You’ve brought your baby home and are ready to start an exciting new chapter in your life. Of course, managing the needs of a newborn as well as your own needs and those of your family can be challenging. Two key considerations to making your first few weeks with baby manageable (with no sleep!), are:
- Planning ahead for your baby’s arrival at home, such as by having essential mother and baby care products already on hand—like Motherlove’s Nipple Cream and Diaper Balm (Motherlove’s popular diaper rash ointment); and,
- Staying flexible and seeking support as you settle in with your baby and learn to balance your life with the addition of a new infant in the house.
Ways to Help You Get Off to a Great Start with Your Baby
Here are some tips to prepare for your baby’s arrival:
- Take a breastfeeding class so that you are armed with information and realistic expectations about how to establish this crucial bond with your baby.
- Create a comfortable feeding area. You will spend a significant amount of time breastfeeding and cuddling with your newborn. Set up a space where you can get comfortable with her and have things you need easily within reach — snacks, a water bottle, a book (audiobooks are great), your phone, etc. That way you don’t have to disturb your contented baby to tend to our own needs.
- Be sure you have an adequate stock of supplies. Not only do you need to have plenty of diapers and wipes available, you should be prepared for other issues that may arise. For example, the last thing you want is to develop painful cracked nipples from breastfeeding, or for your baby to have a bad case of inflamed diaper rash and not have Motherlove’s Nipple Cream or a trusted diaper rash ointment like Motherlove’s Diaper Balm right at hand.
- Prepare and freeze meals ahead of time so you can easily have a meal ready for the family without a lot of preplanning.
- Arrange with your support system for help at home in the early days so that you can concentrate on establishing your breastfeeding relationship with your newborn.
Once your baby is home:
- Understand the importance of the fourth trimester. The three months after your baby is born is when you body is healing and your baby is adjusting to life outside the uterus. This post-partum period needs to be treated as a special time—a time when both baby and mother deserve extra care. To help your baby transition smoothly into this world, let her listen to your heartbeat, feel your touch, smell you, and hear your voice. This will promote a healthy sense of security, calmness, and even improve your breastfeeding success. You should also use this time to listen to your body to ensure a healthy recovery. Take life one moment at a time. There is no need to rush to the grocery store or do the dishes in the sink. All of that can wait.
- Ensure you are getting some rest wherever you can fit it in, good nutrition, and adequate hydration.
- Get immediate help from a lactation consultant or breastfeeding support group if you are having any breastfeeding issues. The sooner your questions or concerns are answered, the more knowledge you will have to help you succeed on this important journey.
- Involve your baby in your daily tasks. Some new mothers try to get all their tasks done while the baby is sleeping. This can be stressful as a newborn’s nap times can be wildly unpredictable. You’ll get more done—and create an even tighter bond with your baby—if you include her in your routine. She’ll probably love the sound of the water running and your voice as you sing in the shower while she waits nearby. And she may be fascinated by your movements as you empty the dishwasher, fold laundry, pay bills or take care of other tasks. Talk, laugh, and play with your baby as you are doing everyday tasks. Make it a game and as she grows, she (or he!) will want to “help” you do these “fun” jobs around the house.
Happy Mom, Happy Baby
With your feeding space prepared, your home stocked with Motherlove’s Nipple Cream and an effective, gentle diaper rash ointment like Motherlove’s Diaper Balm, a support plan in place, and an anticipation of what your baby’s early behavior will be like, you’ll be in the perfect position to enjoy this wonderful period in your life. A little preparation goes a long way!