The first weeks home with a new baby are an adventure.
After labor and delivery, new moms deserve a break. However, the first weeks home with baby might not be very relaxing. With proper preparation, you can make the first weeks with your newborn special and rewarding. Follow these tips to make the best of your new baby's first weeks of life.
- New babies will eat, sleep, pee and poop, and cry on their own timetable. Don't try to control it all!
- Stock up your diaper changing stations with diapers (sample a few brands), wipes, creams, lotions, extra clothing, and other baby grooming tools.
- Let your spouse and family members help with chores around the house and with baby care so you can rest.
- Limit outside visitors for the first few days and don’t feel bad about it; use that time for quiet family bonding.
- Don’t give up on breastfeeding. If you're having trouble, seek support from a lactation consultant through your hospital.
- Get sleep whenever baby sleeps; let the chores wait or let a friend or family member take care of them.
- Soothe your crying baby with swaddling, shushing, swinging, allowing sucking, and side holding to make her feel as safe and comfortable as in the womb.
- Music or white noise can calm a fussy baby. Give it a try!
- Reduce the risk for SIDS by always having baby sleep on his back.
- Keep baby warm, especially during changing or bathing.
- Expect advice, solicited or not, and feel free to try it or disregard it; trust your natural instincts.
- Always make a little adult time to connect with friends and the world outside, even for a few minutes a day.
- Spend time skin to skin with your new baby for the best bonding experience.
- When you take baby out into the world, bring along an experienced friend to offer support.
- Have your diaper bag ready to go with the essentials and don’t forget a change of clothes for baby and mom.
- Expect your first few weeks to be hectic, overwhelming, and amazing. Don’t worry about being perfect; just focus on getting to know your new family member.
St. Petersburg General Hospital offers a variety of Women’s Services as well as support for new parents. Learn more about caring for your newborn in our online health library. St. Petersburg General Hospital is here to help you and your growing family have the best experience possible.