Surviving those First Days: A Guide for New Parents

February 11, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Surviving those First Days: A Guide for New Parents

If you are reading this blog as a new parent, sorry let me rephrase - if you have found the time to read this as a new parent - then let me say many congratulations!

What an exciting time! Welcoming a newborn into your life is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding experiences, but you may be beginning to realise that it comes with its fair share of challenges, especially during those first few days at home. 0101
I remember the joy my hubby and I felt when we brought our baby son home for the first time. I also remember feeling just a little terrified at the thought of being completely responsible for this tiny human with no call button to press for help when needed, and this was back in the day when you were taught how to bathe and feed your baby before discharge from hospital too, unlike the 'give birth in the morning and be home for dinner' culture of modern maternity care.

From sleepless nights to endless nappy changes, adjusting to the role of parent can feel a little overwhelming but don’t worry, with a bit of preparation and a lot of patience, you will soon be navigating this exciting journey like a seasoned professional. Here are some tips to help you cope with the first days at home with your newborn:

Embrace the Chaos:

There is no getting away from it, the first days at home with a newborn are going to be chaotic. Your normal routine is going to be disrupted and that is perfectly ok. Give yourself permission to embrace the chaos, let go of unrealistic expectations and accept the unpredictability of this new chapter in your life. Embrace the madness.

Don’t Forget Self-Care:

Easier said than done I know, but amongst the demands of caring for your newborn, please don't forget to take care of yourself. Get as much rest as possible, gladly accept offers of help from family and friends and make sure you’re eating and drinking healthily. If you don’t look after yourself properly, you won’t be able to give your little one everything he or she needs, so prioritise self care to be the best new parent you can be.

I hate to mention it, but before the first week or two is over you may very well experience a bit of an emotional tsunami. This is perfectly normal so don't think you're failing as a new parent or are losing your mind; you are most definitely not. I've written a separate blog on the baby blues here.

_DSC9684 bw_DSC9684 bw Establish a Support System:

Surround yourself with family and friends who can offer guidance, assistance, and emotional support during these early days as you transition into parenthood. Whether it's a shoulder to cry on or someone to watch baby while you have a nap, having a strong support network can make all the difference. Feeling exhausted and dreading all those well meaning visitors? Don't be afraid to ask friends or family to give you a little more time if necessary to adjust to life with baby; they all love you and will understand. Of course, you can also use these visits to your advantage, ask your nearest and dearest to make the tea and do the dishes while you put your feet up for a while! 

Communicate with your Partner:

Parenthood is a team effort, so remember to talk openly with your partner about your needs, concerns, and responsibilities. Share the workload, and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Remember, you're in this together!

Simplify Your Routine:

In these early days, focus on the essentials and simplify your daily routine as much as possible. Forget the ironing, prepare easy-to-heat meals in advance or better still, have someone prepare them for you, do your grocery shopping on line;  by removing as much stress as possible you can concentrate on spending more time bonding with your new baby.

Remember - One Day at a Time:

Parenthood is a roller coaster ride so take each day as it comes. Don't worry about tomorrow or dwell on yesterday, focus on being present in the moment and cherishing these precious early days with your baby. Believe me before you know it, they'll be all grown up, so spend the here and now making as many memories as possible; perhaps consider hiring a professional newborn photographer to help you do this.

Trust Your Instincts:

You know your baby better than anyone else, so trust your instincts when it comes to caring for them. Listen to your baby's cues, learn their patterns, and don't be afraid to seek professional advice if you have concerns about their health or well-being.

0404 Remember – you’re doing great!

Finally, be gentle with yourself. Parenthood is a learning process and you are not expected to have all the answers right away. As a mum of three myself I guarantee you will feel parental guilt at some point in your journey, we all do, but for now celebrate the small victories and keep reminding yourself that you are doing the best you can for your little one. You are doing an amazing job!

The first days at home with a newborn can be challenging, but they will also be some of the best days of your life. Prioritise self care, establish a support system and trust your instincts and you will soon find yourself travelling through this exciting time with confidence. Take a deep breath, embrace the chaos, and savour every single second with your new baby.  You’ve only just boarded the wild ride that is parenthood but buckle up buttercup! This is going to be the greatest adventure ever!

Thanks for reading!


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