How to not only remain sane during the first weeks with your newborn
but to actually enjoy this special time
The first weeks with your newborn baby will be…well, a lot. They will be messy, chaotic, stressful, tiring, new, beautiful, overwhelming, heartwarming, fun, empowering, and all things in between.
It’s one thing to just survive this time, yet another to find ways to enjoy it.
Let’s incorporate the 5 tips mentioned in this post into your days and nights with your little one and make this time a positively memorable one.
5 ways to embrace the first weeks with a newborn
1. Be present, time passes quickly
“The days are long but the years are short”
Well, as a parent of a newborn baby you know that even the days are short. Sometimes all you get done in a day is feeding and changing diapers. You’re lucky if you finish your coffee, eat a proper meal and take a shower. Then you look at the clock in disbelief that it’s evening already, once again.
Just accept that. Be present, time passes quickly.
Meaning, soon you will get more sleep and your days will look different, your body will heal and you will have more energy.
However, it also means that your little one won’t be so little anymore. He/she will slowly look and act differently. Your nighttime feeding sessions will become less frequent, your baby will be interested in other things than just being close to you. So hold your baby, stare at its face and observe the random cute faces he/she makes. Be present in the midst of stinky diapers, stomach aches, short showers, and sore nipples. Embrace that messy yet magical time. And if you really feel like you can’t, don’t beat yourself up just remember – this too shall pass.
2. Take your time to rest
Even tho you’re at your little master’s service 24/7, responding to every move, squeak, and fart, take the moments you do have in between to rest and do whatever you feel like. Sleep, read, binge-watch tv shows, write, daydream. This is not the time to worry about your next/first workout to get back in shape or to deep clean the house. Your job now is to take care of your baby as well as yourself, so don’t forget about the latter. Make it enjoyable for yourself.
3. Let yourself be inspired, be creative
The newness, the chaos, the beauty, the innocence, the cries, all of that can be so inspiring and thought-provoking. It can bring up so many different emotions in you, both positive and negative ones. It might remind you of your childhood, make you daydream about the adventures you wanna embark on with your new family member and it’s simply enjoyable to look at. The tiny feet, the little fingers, the funny faces, all make for great photo or drawing subjects. So write about it, take videos and photos, paint, get creative in one way or another. It’s can be very therapeutic and make for great memories.
4. Remember that you are the perfect parent for your baby
Although it’s absolutely normal to have some fears and doubts regarding your parenting skills, don’t give in to that. First of all, you’re not the only first-time parent out there, so you’re not alone in your feelings and your experience. Second of all, you are the perfect parent for your baby. It’s you that he/she needs, trusts, and loves the most, not another parent and definitely not a parenting book. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t educate yourself, get advice when needed or exchange with other parents, of course, you should! However, remember that it’s your baby, you are a great team, you came this far. Just trust your instincts and be kind to yourself along the way. I hope you will find strength and confidence through the challenges and new experiences and see them as a great opportunity for growth.
5. Keep your to-do lists short
Do yourself a favor, spare yourself the frustration and feelings of failure and keep your personal and professional to-do lists in the first weeks with your newborn short.
Yes, it’s important to have other things to focus and work on besides taking care of your baby, but it will be up to your little one how much you can get done and when, no matter how great your multitasking skills are. Therefore do either not make long to-do lists or at least don’t make plans for a certain day, keep them general. You will see that on some days you will be surprised by how well your baby slept and how much you got done, whereas on others you might not accomplish more than feeding and changing diapers, which is perfectly fine and enough.