The first few days at home with a newborn are a precious blur. Between the adrenaline buzz that hasn’t let sleep deprivation kick in yet, and all the small sure ways that new baby just took over your heart, there is a lot to process. When I brought my baby girl home there was so much about that first week that happened that no one ever told me…like the fact I might cry buckets for no apparent reason at the drop of a hat. If you are about to welcome a baby into the world, here are 6 things you should do in the first week.
1. Write Down Your Birth Story
It may feel like a task right now, but take time to jot down your birth story. There will be so many details that you forget over time, and you will be so happy to have them down the road. I still to this day love to hear the details from my own mama.
Now, I didn’t say sleep because who know exactly what that looks like with a newborn, but if you can, go for it. But definitely rest. You don’t have to let everyone who wants to see the bay visit within the first week. This time is so short and incredibly precious to feel overwhelmed by a slew of well-meaning visitors. If anyone gets offended that mama needs more time, then they are not a true friend in the first place. This rule also applies to pushy family members, too.
3. Take Photos
It’s amazing, and also a little heartbreaking, how quickly newborns change in the first few weeks. Make sure to take as many photos as you can of your baby. The best time to get professional newborn photos taken is sometime in the first 2 weeks when baby is most sleepy. But even if you don’t have a professional photographer planned, make sure to pull out your own camera or phone and snap away – you won’t regret it.
4. Forget The Housework
If you decide to entertain visitors during the first week or so, don’t fret about housework. They are not there to check on how well you are coping with it all, they are there to see you and the new baby. Don’t let the pressure of having it all together steal the joy of those sweet newborn snuggles.
5. If Someone Offers To Help – Say Yes
If someone offers to come by and drop off food, (even better if they leave again right away), or leave a venti Starbucks on your doorstop, say yes. It’s ok to admit we all need a little extra hand every now and then. If you can handle having someone over and they offer to throw in a load of laundry or do the dishes, don’t hesitate to say yes. You could even ask them back again next week 😉
6. Take Your Time
Repeat after me. It takes time.
It takes time to get used to breastfeeding. It takes time to heal. It takes time to get to know this new tiny human who has suddenly taken over your whole world. It takes time to “feel like yourself” again. ALLLL the things you are experiencing are totally normal, and it takes time to figure out this new role as mama bear. Don’t hurry yourself.