Whether you are having your first baby or your fourth, compiled here are a few pieces of advice I discovered through my own journey as a new mom. These tips will be sure to get you through those first few weeks after bringing baby home. You will feel exhausted, overjoyed, stressed, and blissfully happy all in one day, or even in one hour! Staying positive and knowing when you need to take a breather is the key to new mom success!
- Keeping your Body Healthy: Eat right, drink water, and keep taking prenatal vitamins for the first few weeks after baby. You want to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need. Staying hydrated is SO important for your body to heal.
- Eye Contact: This sounds a little “woo woo” but take 10 seconds from your day and make eye contact with your baby. I swear it will take your mood from a 1 to a 10 in a second.
- Deep Breaths: When someone tells me to take a deep breath I usually do a mental eye roll. Taking three deep and conscious breaths (in through the nose and out through the mouth) will calm and clear your head.
- Quiet Zone: This means you are taking time to do something for yourself and not the laundry! Take a hot shower, find a reading nook, or go for a walk. Look for anything you can do to give yourself at least 20 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time every day.
- Learn to Say No: You need bonding time with your baby and you may be feeling overwhelmed with visitors (who have good intentions), but having company can be exhausting! I never said no with my first, but when the second came I learned to say no. Instead I threw out times that worked FOR ME and friends and family could come see the baby then. I also had no visits the first week home so we could all get used to our new schedule.
- Get Fresh Air Every Day!: It is SO cold here in the Northeast in the winter but even if you stick your head out a window/door for just a minute and breathe in some fresh air, it will boost your morale. I love going for a walk in the summer or having a coffee at a café with outdoor seating. In the colder seasons, I take a long slow walk to the mailbox even if it’s snowing just to be outside every day.
- Baby Wearing: When I had my oldest 10 years ago, I started baby wearing. It’s so great for your healing body and for bonding with your newborn. My babies slept better while I was wearing them AND I got SO much done with all the quiet time.
- Pick up a New Book: You may feel like your brain is just too tired to possibly read a book, but it’s the ultimate thing you can do for yourself. Take a peek at the Best Seller List or ask a friend for a suggestion. There is nothing like getting lost in a great book.
- Listen to the Zen Parenting Podcast: While you clean, cook, shower, etc.—Zen Parenting is a genius podcast I wish existed 10 years ago when I become a mom for the first time. Hosts (and spouses) Todd and Cathy guide you through parenting to become a better you and, in turn, raise better children. I can’t say enough amazing things about this series.
- Accept Help: Especially with household chores! Give your husband dish duty, the older kids or your mom some laundry assignments. Accepting help can be hard, but your first few weeks at home are way harder and you need the time to recuperate. A stressed mama does not make a happy baby!
- Trust Your Gut: When I was first pregnant I remember family, friends, and even strangers telling me how with their first they called the doctor about everything. They stressed about every little thing. I was afraid to be the “annoying mom” who always calls the pediatrician. However, I quickly let go of that and I STILL call the doctor about everything. I trust my gut, and when my gut says there is something wrong then I call. I can say that a few times I was right about needing to take the baby in. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
- Go on a Date with your Baby: Take your baby out to a café for coffee or treat yourself to a delicious breakfast at your favorite place, just the two of you. Don’t forget to pick up the style section of the newspaper or a great magazine. Just sit, people watch, and be!
- Take Advantage of Grocery Delivery: I actually love to grocery shop, but the first few weeks after you bring a baby home the last thing you want is people you don’t know getting too close to your baby OR anyone seeing your “I don’t have time to shower” hair. Take advantage of food delivery services like Peapod. We have a local grocer who delivers as well!
- Write a Grateful List: Write down numbers 1-5 (or more if your ambitious) with something you are grateful for and keep it in your side table drawer for easy access when you’re feeling down. It can be as simple as: “I am grateful for my baby’s health.” Reminding yourself of the little things is empowering.
- Keep a Video Diary: I wish someone told me this with my oldest. I was so sleep deprived that I barely remember those first few weeks of being a new mom. I didn’t take any videos of him as a newborn. Let’s face it, they don’t do too much in the beginning! But we forget SO easily those first few days, I wish I had taken more videos. I took a TON with my second baby and even though she is only 18 months, I look back at those little clips and I am SO grateful I have them!
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