Feb 26, 2020

10 Tips to Surviving the Newborn Stage

When I was pregnant with my first, I didn't have a clue about what I was doing. I was hopeful and optimistic, and beyond excited.

Like most first-time parents, I read all the books and blogs. I subscribed to parenting magazines, and I pinned for hours. I was trying to prepare myself for the arrival of our first babe.

It wasn't until he was here that I started to really figure things out.

Please note- I am not a health care professional. This is just what works for us.

Here are my top ten tips to surviving a newborn.

Tip 1. Give yourself grace. No parent is perfect, and especially not one who isn't getting enough sleep. This is my number one tip for life with a newborn. No one told me how hard it would be the first few nights (and even weeks).

Newborns require a lot of attention. It will be emotional. “Some of your hormones go from the highest they ever will be to the lowest, just before delivery to just after,” says Ann Dunnewold, a psychologist and co-author of Life Will Never Be the Same: The Real Mom’s Postpartum Survival Guide. Be kind to yourself. Pay attention to how you are feeling, and take deep breaths when you feel overwhelmed. You've got this. You are enough. You can do it! And don't forget if you need to go get yourself a treat. You deserve it.

Tip 2- Talk to professionals, friends, and family. If you plan to nurse, visit a lactation consultant. They are experts, and can work with you to build a successful plan of action to achieve whatever nursing goals you have.

Build a good support system before baby arrives. Let your friends and family know when you need help, and have someone you can go to when you need momma advice, a hug, or even a meal.

Tip 3- Have a bassinet or crib in your room. This helps ensure you can hear your babe, and don't have to go stumbling around to get your baby during nightly feedings or diaper changes. This little gadget turned bassinet came out after I had Aida, but man does it look fabulous.

Tip 4- Swaddle your newborn. The swaddle helps the baby feel safe and secure, just like they did in the womb. This can help your baby sleep longer, and hopefully so can you! It also helps keep your newborn warm until their little body is better able to regulate their internal temps.

Top tip- we had this thing with Aida, and she loved it! She didn't love pacifiers or bottles, but this thing she was all about. It soothed her, and made her feel cozy. Wish they were around when we had DC.

This was and still is my absolute favorite swaddle blanket. The print is so dang cute!

Tip 5 + 6- Have a breast pump if you are nursing + Do some research on a variety of formulas (dairy and non-dairy options) if you plan to bottle feed.

For nursing moms, it is important for have milk storage. If you are going back to work or will have someone else watching your newborn occasionally (like if your parents come over to give a hand so you can sleep / heal / shower), they're going to need some breastmilk to feed your baby. A good pump will also be handy if you have a surplus or need to boost your supply.

I love this thing! It helps catch milk on the opposite breast during letdown. This is the pump I used for both my kiddos, and they're still around because of their amazing quality. I also recommend a hand pump if you will be traveling.

For formula babies- you can never be sure if your kiddo will have an intolerance to certain ingredients in formula. Hopefully, they won't, but if you notice your newborn is having tummy troubles, they might have an allergy. Consult with your doctor, and if they suggest switching up formula, you will prepared to do so with ease because you've already done research.

Tip 7- Prepare meals before the baby arrives. It's important to ensure that while you are healing from labor, and if you are nursing, to maintain a healthy caloric intake. Lots of fruits and veggies are essential to helping your body heal and refuel where it might be lacking after delivery.

Top tip- Freezer meals are great, or anything you can throw into the slow cooker. The less effort the meals take the better. Cutting up fruit and veggies to snack on will also help keep you from reaching for unhealthy options.

If you are nursing,what you eat goes to the baby, so the healthier the better. Here is a website with some nutrient dense meals that I want to try.

Tip 8- Buy gear that eliminates extra steps and / or allows for quick and easy mobility.

Backpack diaper bags are a must. This helps ensure you are hands-free when you are brave enough to venture out. You want to be able to grab your baby whenever you need to without your diaper bag falling off your shoulder.

Backpack diaper bags offer better mobility, and if a blowout happens, you're going to want a bag that also allows you to find what you need fast.

This diaper bag is my favorite for newborns because it has a rubber bottom which keeps it clean. The shoulder straps are padded, soft, and durable. They won't tear at the seam like some backpack diaper bags, and the front of the bag completely unzips (like a flap). This way, you can see everything inside the bag without digging around.

This carseat transforms from a carseat into a stroller. You just take it out of the car and unhook the wheels which are attached. Quick and easy, and perfect for newborns.

This was the travel system we had with Aida. I would highly recommend purchasing a stroller that is adaptable for more kids if you plan on having more than one. I loved it because I could add my son's seat when he was younger, and it transitioned to a roller board when he was older. It's the kind of stroller that grows with your family, and for that reason it scores high in my book. It also allows you to turn the carseat both on the stroller base and on the car base, making it highly efficient and allowing easier mobility.

I haven't tried this brand of baby carrier before, but I love wearing my babies and I love leopard print. When I saw this carrier I had to add it to the collage.

This baby monitor can be used on your mobile device. It has two-way talk option and a sound machine.

Tip 9- Hydrate. This is important for women who are nursing and also because postpartum constipation can occur. The more you hydrate, the easier it will be to use the bathroom, and it will help with keeping your breastmilk production high.

Tip 10- Your body will be different, but you are stronger than ever. Aside from the potential "mom bod" we all hear about, there can be hair loss, acne, dry patches, cavities, and so much more. All of these are tied to hormonal and blood flow changes. Just remember you created and are sustaining a human. That is no small feat. There is beauty in you as you are, and don't allow comparison to make you feel anything other than amazing.

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