The first few days: 5 things about life with a newborn all new mums should know
Ok, so nobody said life with a newborn would be a walk in the park, but then again nobody said trying to function on zero sleep would be quite this hard either.
Luckily, mamas, we have rounded up a few newborn hacks that might – if not get you a full eight hours of sleep (here's dreaming!) – then at least make life with a newborn a tad less exhausting.
Are you ready for some really good advice (from someone who has lived those newborn days) and learned some clever hacks along the way?
1. Take a bath with your baby
One thing so many new mamas struggle with is trying to find time to actually have a shower (in between all the breastfeeding and pumping and nappy changing and rocking the baby to sleep for hours on end). One solution is to take a bath with your baby – that way you won't have to wait for her to be asleep or worry when you are in the bath because you keep hearing phantom cries. Just fill the bath (mind the water is not too warm for your baby) and climb in first before getting your partner to hand you the baby once you are in. Not only will this solve the never feeling clean issue, but it will also create a lovely, intimate moment between you and your baby.
Note: Don't try to climb out of the bath holding the baby, you are much safer if you carefully hand her over to your partner before getting out yourself.
2. Practice side nursing
Newborns need feeding frequently, breastfed babies even more so, and so in order to not have to get up from your warm bed every time your little darling wakes for a feed, you might want to start practising being able to do so in bed – lying down.
Try lying on your side with your baby facing you and her head positioned at your breast. Once he latches on, allow yourself to doze off until he's finished and then place him back in the crib or bassinet beside your bed.
3. Leave nappy changing essentials a few places around the house
For those first few sleep-deprived and exhausting week, make life easier for yourself by not having to trek up to the bathroom or nursery every time you have to change a nappy. Instead leave out little changing stations (all you need is a soft blanket or towel you can put down somewhere) in the rooms you are in the most, like the kitchen, living room and even in your bedroom.
4. Wear your baby
Most babies like to be held. A lot. Which is obviously all sorts of lovely and cosy, but what it also means, is that getting other stuff done when you have a newborn (like make yourself a sandwich or brush your hair) can be rather tricky.
This mamas, this can be solved with a wrap. Or sling. or infant carrier. Whatever device you like as long as it means you are wearing your baby and have both arms free again. You will never look back.
5. Ask for help
Do not try to be Superwoman. I cannot stress this enough to my new mum friends. Seriously; you need to embrace that these weeks are a little chaotic, get better at delegating and for God's sake, accept or even flat out ask for help. That is what mums/friends/sister/husbands/aunts/mothers-in-law (basically everyone else who have not just had a baby themselves) are for.
Say yes to that lasagne. To the laundry being folded. To your toast buttered and cut in half. To the shopping being done. All of it. Right now, these precious first few weeks, you have more important things to be doing.
What are YOUR most clever newborn hacks, mamas? What would YOU tell someone who just became a mama? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @Herfamilydotie