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Bringing Baby Home: 9 Ways Your Life Will Change
Bringing baby home is one of the most exciting times in a new mom’s life. It will also be the most challenging, at least the first few weeks will be.
My baby just turned four months and spending this time with him has been a dream. He’s my second child and only son.
You would expect that since this isn’t my first child, I would be used to taking care of a newborn, however, the first eight weeks with my son were overwhelming. He was a high-need baby and my previous experience as a mom did nothing to help here.
If you are about to be a new mom (or have been one like in my case) here are
9 Ways Bringing Baby Home Will Change Your Life (Literally)
1) Lack of Sleep
When I first became pregnant almost seven years ago, I did a lot of research on pregnancy and post-pregnancy and one of the things I discovered is that newborns sleep a lot -16 to 20 hours every day.
Of course, if I’d known this sleep occurs in short bursts of two to three hours, even at night, I wouldn’t have rejoiced too soon.
You will feel most of the changes to your life that take place upon bringing baby home, however, this is the one that would hit the most.
During your pregnant days, you probably slept a lot, especially during those last few weeks. I know I did. Sleep was the only way to temporarily escape the many discomforts of pregnancy and I embraced it wholeheartedly.
Your first few weeks after bringing baby home will be a complete reverse. You’ll be lucky if you can get up to six hours of restful sleep each night.
Research has found that most newborn parents get an average of 5 to 6 hours of sleep each night which means they lose over 600 hours of sleep the first year.
This reads manageable bright now, however, you don’t want to be one of the statistics. It’s one of the worse feelings. I felt like I’d been thrown into a grinding machine most times as my body felt broken.
One of the reasons why your sleep will be interrupted often is your baby’s need to feed often. Seeing as they have a very small stomach babies need to be fed every two to three hours, even at night and this change to your regular sleep pattern will shake you.
2) Babies Needs Change
Bringing baby home also opened my eyes to the fact your baby’s needs might change or vary slightly from week to week.
Of course, regular needs like those of food, security, love, and attention remain constant, but a few minor ones won’t.
One thing I noticed with both my kids was the slight changes that took place on the days they turned a new week and this would span that entire week.
For instance, my son cried a lot during the first few weeks and needed constant touches and reassurance. However, this stopped suddenly the day he turned eight weeks. He also became very playful and would keep himself entertained for up to thirty minutes at a time.
My daughter, on the other hand, was a peaceful baby but became somewhat needy the day she turned six weeks.
The changes will come in droves – a lot of them fun and a learning curve – and you will have a memorable time going through them with your little one.
3) It Takes a While Understanding Your Baby’s Different Needs
It’s amazing how we can correctly interpret our baby’s needs while in the womb – somehow, you can tell when your baby is hungry or when he needs you to change from a certain position he finds uncomfortable.
This ability becomes somewhat ineffective upon bringing baby home.
During those first weeks, you will wonder what your baby’s many cries mean. You’d be unable to tell if he’s crying for food, or comfort, or just needs some human touch.
It will take a while – and a lot of frustration- before this ability gets honed once again.
Read Also: 120 Unique Names For Your Baby Girl
4) Needing to Entertain Guests
The lack of sleep might have thrown me off, but I think having to keep guests entertained as they trouped in to see the newborn nearly did me in.
Of course, the visits weren’t actually the problem, what got me slightly irked were those visitors who would spend hours. I had a few spend up to three hours, even when I subtly let on I needed rest.
If I was to do this again, I would have someone meet every visitor at the door and inform them they could only stay a few minutes as the new mom needed rest.
Yes, this should be common knowledge, but I guess some people forget in their excitement to meet the newborn.
5) Your Breastmilk Might Not Flow Immediately
Not everyone will face this. Some people will have the opposite with their breastmilk supply coming out in full force.
However, if you are on the other side of the spectrum, then rest assured you are not alone. A lot of women, myself included don’t produce enough breastmilk postpartum and we have to turn to aids to get this milk flowing.
With these breastfeeding aids as well as feeding your baby often, your breast milk supply should meet your baby’s needs in a few weeks.
