Oh those hazy days! I always said that mom brain lets you forget these days and this is why we have more kids. After my first baby, I nicknamed myself the sleepless mom. I felt like I survived on coffee; I even got creative and cappuccino. As a newborn photographer, I always hear from my moms, “I don’t remember those days”. Here’s the thing mamas…it’s normal, everyone is in the same survival mode. Those first few days and weeks with your newborn baby are so beautiful and emotional and at the same time so overwhelming. Your emotions are running circles around you: the joy, the tears, the exhausting days and oh the uncertainty and self doubt that creeps in. As hard as it may seem at this moment, the good news is this phase will pass. Here are some tips for those early days with a new baby in the house.
Tips for surviving the first few days with a new baby
TIP #1: Help the Sleepless Mom with Self Care
Seems simple enough; yet, as mothers we always put ourselves last. I can not stress the importance of taking a minute for self care. As a new mama, your days will be full of caring for the baby, your partner, your home, your friends, your work (if you are working), the list goes on and on. The Sleepless mom thing is real! I always found it hard to sleep when baby slept, because that was my time to get things done. If sleep is not your thing, take a moment where you can schedule time for you. Perhaps give dad a baby schedule time, so you can go for a walk, sit out side for moment. Just a few minutes for yourself will help you be more present for your baby and your family. It also helps YOU enjoy that time when you are present.
TIP #2: Gather your Village
If you have days full of to-do’s, don’t feel anyway for reaching out to family, friends and your village of mamas for support. I always said, there is no trophy for the “mom of the year”, I mean what does that even look like!? Your day will soon feel so overwhelming then add taking care of a baby, feeding every two hours, changing diapers, oh and those cluster feeding stages! Baby can have days and nights mixed up so sleep is out. I noticed that when I received help, and took time for myself, I was able to be more present for my babies. I could actually enjoy the moments. I found so much relief emotionally when I joined Fit4Mom. This amazing group of mamas was super supportive as a new mom. Sometimes it was just helpful to sit in a circle and listen to other moms. If you are in Philadelphia, check them out, it’s an amazing group of mamas for every stage of motherhood.
TIP #3: Breastfeeding Can Cause Sleepless Moms.
One of the biggest struggles for a new or second or third mom. Many women want to breastfeed their new baby, but quickly learn how challenging it can be. Is the latch right? How do I know if baby is feeding enough? Baby is fussy at the latch. And don’t forget the pain!!! Those first few days of both you and baby learning how to make it all work. The breastfeeding game alone left this mom quite sleepless for weeks. This is one of those one size does not fit all topics. If you are having trouble breastfeeding, do not be afraid to ask for help. You can talk to your paediatrician, your doctor, a faction consultant, or reach out to a mom who has been there. I struggled with my first born, and with my second in different ways. I found it so helpful to join a social group for breastfeeding led by a faction consultant. Sometimes, I would just browse the group and this alone helped. It was nice to read that other moms would be expressing the same challenges as I was. Find your support, and do not feel any way for asking for help. Breastfeeding can be the most challenging part of those first few weeks.
The first few weeks with your baby are beautiful, exciting, amazing and overwhelming. And it’s all ok! Take the time to take care of yourself, when you feel good, you can be present more and enjoy it more. Just know you are doing an amazing job everyday!