5 Tips for Surviving the Newborn PhaseSep 06, 2022
Let’s be real here…
The newborn stage is MAGICAL.
You finally get to meet your little buddy that you’ve been growing and dreaming about. They are tiny. They are precious. And they require a lot of darn work…
The newborn stage is also INCREDIBLY tough.
You are learning to live with a new roommate - one who is completely dependent on you and you have not quite figured out their personality.
Oh, and your roommate is pretty emotional, too. You have to figure out exactly what they need without them telling you.
Surviving the newborn phase can be ROUGH, but I crowd-sourced tips from my mama-followers to help YOU survive the first month with your sweet baby roommate.
Plan and prep ahead
Remember, even though you have a new baby in the house, your basic needs have to be met, too. You will still need to: Eat, drink, go to the bathroom, shower, and sleep.
Even when you are exhausted and focusing on how to feed your baby, you still need to tend to your basic needs.
One of the most common recommendations for surviving the newborn period is food prep while pregnant…making easy to reheat meals and putting them in the freezer. Bonus if they can be eaten with one hand. I also recommend choosing meals with veggies because the easiest meals from the grocery store are often carb-heavy.
Stash water bottles and snacks around the house, especially where you will be sleeping and feeding your baby. One less trip to the kitchen can mean everything when you’re exhausted. Save your energy anywhere possible!
Stock up on 3 months worth of household items like toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, shampoo, and cleaning supplies.
Find your nearest grocery store with delivery or curbside pickup for those days when you can't imagine grocery shopping. Put gift cards to UberEats or GrubHub on your registry.
It’s hard to prepare for the needs of your baby, but at least you can predict some of YOUR needs.
Be kind to yourself
Remember, you are not alone if you think the newborn period is hard. Over 75% of mothers in the Baby Feeding Coach community said it was difficult to transition into motherhood. It is a huge learning curve and not everything comes naturally (even if you expect it to).
Give yourself some grace.
Both you and your baby are learning how to work together to survive, and baby feeding is a new skill for both of you. Be kind to yourself if it is not what you expected. Give yourself grace if it is a steep learning curve.
Make sure to preserve what little energy you have. Remove any stressors in your life, whether it is social media accounts you follow that make you feel bad or family members who don’t respect your wishes. Ask for space if you need space, and sleep if you need sleep. Be kind if you are needier than usual. This is absolutely normal.
Ask for help - and accept it when offered
Asking for help is hard. Accepting help when it is offered is even harder. I found that many people would say, “let me know if you need anything”, which I found difficult to interpret. I never wanted to “put anyone out”. Honestly, I also felt like I had everything under control (at first).
Sometimes you don’t need help right away. Sometimes help is needed other times during the first year, yet those helping hands are not as readily available. I recommend leaning on the people you know are ready and available to help. Keep a list of those who offered to help and ask for simple things - to set up a meal train, come hold the baby while you shower or nap.
Don’t be afraid to ask - most people want to help, but don’t know what your needs are.
Have realistic expectations
We all have expectations of what motherhood will and will not be. Unfortunately, social media gives us unrealistic expectations of what motherhood will look like. We see lots of photos of tender moments, matching outfits, and freezers full of breastmilk. Yes, it is possible for all of this to happen, but it is not a reality for the majority of us.
Chances are that you will wear matching outfits for photos one time, and the rest of the time you will be in lounge clothes that may or may not be covered in spit-up. There will be a few tender moments and moments filled with immense stress.
If our lives don’t look like what we see on social media, it makes us feel like we are doing something wrong. In reality, our expectations may be a little skewed.
Reach out to other moms who will be honest with you about the good and the bad.
Understand that you are not failing if your life doesn’t look the same as what you see online.
You are doing a great job even if your life is messy.
I can’t tell you how many times I said, ‘I would never XYZ’ while I was pregnant, yet threw it out the window once I actually had a child.
Here’s the deal: you can plan everything perfectly, but being flexible will make your life so much better. There is one huge part of the equation that we do not know while we are pregnant: our baby’s personality. While some babies are calm and easy to manage from the beginning, there are many other babies who are a bit more demanding. Every family will have a different dynamic, filled with different opinions, personalities, and capabilities. What comes naturally to one family may be different than the next.
Be kind to yourself if plans change once you have new information. It is okay to follow your baby’s lead and pivot if necessary.
I truly hope the newborn stage is magical for you.
If it is less than magical or you have lingering questions about feeding or what is normal, I am here to help.
A little support can go a long way in the first few months.
Remember - it is okay to ask for help and accept help when in it is offered.
Do you have a baby under 4 months and have LOTS of questions?
This bundle has the answers to support you to make those first months of life less stressful so you can enjoy your baby more and worry less.
- A 50 minute self-paced workshop with common questions that occur in the first month.
- A 60-page PDF that covers breastfeeding, formula feeding, and combo-feeding to help you learn HOW to address concerns in your feeding journey.
- A 20 page PDF on troubleshooting the most common breastfeeding issues in the first 3-4 months.
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