Life with a newborn can be totally overwhelming, so Graco have put together some handy tips for adjusting to life with a newborn in those early days.
You’ve left the safety of the hospital, managed to avoid every possible hazard as you drive home at a very speedy 20 miles per hour and now, sitting in front of you is a teeny tiny bundle of wrinkly pink skin. So new, with that gorgeous smell that only newborns have, and so delicate you feel like you may break them. Your whole world is right there at your feet and you have no idea what to do next.
I can remember the day we brought our baby girl home so clearly. I think I was in shock quite honestly and I didn’t know what to do with myself. There she was, peacefully asleep (not the big fanfare arrival I had been building myself up to for 9 months) in her rocker, like a little doll. I called my friend after about 20 minutes and begged her to come round to keep us company. We didn’t know how often to feed, how much she would sleep, how to hold her – nothing. We were completely clueless! I have to say I was just as clueless with my second and third baby – you just forget!
How to adjust to life with a newborn
I can’t remember there being many blogs around when I was a first time mum, there were no real life mamas sharing advice. I did have a big reference book but that was of no use at all, it is probably still gathering dust in our loft actually! Thankfully the wonderful people at Graco have come up with a few helpful tips to help you with those early days with the help of Sarah Redshaw from BabyCentre.
Manage your expectations
- You will be feeding a lot – whether breast or bottle, it is time consuming
- You won’t eat a hot meal for a while – feeding, winding, playing and sleeping will pretty
much take up all of your time!
- You will feel vulnerable – but this will pass. Whatever your expectations are, lower
them. Remember to look after yourself
Bonding with your baby
- Skin to skin contact is really important, make sure you and your partner both get plenty
of skin to skin contact. Your smell will be really comforting to baby
- Your baby will have got used to your voice in the womb, be sure to talk and sing to your
baby regularly to keep up this bond
- Pick up on their cues. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual and each baby is different.
You will learn what each sound and movement means as your baby develops
- Newborns love looking at your face and mimicking your expressions. Try sticking your
tongue out to see if baby copies!
- All babies reach milestones at different times, whether it’s responding to sounds, lifting
their head, staring at faces, following objects, smiling and more! You will always meet
mums who’s baby did everything better and faster than you. Don’t be fazed by this!
Also, if your baby was premature, remember to use adjusted age guidelines. If you are
really worried, speak to your health visitor
Sleeping, feeding, routine
- Baby will sleep for 16-17 hours a day in the first week, and will feed between 8 and 15
times a day. After the first week or two, this will decrease to 6-8 times a day. Breastfed
babies may feed more often. On day one, your baby’s stomach is the size of a hazelnut.
By 14 days it’s the size of an egg!
- Between 6-8 weeks baby may get into more of a settled routine, however this rule isn’t hard and fast and it may take you a few weeks to notice
Tips for the first few months
- It’s normal to worry – the most common questions we see on the BabyCentre website
are about skin conditions and baby poo! It’s normal to worry, but you’ll find you relax as
your baby develops and you get to know each other. If you are really worried, see your
- Get prepared. Before baby arrives, set up an online shopping account. Netflix and
Amazon Prime are also good subscriptions for new parents! Most of these subscriptions
have free trial periods. Be sure to write down your login and password somewhere!
- Practice getting the car seat in / out of car, collapsing the pushchair / travel system,
fitting car seat to pushchair and removing it
- Get a nightlight or bedside light with a dimmer switch for night time feeds
Keep a small screwdriver in house – musical mobiles, white noise toys etc all require a
screwdriver to get into them! And stock up on the batteries you might need for toys
- Breastfeeding is hard. It doesn’t always come ‘naturally’. Take your time and be patient
- Contact baby groups near you to check if there is a wait list. Arrange to see friend and
visit your local baby centre. Maternity leave can get lonely!
- If you think you are going to go back to work – research nurseries /childminders early –
some have a six month + waiting list.
- Depending on your birth, leaving the house and going for a walk with your newborn may
feel like a huge obstacle but you will come back with an enormous sense of achievement
- Have your changing bag ready and stocked to leave the house, apart from the obvious
things like nappies / wipes, some other items that may be useful are things like breast
pads / change of top for Mum, a few freezer / zip lock bags for any messy baby gros, and
I could have done with reading these tips as a first time mum and actually with all of my babies I needed reminding of certain points. Most important for me is the point about taking care of yourself.
I was reminded of this quote the other day:
You can’t pour from an empty cup
It is so true too, the days I take care of myself by putting on a little makeup or even brushing my hair, I feel much more able to take care of others.
Having a newborn baby in the house is a huge adjustment but I promise it does get easier!
All of this advice was shared at a Graco Baby Bootcamp last week, which we missed due to illness. It looked amazing though and they shared their new Move With Me baby swing – it looks like something Wills would have loved as a baby! They also shared their Graco Evo family – you may have seen our review of the Evo Avant last month. So many brilliant products that will help you in those early baby days. We are going to be reviewing their Featherweight pushchair soon which is perfect for days out and travelling – so keep an eye out for that!
Are you due soon or do you have a newborn baby? Do you have any tips to share?