The early days with your newborn baby means you are probably learning fast that your beautiful baby doesn’t come with any instructions.
You may be feeling more than a little lost and there are no easy solutions but it can be helpful to keep life as simple as possible and to focus on looking after you.
Early days with your newborn baby: the first 5 days
In these early few days, you need to rest, be comfortable and be looked after as you feed, look after and get to know your baby.
Focus on having 5 days in bed to properly rest, recharge and recover.
Early days with your newborn baby: 6-10 days
This is still a time to rest, recharge and to be looked after.
Focus on being on your bed/sofa for these 5 days so you are still resting, snoozing and being with your baby but you may be pottering about a bit more.
Early days with your newborn baby: 11-15 days
Depending on how you feel, you could be doing a bit more, getting outside now and seeing more visitors.
Even if you feel well, it is still beneficial to be looked after for a bit longer, so you are not jumping straight into doing. You may get tired quickly, especially if you have stitches which need to heal.
Focus on returning to your bed/sofa for these 5 days – and longer if you need it and if it is possible – so you can rest and snooze to aid your recovery. Give yourself permission to do this.
Early days with your newborn baby: What to expect from your baby?
Your baby may sleep a lot, especially during the day – with more alert times and crying at night.
He needs to feed little and often, night and day. His stomach can only hold small amounts so expect to have to feed regularly. Please don’t worry about routines for a while yet.
Use cushions for your back and to support your arms in order to be comfortable, whether breast or bottle feeding.
In-between sleep and feeds, he will be wide-eyed and alert. Some babies will be chilled as they start to take in the world around them, others will be overstimulated by noise, lights, people and may need to cling to you to feel calm and safe. Try to go with what your baby needs – as this will change throughout the day. Needing to cuddle is really normal and to be expected.
Your baby will be curled up and may prefer settling on you.
Safe swaddling can help with naps.
Early days with your newborn baby: What to expect from yourself?
You could feel pretty tired and sore so it is important to focus on rest and on being as comfortable as possible. Eat well and often and drink plenty of water.
You might feel out of your depth with your new baby as you adjust and get to know your baby’s needs. This is very normal! Just take it a day at a time and try not to have huge expectations of yourself or your baby. And do reach out for some additional help, support and reassurance.
The early days can feel chaotic, with little time and order. Again, this is all very normal. Try to go with the flow of looking after yourself and meeting the needs of your baby. It can be an intense time but it won’t be like this forever.
Please focus on rest – so you can heal, feed and cuddle your baby – rather than on being busy with doing. If possible, be looked after during these early days.
Copyright: Janine Smith