As much as I heard that having a baby is not easy, when I got pregnant I thought to myself well, so many women have done this before, so can I! Well, turns out, there is a reason why they say this.*shocker* It is not easy and does not come with instructions. But, there are some things that can help, especially in those important first few weeks where everything is so foreign and new, both for you and baby!
Here are some of the things that have helped me so far, and how I will tackle the day tomorrow.
1. Learn and develop a mantra.
I am enough.
I am strong.
I am doing my best to give what my baby needs.
As easy as this seems it has not been so for me. My struggles have gone deep to my core, from not producing enough milk to just needing a break and feeling guilty about it. Go easy on yourself, mama. It’s a tough time.
2. Trial and error.
This past week has been an eye opener. With my salary being cut in half I have struggled with every purchase I have made so far. So when I found myself going to walmart at 7 am to switch his formula again, I thought to myself how will I cope? Well, simply put some things are just worth it. As always, talk to your doctor about switching formulas, but honestly I have been following my instincts on this one.
3. Learn what works for your baby.
This one is a doozy. With the internet there is no shortage of mom shaming and feeling bad. As hard as it is we do need to put the phone down sometimes and really focus in on cues your unique individual baby. This is not easy, and as someone who needs answers now, I have personally struggled with this, and still do.
4. Soothe soothe soothe!
Harvey Karps 5 “s” has helped me alot! Now, again this goes back to my previous point: not every baby will respond to each one. For instance, Benjamin does not take well to swaddling (at least not for long) but it could help. Here is an article for more extensive info: Here’s something from BabyCenter that I think you’ll like:
Harvey Karp’s “Happiest Baby” method for baby sleep and soothing | BabyCenter
5. Know when to take a break.
Mamas, this one is so important. I will get into more about how I find baby sharing so vital in the first few weeks in another post, but please, know that dad, and other family members, is just as important to your baby as you are! You need your rest. Dont forget that.
6. Dont be afraid to ask for help (especially if you have it!)
I personally struggle with this. As one who never really asked for much help in life before, now how will I start? It can be as simple as someone coming and visiting once a week so you can have a small break, or family and friends providing meals for you (what is cooking anymore?) Ps. Thanks to all my friends and family who have helped. It means SO much.
7. Know that this too shall pass.
Guys. This one is literally the worst one for me because, when I’m in the moment, I think well, this is indeed my life now. But even in 6 weeks, I need to remind myself as to how far Ben has come! Speaking with my sister in law this week she offered advice for the “wonder weeks” app. This explains leaps in Ben’s development and gives me an insight into when I can expect harder times. If you struggle with this, I definitely reccomend this app for you!
8. Make sleep a priority.
Confession time: I have literally slept upright with Ben on my chest in order to get some sleep. Yes, I know, baby needs to sleep on his back in a bassinet. But, after sleepless nights and fussiness, I have given in and I dont feel bad about it. Why? Because I know that a tired mama is not good for the babes. Please listen to your body. You are important too! Every night when my husband comes home I go to bed for a few hours and it definitely helps.
I hope this has helped a bit on how to survive the newborn stage; I am not a doctor but a new mom and these are simply my thoughts and experiences so far. Follow your instincts! Stay tuned for more posts from me! Take care 💜💙