6) Support Starts to Dwindle
The massive support you got those first few weeks after bringing baby home will start to dwindle as the weeks go by. Even though we might want it to, this support doesn’t last forever.
Sooner than you would want it will start to dwindle and you will be left to manage this period yourself as life returns to normalcy.
Thankfully, you would likely have gotten the hang of this period and should do just fine.
7) You Should Stock a Lot More of Certain Baby Supplies
It’s amazing how many diapers newborns use. My daughter’s usage was fair, but my son went through almost 200 diapers in his first month.
He was having 6 – 7 bowel movements a day and I exhausted my supply in less than six weeks.
While other baby supplies are necessary, diapers will be the most used baby items and you want to stock up as much of this as you possibly can.
8) You Will Get a Lot of Unsolicited Advice
This is the one I hated the most. There were those – well-meaning, yes- friends and family who felt certain things should be done in a way they were used to, never minding if I was comfortable with those methods.
You will get a lot of these. Now, while it’s normal to get irked, you want to understand it is coming from a place of love and support and take it in stride.
9) Lookout For Touches and Unwanted Kisses
Like the unsolicited advice, there will also be those unwanted touches and kisses. However, unlike the former, you shouldn’t sit back and let this continue.
Babies don’t have a strong immunity. While mothers pass some immunity to their babies during the last few weeks of pregnancy, this wears off after a few weeks postpartum.
Also, babies receive some passive form of antibodies (immunities) from breastmilk, but again, this isn’t as strong as an adult’s.
This is why you should be firm in letting visitors know they shouldn’t touch your baby unnecessarily or kiss him at all.
Bringing Baby Home Without Support
As surprising as this sounds, there have been and will continue to be moms bringing baby home with very little to no support.
Not everyone will have that much-needed support during those first few weeks of your baby’s life. If this is you, here are some ways you can manage this time of your life:
- Opt for paid support if possible. You should look into getting whatever help you need at the time. It could be getting someone to clean up or do some cooking.
It’s also possible to get someone trusted (paid) to babysit while you catch some snooze time.
I remember offering my nineteen-year-old cousin at the time an hourly fee to babysit. She would come in a few times a week to keep an eye on the baby while I rested.
Of course, these babysitting hours happened at the times when my baby was already asleep. I just needed someone on hand to help feed or soothe him back to sleep so I could have two to three hours of uninterrupted sleep.
- If you are on a budget or can’t trust a stranger enough with your newborn or around your home, then a better alternative would be to do things within your capabilities.
The focus right now should be on you getting as much rest as possible. Remember you have to be well-rested to give your baby the best.
Don’t try to be any more of a superwoman than you already are. Carrying and birthing a baby makes you superhuman and you don’t need to exert yourself trying to keep a tidy home at this time.
One thought pattern that helped me some then, after I’d done the best I could was, if anyone was unhappy about the state of my house during their visit, they could come help me tidy up!
- Sleep when baby sleeps. This advice is given to all new moms and is one of the best you will get. Even getting just two hours of sleep at a time will help offset the balance of sleep debt that will be accumulating.
- Let your partner help too. You don’t want to take care of the baby at the same time. What you should do is run shifts so one person can rest until their turn.
This is where a breast pump also comes in handy if you are breastfeeding. Expressing and storing a generous amount of breastmilk beforehand will ensure your sleep isn’t interrupted when baby needs to feed.
Related: How To Lose Your Baby Weight Fast
What You Need the First Week the Baby is Home
Besides stocking up on a lot of diapers, other baby supplies you want to look into include baby clothes in sizes 3 months to one year. I recommend bypassing clothing labeled 0 -3 months as babies grow fast during this time and will quickly outgrow them.
Other items you would be needing include
- A breast pump, manual or electric to express milk.
- A baby carrier or diaper bag for your trips out.
- A few quality baby bottles of different sizes – your baby’s food needs change fast as he grows.
- A few burp clothes, bibs, wipes pacifiers, and wash clothes.
- You would also need a car seat, bathtub, blanket, and cloth diaper (optional).
What Are the Basic Needs of a Newborn Baby
A newborn has several needs but the ones you will come to notice early on include the need for
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