The first few days of your baby’s life are likely to pass in a bit of a blur, but from the day you bring him home from the hospital, the worry over how best to care for him begins! Making those first few uncertain days easier can be as simple as getting organised, so here are our best tips for caring for your little one in the first few days.
In the days before your baby is born, you should be relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet, but some preparation will make life so much easier after the birth. Simple things like having enough food in the cupboards, having the house clean and tidy and keeping any baby things you have in the house close to hand can really help. Having your heating set to the right temperature and on a timer can eliminate any worries over whether baby is too hot or cold and investing in some black-out blinds for nap time (baby’s and yours) can is a brilliant idea.
Remember the Basics
If baby cries, your instinct is to comfort him. That instinct can be so strong that it overwhelms the part of you that knows what to do! So remember the basic check list; Is his tummy full and winded? Is he warm enough, and not too hot? Is his nappy clean and dry?
Sleep When Baby Sleeps
Many parents tell us that the best advice they received when their babies were tiny was to sleep when they sleep. Instead of trying to use baby’s naptime as a chance to run around and do everything, use them as an opportunity to catch up on your rest. I realise this is easier said than done, but at the very least try to rest during this time. The first few days (and weeks) are exhausting, especially if you had a difficult birth. Forget about the housework and sleep whenever you can, you will be in a much better position to enjoy your baby and could even find that getting enough sleep makes breastfeeding easier and could even reduce your risk of post natal depression.
People will want to flood you with gifts and visits. If you want them, then enjoy it. If you don?t then it is perfectly acceptable to turn people away with a polite but firm explanation. There will be plenty of time for visitors when you feel ready.
If you do have people round, then let them help. Anyone who cares about you and your baby is not going to be offended by having to make their own cup of tea or being asked to pop the dishwasher on for you. If someone offers to help, then accept! People are very likely to be happy to help, especially when they are repaid with cuddles from the new arrival.
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Caring for your baby is not always the intuitive process that some people would have you believe. You will forget things, you will ask the same questions over and over? the best thing you can do is keep a notebook. Write down things you feel are important so that when you suddenly can?t remember when baby’s last feed was or how long he has been asleep for, you can easily refer back to the notebook and feel in control again.
You can be pretty sure that there will be situations that arise during the first few days that leave you baffled ? from worrying he might be ill to being unsure if he is sleeping enough/too much, feeding enough/too much? then there are the endless musings over why he is crying. Stay calm. If you are very concerned, there are lots of places you can look to for support. Your health visitor is there to help, and your GP will be happy to advise you. If you have other parents around that you can ask, then do so! We have all been there, and no matter how silly a question might seem, there are no silly questions. If you think it’s important, then it is!