas morning the next day when my items are delivered directly to my front door. If you order by 6:00 p.m., the order will be delivered the next day. Also, Amazon Prime does same day deliveries in some cities.
Prep Feedings Ahead of Time
There is nothing worse than getting up in the middle of the night, and not being able to find a clean bottle. Make sure you organize your kitchen to baby efficiency. Clean and sanitize your bottles before going to bed. That way they are ready to go. I measured out the formula ahead of time in containers. I also had the water measured and put in the bottles. That way all I had to do was grab a bottle and pour the measured formula into the bottle and shake.
If you are breastfeeding mama’s make sure you have your pillow, towel and any other supplies needed for you. It will make it that much easier when you are tired and groggy.
You need to make time for yourself this first week. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to be unrealistic but it’s necessary. Whether that be to take a nap, enjoy a long shower or to actually sit down and eat something, please give that to yourself. Remember, you have gone through a lot. It’s not easy having a baby and your body has been put thru the ringer.
Take the time to relax, your baby will thank you for it.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I didn’t do this and I wish I had. People can’t read your mind and unfortunately your partner/spouse isn’t telepathic (although we might wish they were?) Point blank, if you need some help, need time away, have to run an errand, just ASK. They are waiting for you to ask and would love to help you and your baby. More than likely they were there in your shoes some time in their life and probably know how you feel. You can always pay it forward when they need your help. Raising kids takes a village, and I think we are all realizing that by now.
If you are thinking about having family come in during the first week, think twice. Some of you may be close to your in-laws or other family members, but this experience is about you and your immediate family. When there are so many people around during this chaotic time, you and the baby can get lost in the shuffle. Instead of it being about you and the baby, it ends up being about everyone else. Trust me, it is about you and you both need to be tended too. I got lost in the shuffle a bit. Let’s just say when I was about to pop, I was cooking and cleaning for company. Also, after the baby I was doing the same thing. I thought it was going to be different. I thought family would help with things so I could bond with my new little family, bond with the baby and get some rest. It was the complete opposite.
Think about your unique situation and talk with your significant other about how to handle the situation. If you need to have family in town, maybe think about a few weeks down the road, once you are settled in.
Take Time to Smell the Roses
You just brought life into the world, enjoy it. Sit back and soak it all in. You never know if it will happen again and its truly a blessing.
Unplug yourself (at least for the first week) and then post pictures galore on social media a few weeks after the birth. Take this time with your family to just love on your little baby and each other. You created a miracle now enjoy it and be thankful.
The journey is just beginning for you and your family. I wish you luck, because you are going to need it.
Listen, don’t let that scare you. The best advice I got when I had our first baby was to not sweat the small stuff. That saying alone saved me. Otherwise, I would have pulled all my hair out in the first week. Do the best you can, utilize the tips and tricks provided and keep the faith.
You just had a baby, you can do anything!
Maybe you have some great tips or suggestions….I would love to hear them.