Your baby isn’t the only one navigating a whole-new world. Life as a new mum is always amazing, often surprising and sometimes completely intimidating. Unfortunately your little one didn’t come with instructions! But being a newbie doesn’t mean you can’t handle your new role like a pro.
We’ve compiled some advice for all of the firsts that you’ll encounter over the next few months.
Feeding your little one is a full time job
In the early days your little one will be looking to feed every two the three hours. It can seem like you are only finished one feed and you are starting another! You will be sitting down allot so make sure you have a comfortable chair surrounded by things you might need so that you can easily reach them.
Just the two of you
Your partner’s back at work and your mother-in-law has decided to go home (at last!). That means you’re on your own with your little one.
- Start with a schedule: eat, play, nap, and take a walk
- Keep expectations low on how much you’ll get done and focus on taking care of your baby and sneaking in some sleep as often as you can
- Help differentiate day and night by taking a shower and getting dressed, even if you’ll be staying in all day. (Put the bouncy seat in the bathroom while you wash your hair.)
- Enjoy the cuddle time especially in those first weeks
- When your baby’s alert and active, usually after eating, read to them, show them toys and give them some freedom through wiggle time on the floor (5-10mins is plenty)
The good news? Newborns sleep an average of 14-16 hours a day. The not-so-good news? Most get their shut-eye just a few hours at a time. Avoid feeling like a zombie by actually following that age-old advice: Sleep when your baby sleeps; and start immediately after you put baby down. Leave the cleaning!
Don’t forget the kitchen sink
For such a small little being they sure do come with a lot of stuff and a quick spin to the shop takes allot of planning. Give yourself extra time and bring everything you could need for every possible situation. Nappy explosion, cold & rain (especially in Ireland) and extra clothes in case of lots of puke. Yes, it’s all very glamourous.
Sooner or later, even the most in love and dedicated Mum needs a break. Have some baby-free time for at least a couple of hours or so every week if possible to give yourself a breather. Even if it’s just to do a grocery shop or for a stroll. Head out immediately after feeding to max out your time. Our blog on the Importance of YOU Time goes into more detail on how to do this.
One of the best parts of leaving is the reunion when you return.
Nervous about jumping back into the sack? You’re not alone. Many women are apprehensive at first. After all, you have been through a lot! Most GPs recommend holding off the sex until after your first postpartum check-up (usually four to six weeks after delivery). But don’t be surprised if you want to wait longer. Let’s face it, a post-baby tummy, hormonal changes and exhaustion isn’t exactly a combination to get you in the mood. Ease back into it gently, when you’re ready.
After being with your little one 24/7 for their first weeks, returning to work can be a shock to the system, to say the least.
Celebration time? Family wedding, Christmas or just a night out with the girls? Great, just remember that if you’re breastfeeding that you must think & plan ahead; it takes about two to three hours for one serving of beer or wine to pass through your system.
And don’t forget to be proud of yourself and all the new experiences you are having – our Well Done Mums page is all about celebrating motherhood.