Tips and tricks for surviving the first week home with a newborn. Everything you need to know for your first week postpartum and newborn hacks.
We are officially seven days in. Baby #2 decided to join our family one week ago today! As expected, it has been an exhausting first week, especially with a toddler running around, but full of love and excitement.
I’m sharing our newborn hacks everything i’ve done to survive our first week with a newborn and first week with baby #2.
Some of these I experienced and learned with my first baby. Things like breastfeeding is hard and what newborn gear can make life easier! Others i’m still learning as I go, even as a second time mom. Things like remembering to rest and take time for myself.
1. Be Prepared
If you are reading this after your baby is here, you can skip on to the next section… or feel free to keep reading so you can be prepared for your next newborn!
As a second-time-mom I felt the newborn phase was just a little easier since I knew what to expect and was able to prepare a little beforehand. Here are some things that I did to prepare before our second was born:
- Stocked up on snacks
- Meal prepped/planned
- Ordered my breast pump
- Installed the car seat
- Stocked up on postpartum supplies
- Chose our pediatrician
- Stockpiled household goods
- Sterilized bottles & pump parts
Check out my full post on what I did to prepare before our baby arrived.
2. Sleep When The Baby Sleeps
Its been said before, and i’ll say it again. The biggest newborn hack is to try to get as much sleep as you can by sleeping when the baby sleeps.
Although it might not seem like it, most newborns sleep for 18-19 hours per day. The hard part is that it is broken up into 8-12 different segments of 1-2 hours each.
Do yourself a favor and take as many naps as you can. The first few days home from the hospital I took at least two naps a day.
Both of my babies eventually settled into eating every 3 hours (sometimes 4 hours overnight) so after a few days I just needed one nap per day. This was our very approximate schedule for the first week:
- 5am feed baby (mom back to sleep)
- 7am wake with toddler
- 8am feed baby
- 11am feed baby (mom naps afterwards)
- 2pm feed baby
- 5pm feed baby
- 7pm toddler to bed
- 8pm feed baby (mom goes to sleep afterward)
- 11pm feed baby (mom back to sleep)
- 2am feed baby (mom back to sleep)
3. Let Yourself Rest
Most doctors or midwives will prescribe rest for postpartum moms.
You just birthed another human, and likely labored for hours or potentially had a major surgery. Its important to rest to allow your body time to recover and heal.
Allow time to stand still while you bond with your newborn and learn the ins and outs of being a new parent.
It can be hard to accept that the housework might not get done.
Of course there are some basic housekeeping items that are necessary like taking out the trash and making sure everyone is fead. But, the vacuuming, mopping, and deep cleaning can wait!
4. Have the Right Newborn Gear
Newborns will spend most of their timing either eating, sleeping, or pooping! It’s helpful to have the right newborn gear to make life a little more manageable for everyone.
Make sure to have a safe place for your baby to sleep. This can be a crib, portable crib, or bassinet. With my first we used a crib from day one. For my second, we used a pack n’ play (portable crib) in the guest room until he was ready to move into the nursery with big brother.
Stock up on diapers & wipes so that you don’t have to make an urgent trip when you get back from the hospital.
5. Be Prepared For Breastfeeding (to be hard)
Breastfeeding can be hard! Especially with a newborn. Go into the newborn phase with the understanding that breastfeeding might not come naturally for you or your baby, and that’s okay!
Having the right mentality and the right can can make a load of difference. If you are able to, consider taking a breastfeeding class before your baby is born to learn breastfeeding techniques and tips.
6. Ask For Help
Make sure to communicate to your partner, family, and friends that you need their help!
Don’t try to be a hero and do it all on your own. Also, don’t think that everyone will read your mind. Make sure to outright ask for help.
This can mean helping with housework, preparing a meal, or taking a shift feeding the baby if you are able to pump or want to offer formula.
I often asked my husband to take the late night feed and offer the baby a bottle before he went to bed.
I would still wake up and pump, but pumping took much less time than breastfeeding, diaper changing, and settling a newborn baby and was a great mental break for me. Also it meant more time to sleep!
7. Give Yourself Grace
Go into the newborn period with the understanding that life is going to be pretty difficult! But, also know that it will get better.
The newborn phase is definitely an emotional roller coaster. There will be many highs as you snuggle your newborn and watch them grown and thrive, but there will also be many lows and sleepless nights.
Give yourself permission to cry it out and lean on others for emotional support when you need it. Also, remember the importance of a little “me time”, even if that just means 10 minutes a day to shower.
Stock up on the right postpartum supplies and make sure to take time to take care of yourself the best that you can.
Thanks for stopping by!