Sure they’re tiny and squishy and don’t say much. But newborns are scary, especially the first time around!
My neighbor just had a beautiful baby girl. I texted her and asked when I could drop some dinner (and breakfast and snacks) off. She seemed so grateful! How could I not bring her dinner!? Honestly, when you have a newborn, you don’t know your head from your tail! It’s a blur of crying (mom and baby alike), sleeping, changing diapers, and nursing! The last thing you want to do is figure out what to cook and actually COOK! It’s exhausting and emotionally draining. But, you’re not alone! Every mom has gone through it. There’s a light at the end of the
seemingly endless tunnel!
When Turner (my first) was born, I was petrified! I was scared to let him cry, scared to wake him up, scared that I would destroy his soul by doing something wrong. He was born at the end of November, so it got dark early. I got major anxiety as the sun went down because I didn’t know what was in store for the night ahead. I was comforted by reading blogs and books about “sleep training“, knowing that, one day, my child would sleep and life would go back to normal!
So, while newborns are scary, it is so temporary! Once the first few weeks go by, you accept it as your new “norm” and you’re at peace with your new routine. For me, 5 weeks was the magic number. That’s when we had somewhat of a routine down. We were on a solid 3 hour “wake, change, feed” cycle during the day, and we started the bath at night. And, with Gracie, each week that goes by reveals a little more of her personality. Once Baby smiles back at you, it makes all of your hard work worth it (yes that’s her big tongue smile)!
Here are a few things that helped me with both kids during the newborn phase:
1. I started pumping a week after they were born to store up milk for bottles. I introduced a bottle at 2 weeks (ask your pediatrician) as they were definitely not having trouble nursing, so I knew there would be no confusion. This let me go out by myself, go out on a date with Stew, or use a bottle for one of the middle of the night feedings so I could get some extra sleep.
2. I reminded myself constantly that “this is temporary”! Each week that would go by was a week closer to normal.
3. I delegated tasks (much easier the second time around). Hubby prepped dinner while I fed the baby. Mom would help with cleaning up the house/dishes/etc. I hired a cleaner once a month since that last thing I wanted to do was clean!
4. I did things for myself (also easier the second time). With Turner I had trouble napping or taking a bath because I would hear him cry. But, guess what! He’d cry whether I was there or not. So, take it from me….Dad’s got this! Take a bath, paint your nails, turn up the music. Dare I say….go out to Starbucks by yourself and talk to other humans your age! You’re not the only one holding the pieces together.
5. I went out with Baby. Target was my favorite newborn hot spot. I’ll admit, I was nervous to get caught in the store with a screaming baby. But the worst that happens is I go to the car and nurse for a few minutes! Life goes on and you get some retail therapy!
To all you moms out there, new or seasoned, parents are amazing (I was going to say “women” but Stew is quite awesome so I can’t take all the credit)! We are given this little human that we are responsible for nurturing and helping grow! What a responsibility. It’s the most beautiful and difficult task out there. But it is such a gift! Before we know it, our little 7 pounders are almost as big as we are! So, take a deep breath (cry if you need to). You’ve got this!