15 Tips to Survive The First Week With Your Newborn

mum with newborn

Welcoming a newborn into your life and brining them home is a magical experience, but it can also be overwhelming. To help you navigate the first week with your baby, we’ve put together 15 practical tips to make this transition smoother for your family.

1. Embrace the Chaos

The first week with your newborn will be full of surprises! It’s a big adjustment, but try to embrace the chaos and understand that it's normal to feel overwhelmed. There is no need to aim for perfection; just focus on the essentials – feeding, changing, and bonding with your newborn.

2. Rest When You Can

Sleep deprivation is a huge challenge for new parents. Try to rest whenever your baby sleeps. Even short naps can help you recharge and cope with the demands of caring for a newborn. Remember that housework and other jobs can wait, the most important thing is looking after yourself to be the best parent you can.

Read More: What Is Sleep Deprivation, and Why Should We Take It Seriously?

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3. Accept Help

Don't hesitate to accept offers of help from family and friends. It’s easy to want to do it all on your own, but if the offer is there, don’t be afraid to accept a helping hand. Whether it's cooking a meal, running errands, or simply holding the baby while you take a shower, everything can make a difference.

4. Create a Feeding Routine

Feeding your newborn will dominate much of your time in the first week. Establishing a feeding routine can help both you and your baby settle into a rhythm. Remember, whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding, consistency is key.

Read More: How Often Should I Feed My Newborn?

5. Prepare for Night Feeds

Night feeds can be daunting. Prepare a comfortable spot with all the essentials nearby: nappies, wipes, and a change of clothes. This setup will make the process more efficient and less stressful during the night.

Read More: 7 Tips to Master The Night Feeds

6. Batch Cook and Stock Up

If possible, batch cook meals before the baby arrives and stock up on food and household essentials. Having easy-to-reheat meals and a well-stocked kitchen will save you time and energy during the first week.

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7. Keep Essentials Handy

Keep nappies, wipes, and a change of clothes in several locations around your home. This will save you from having to dash around or run upstairs when your baby needs a change!

8. Prioritise Hygiene

Newborns have delicate immune systems. Ensure anyone who holds your little one washes their hands thoroughly. Keep hand sanitiser handy and maintain a clean environment.

9. Manage Visitors

While everyone will be eager to meet your new arrival, it’s important to manage visitors and keep it to a level you feel comfortable with. Consider limiting the number of guests and the duration of visits to avoid overwhelming yourself and your baby.

10. Stay Hydrated and Nourished

Taking care of yourself is crucial to be in the best place to care for your newborn. Drink plenty of water, eat nutritious meals, and avoid skipping meals. Remember that your well-being directly impacts your ability to care for your baby, so it’s okay to think about yourself!

11. Use a Baby Carrier or Sling

A baby carrier can be a lifesaver in those early weeks. It allows you to keep your baby close and happy while keeping your hands free to attend to other tasks.

Read More: The Best Baby Carriers

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12. Create a Calm Environment

Babies can sense stress and tension. Although you might be overwhelmed, try to create a calm and soothing environment before sleep with soft lighting and minimal noise to help your baby relax and sleep better.

Read More: 7 Steps to Establish a Safe Sleep Routine For Your Baby

13. Keep an Eye Your Postnatal Mental Health

The first week at home with your newborn can be emotionally challenging. Keep an eye on your mental health and don’t hesitate to seek support if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Talk to your partner, family, or healthcare provider about any concerns.

Read More: Postnatal PTSD: What Is It and How Can I Get Help?

14. Focus on Bonding

Take time to bond with your baby. Skin-to-skin contact, gentle massages, and simply holding your baby can strengthen your connection and provide comfort to both of you.

15. Be Kind to Yourself

Remember, it’s okay to feel like you don’t have everything under control in those first few weeks. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you’re doing your best. Every parent goes through a learning curve.

The first week with your newborn is a time of adjustment, learning, and immense joy. For more tips and support, head to our content on life with your baby.

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