Having A New Baby Is Really Just The Best Thing Ever
If you are about to have a new baby and you are a first time mom you may be overwhelmed with the magnitude of responsibility and change that is coming upon you. Though, as you logically already know, fear and worry are pointless. Continue to do your best to try and embrace the new journey you are on. Have faith that this experience is the most meaningful and beautiful of your life. It is.
The love you will feel for your child will overshadow any feelings of hardship and challenge. Yes, you will be tired, and recovering, and emotional. Adjusting to life with a new baby is a challenge but it will be a labor of love that you will enjoy. Having a baby is empowering. Your new baby will be the light of your world and will show you strengths you didn’t know you had, I can promise you that.
Line Up Your Baby Support Network
Even though you will enjoy a sense of super powers you’ve never felt before, you will still need help. Do yourself a favor and try to line it up beforehand. You will need help with things like household chores, grocery shopping, errands, showering, and more. If you can get assistance from someone who also is good with babies that is even better.
If you have the support of the baby’s father and/or your collective families and friends, that is ideal. If you have few family members and few friends, try to ask people you know beforehand if you can count on them for specific tasks. See if you can line up an affordable errand runner, maybe a young person in your neighborhood. Check your local municipalities and states for support programs you might be eligible for.
If you need financial help look to WIC programs which help you pay for your food and baby’s food while you are working things out.
Relax and Enjoy Your Baby
You will find yourself on a schedule that revolves around the baby. At first it will be a lot to take in but as you get the hang of it, it does get so much easier. If you are overwhelmed just know it will get easier and make sure to stop to breath.
It’s most important that you can relax and enjoy your baby so that you can breastfeed. Breastfeeding is best. Bottle feed if you can’t breastfeed and don’t feel guilty about it. Avoid stressful people and stressful situations. Your breast milk can go dry if you have stress.
At first you will be just feeding your baby all day and night basically. Breast feeding sessions can go into an hour long or more. You are done when your baby is done. That is unlike breast pumping, which you are supposed to only do about 15-20 mins on each side. You will be pumping too most likely. The point is that you will be a baby feeding machine most of the day and night.
Get Organized And Create Systems
There are basic areas of care you will be providing for your new baby (and yourself).
Your baby will be hungry every 2-3 hours or less if you’re breast feeding. Some breast feeding sessions are 45 mins to an hour. That means you’re basically feeding all the time. If you have time for anything else it will probably be just to go to the bathroom, make a snack, and brush your hair.
You will need foods for yourself that are easy to prepare or are already prepared. It will amaze you just how difficult it will be to make yourself a sandwich with so much else to do. If you neglect your own nutrition, however, your precious breastmilk can suffer. Make sure you arrange and do food planning for yourself too.
This whole nonsense about “Sleep when the baby sleeps” is completely unrealistic unless you have a lot of support. If you don’t have a lot of helpers, you will need to be taking care of the rest of life when baby is sleeping. This may include working if you’re a single mom.
In order to have the most time to go around, you need to take measures toward convenience. Don’t be mad at yourself if you need to buy and use paper plates for a few months because you don’t have time for dishes.
Diapers. Get the good kind and you will get more sleep. Cheap diapers make babies cry a lot. Good diapers help baby sleep longer which translates to more sleep at night, longer naps, aka more sleep and spare time for you.
Decide what kind of sleeping situation you want for the baby. Get a co-sleeper or bassinet that allows you to see your baby easily. It will calm your nerves.
Back to the diapers… Did you know that diapers, the staple of all baby item staples, contain some of the most unhealthy substances around? Those chemicals and compounds are up against baby’s skin 99% of the time for the first years of his life.
You have to find a way to afford better diapers. If it is the one luxury item you allow yourself, let it be high quality diapers. May I suggest Andy Pandy Diapers, Bambo Naturals, and from the supermarket, Seventh Generation. Read the review of these diapers and in-depth reviews of all the items you will need to purchase for your new baby at the Newborn Baby Shopping List Full Guide.
Buy any of those diapers and I promise you and your baby will be happier for it. You will use less diapers if you use good diapers.
Leggings. Buy them. You probably developed a pregnancy uniform of sorts to get you through the body changes in comfort. After baby is home you need it even more. Buy some new underwear, new leggings, a pair of comfortable slides. Clothes you can wear around the house and get spit up on and that wash easily.
Get a cute and comfy house coat you can throw on and over the spit up stains that are an inevitability. It sounds gross that you will indeed be getting spit up on every day. You won’t mind once it’s happening. It’s natural.
Contrary to popular belief, babies do not just sleep all day. Babies are looking around at everything and taking it all in. They need time to connect with you. You need peace and happiness to connect healthfully with your baby.
You can’t hold your baby all day long. It’s exhausting on your muscles and back. You need safe and comfy places to put your baby down in to give your arms and lap a break.
For the first few months it helps to have different loungers to keep things interesting for them. It’s nice if you can have a swing, a lounger, a bouncer, an activity gym, etc. This way you’re not just always putting your baby down in the same place which is monotonous after a short while. This is especially true in the first month or so when you might not be taking your baby pretty much anywhere out of the home.
Bath time with baby is so fun. It is easiest to wash baby in the kitchen sink. Buy a good sink baby bather and you will spare your back unnecessary pain. Never mind the big flower sponges. They take too long to dry. There are better baby bathers out there.
Your own personal hygiene may get neglected when you first have a baby. A wet rag can do wonders to clean yourself up with limited time. You’ll be washing your hands more than ever and washing your hair less than ever.
Buy a clear shower curtain if you don’t have one now. Then you will be able to bring the baby within view and see through the curtain to your baby. Obviously you don’t want to bring your baby into a steam room. You can shower with the door open and safely rest baby in a comfy place that’s within sight and sound of your newborn.
Research The Items You Need To Buy For Your New Baby
Like most things in life, having the right tools makes the project go smoother. The sanity of your daily routine will hinge on the baby item purchases you make and the people you have around you. Choose wisely.
Save Money Buying Items Second Hand
You can buy most items second hand and in amazingly great condition for pennies on the dollar on OfferUp. Word of caution however, car seats do have expiration dates. It’s one of those items I would recommend buying new.
For a full list of the baby items you will need to buy and/or put on your registry, go to Baby Registry Checklist. You will also find reviews of the highest rated baby items to help you decide which options you like best for your newborn baby shopping list.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Now more than ever it’s essential that you be in the moment and enjoy every precious expression your baby makes. It’s your time with baby now and most everything else can just wait a gosh darn minute. All things will fall in line and your friends and family will step up to be there for you and a part of these memories. Be prepared not only for revelations about the resilience and powers you have within you, but also for the love and generosity of your friends and family that comes forward in the biggest and best ways.