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Newborn Care: 8 Tips for Coping With a New Baby
Bringing a new baby home can be exhilarating. However, it can quickly get overwhelming, seeing as you’d be 100% responsible for the needs and wants of another human.
This was exactly how I felt the first few weeks I brought my daughter home. Even though I’d been anxious to meet her, nothing prepared me for how tough it would be to be a new mother. It’s harder when you bring a new baby home with no plan on how you are going to cope with this new addition (especially the first few weeks of her existence).
Don’t forget you’d be trying to achieve two major tasks this period:
- Taking care of 100% of her needs and wants.
- Trying to recover from the labor and birthing experience.
Newborn care is challenging and you would need to come up with a fool-proof plan if things are to go well.
Newborn Care: 8 Tips for Coping With a New Baby
Newborn care doesn’t have to be challenging and you can actually have a fun time taking care of your new tot, the way it’s supposed to be.
Here are eight helpful tips that can help you achieve this:
1) Limit Visitors as Much as You Can
Everyone would be eager to come pay a visit to the new mom and baby. However, this can quickly wear you out as you’d find yourself entertaining visitors at the times you are supposed to be resting and recuperating.
If it helps, you should consider going someplace other than your home for the first few weeks – like your mom’s place or something similar. With very few people knowing you here, you will have fewer visits, giving you ample time to recuperate
For my first child, I moved in with my mom for a few weeks at a place where not many people knew me and this ensured I had very few visits and all the time I needed to rest and recover.
Alternatively, you could pre-inform people beforehand about your family not receiving visitors for a few. While the first option is a lot more polite, although a tad difficult, this also works and you’ll be amazed at the number of people who will respect your decision without taking offense.
2) Don’t Try to Do Too Much
You will find that not much changes after you return home with your baby; the chores will still be waiting to be done.
However, while the situation won’t change, you will have to. Remember, your body needs all the rest now and this is not the time to try to keep your house in order or get the laundry done.
3) Get Your Partner to Help
At this time, your partner can help a lot getting those chores done while you catch up on your rest.
You would also be getting offers of help from friends and family and you should accept as much of this help as you can.
4) Go Easy with Breastfeeding
Babies have very small stomachs and need to feed every 2 to 3 hours. You will find joy in watching her suckle from your breast.
However, it can get a bit overwhelming at night when you have to wake every two hours to satisfy her hunger cravings.
You can work around this by expressing some breastmilk beforehand using a breast pump.
. Breastmilk is quite durable and lasts a long time.
Expressed breastmilk will last for 3 hours when stored at room temperature, 3 weeks when stored in the fridge, and up to 6 months when stored in the freezer, so you are covered anyway you go.
If you find you need a few minutes of rest, or you have cracked nipples and are unable to breastfeed temporarily, then someone else could step in to fill that gap.
5) Rotate Night Duties
Your partner or anyone else can step in so you take turns feeding, rocking, or attending to any other need baby might have.
Daytime is tough enough with you trying to get the much you can do done without the added of the frequent interruptions to your sleep.
With you both taking turns, you will find that you both get longer hours to sleep and will feel refreshed and better for it.
6) Sleep When Baby Sleeps
Again on you resting as much as possible; remember, you can only be the best mon when you are sufficiently rested and recovering as you should.
You should adjust your sleep pattern to coincide with your baby’s. Since babies sleep a lot (up to 18 hours when they are newborn, although in short bursts), you will find these few minutes of sleep all add up to make you feel rested and at your best.
You can get your baby to sleep longer though by making her as comfortable as possible. Wrapping a baby in a swaddle blanket recreates that comfy feeling they had while in the womb and this lures them quicker into sweep and also keeps them sleeping for longer.
7) Take the Time to Rest and Look After Yourself
Beyond rest, you also want to take some time out to look after your health. Your physical wellbeing is just as much a priority at this time as your mental one and you should give it some serious attention.
Certain parts of your anatomy have been stressed and would need some conscious care overtime to get back to normal.
You will find you continue to experience pain (especially perineal pain) over time.
Postpartum recovery sometimes takes up to six weeks and you want to be committed to it to speed things up.
You should apply ice packs to your vagina, especially 24 hours after birthing, and do your sitz bath a couple of times a day to ease up the pain.
You might also be needing Witch hazel pads for the vagina pain and a heating pad to help with the breast pain.
8) Build a Support System
You also will be needing a support system at this time. You’d be amazed at how helpful reaching out to friends and other moms can be at this time.
Find a support network that’s close to you and easily accessible so you have help if you ever need one.