Surviving the first few months after having a baby is no easy feat. Sleep deprivation will rear its ugly head, your body will be trying to recover and you have a tiny human whose life depends entirely on you.
Having just celebrated 9 beautiful weeks with little Benny, I had some time to reflect on some of the things that got us through the first 8 weeks of parenthood…
- Get out of the house
Don’t be shy to venture out in those first few weeks…it will do both you and baby the world of good to get some fresh air.
Put some mileage on those pram wheels with a morning or afternoon walk, escape the heat at the shops or catch up with some friends or family for an outdoor picnic.
Not only will you AND bub get some much needed Vitamin D, but your little one will be used to be outside and transferred in and out of the pram/car from an early age.
- Share the cuddles (and load) around
Heading to a social gathering? Great – this is your chance to give your arms a rest and let everyone else have a cuddle.
Getting your baby used to being held by other people will benefit you in the long run and encourage his social skills.
- Automatic bouncer to the rescue
If your bub is happy to chill without being in your arms or cot, buy an automatic bouncer.
We bought the Ingenuity Orson Bouncer after a couple of weeks and it was a lifesaver. Benny can sit in it, bouncing happily away without adult intervention, while he watches me get on with the household chores. He loves it so much he falls asleep in it!
An added bonus is that hubby and I get to actually eat our dinner together while B watches on. It’s the little things!
- Breastfeed with Boppy
Breastfeeding? Save your back and invest in a Boppy pillow. Mine has been my absolute lifesaver…especially in those first few weeks where you’re trying to find your feet with breastfeeding and have no idea how to hold your baby.
I use mine for feeding 90% of the time and it means I can go hands-free, while B is still supported and comfortable. It brings a whole new meaning to multi-tasking.
- Focus on getting feeding right
If you’ve chosen to breastfeed, these first weeks are the most vital. My body went through so many changes in the first 6 weeks and I swear I went through 20 packets of breast pads…and then some.
I lost count of the amount of times we had to change and wash the bedding because of massive milk spills and leaks.
I was sore and uncomfortable and constantly worrying whether I had enough milk and if B was feeding properly. But with perseverance you WILL get through and you will both find your rhythm. If bub is putting on weight and is happy and healthy, it’s working.
- All that I’m hearing from you is white noise
From the start we decided we weren’t going to “keep quiet” around the baby, especially while he was sleeping. So we don’t used hushed voices, we keep the radio or TV on as background noise and the fans are constantly on the go. As a result he now sleeps through the likes of thunderstorms, slamming doors, next door’s constantly barking dog and me making a racket in the kitchen.
- Light is day and dark is night
Even though all the research seems to say that newborns can’t distinguish between night and day, we wanted to get a head start and establish the difference early for Benny. So when the sun goes down we start his bedtime routine…dimming the lighting, reducing noise and not stimulating him too much. A bath always does the trick too.
All night time feeds are done with minimal lighting and no stimuli. I don’t turn the TV on, read a book or even look at my phone. It’s just as important to keep your brain in sleep mode as it is for your baby’s as this will help you go back to sleep.
By doing this, Benny has been sleeping in 6 to 9 hour stretches since he was four days old. It makes daytime naps a little tricky, but we’re working on that one 😉
- Enjoy your baby
They say these first few months go really quickly and although it doesn’t feel like it at the time, when you look back it really does! So take the opportunity to enjoy just how beautiful your little one is…inhale their intoxicating baby smell, smother them with kisses and cuddle the heck out of them. They get big so quickly and soon enough they’ll be running around out of your control.
C Buzz x