Congratulations on the birth of your new baby. It’s a very exciting time for both mom and baby.
There is so much that you will want to learn about your baby and there are lots of things that your baby wants to know about you too!
After all, you are the voice that your baby has been hearing for the past 9 months.
Now that pregnancy is over are you ready for what to expect in your first week home with baby?
The first week home with your baby is usually the most sensitive time and everything will feel very different.
There’s a new addition to your family and now you have to establish a new routine.
No matter how prepared in advance that you think you are before your baby arrives there is always going to be something new to learn.
So having said all of that what is it really like in the first week home with baby?
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11 tips to help you get through your first week at home with baby
1. Understand that it is a period of adjustment
Your first few days at home after you leave the hospital are the strangest days that you will have.
It’s like living in a surreal world where you are almost watching yourself on tv. You will have no clue what you are doing and that is pretty normal. All your insecurities as to whether or not you are doing things right or not are also normal.
All new moms go through this even if it’s not your first baby.
You have to allow yourself time to adjust. Its a massive change and it will take time before you are able to build up a routine and get things feeling normal again.
Give yourself time.
2. Your hormones are still all over the place
You’ve just given birth so you must remember that your hormones are running rampant right now. You may even shed a few tears over nothing.
You will likely be feeling very sensitive as you want everything to be perfect. The Lord knows I shed quite a few tears myself each time I gave birth. I can’t even remember what I cried about anymore which shows that it probably wasn’t that serious.
As time passes your hormones will begin to settle and you will start to feel more like yourself again.
And this too shall pass.
3. Your baby will sleep a LOT!
In the first few weeks with your newborn, you will find that your baby will sleep lots and lots and lots!
This is a great time for you to catch up on some sleep yourself.
Newborns do lots of sleeping as they have been through quite a lot going through birth and their bodies have lots of adjusting to do to the outside world.
Over the next few weeks, you will see that they will start to sleep a little less.
If you want to know more about your baby’s sleep schedule you can take a look at this.
4. Do only the things that you need to
In your first week at home with baby you will start to see that your home is not running as it usually does because you have been busy looking after your new baby.
It’s really important that you only tackle the things that need your immediate attention. Leave the things that can wait.
No one is expecting you to have everything fully under control.
Hopefully, you have already put away some premade meals in the freezer so you don’t have to cook.
Keep the housework light and don’t feel like you have to stay on top of it.
Take as much time as you need before you start to get into a normal routine again.
5. Feeding baby
Your baby will need to be fed lots.
Their stomachs are extremely small at this stage so they can’t hold a lot of food. This will cause them to feed much more frequently.
It doesn’t matter if your baby is breastfed or bottle-fed they can only eat so much.
Expect that you will be feeding lots especially in that first week after birth.
6. Diaper changes
When your baby is this small you can expect that they will need quite a few diaper changes, to begin with.
As time goes on this will reduce.
Your babies first poop will be black, don’t be alarmed by this. This is just something called meconium
After that, your baby’s poop will continue to change color, from almost greenish to yellow.
If you are breastfeeding you will notice that your baby’s poop will look almost seed-like. Again this is entirely normal and not something that you need to worry about at all.
There is also a stage that you need to be aware of that happens sometimes in the first or second week. I don’t know if there is an actual name for it but there will be a time where your baby will poop, become hungry and then need to food again.
Because they have fed again they will poop again. It’s a vicious cycle and I don’t know exactly why it happens but just be prepared for it.
The last time that it happened to my baby we were 8 nappies in.
If you do experience this it will stop so don’t be alarmed. One day you may even laugh about it.
As your newborn baby can’t talk yet their only means of communicating with you is by crying.
Just because your baby is crying it does not mean that they are upset about something.
You just need to do your usual checks, dirty nappy? hungry? hot? cold? etc.
There are a few signs that your baby will give when they are hungry and it really is fascinating and something you should definitely take the time out to read up on.
8. Bathing your baby
Bathing your baby for the first time is terrifying. If you are worried about bathing your newborn you can use this step by step guide to help you.
Don’t feel that you have to bathe your baby in that first week. Babies don’t need to be bathed anywhere near as much as a grown-up.
Usually a top and tail work just fine. You can pick up a top and tail bowl here.
9. Dressing your baby
Please for the love of all things beautiful don’t stress yourself or your baby out by trying to dress them up in normal clothes. It’s just not practical.
baby sleepsuits work just fine.
You will appreciate the sleepsuit so much on the day that your baby has a diaper explosion. It will happen one day. It always does!
10. Sleep deprivation
Babies’ sleep patterns seem to be a little all over the place. You may find that your baby will sleep a lot better during the day time rather than at night when you are ready too.
It’s hard, I won’t lie to you. Somehow you have to get your baby to turn their sleep pattern around so they sleep better during the night time rather than during the day.
As your baby is only still only in their first week of life it’s probably not as important right now but you will want to start your baby with good habits.
You can take a look at baby sleep sense here which is a great tool to help you get your baby to sleep better during the night time.
Sleep deprivation on mom is hard but it does end.
11. Common problems with baby
Jaundice is a very normal thing that happens to most babies where the eyes and skin can become yellow. This is caused by a high level of bilirubin.
It usually harmless and should clear up on its own after a week or so. If your babies jaundice lasts much longer than this then it would be wise to get in contact with your doctor to take a look at it.
Jaundice tends to happen a few days after birth so look out for it.
If your baby suddenly gets lots of spots on their face this is normal, some people call it baby acne or you can call it baby milk spots. I think baby milk spots sounds much nicer.
No one quite knows exactly why milk spots happen but they are harmless and will go away after a few weeks on their own, you don’t have to do anything to help get rid of them.
3. Weight loss
It’s normal for your baby to lose weight in the first few days of life. Don’t be alarmed by this.
Your baby will start to naturally get rid of excess fluid in their bodies. Also if your baby is breastfed they will have been feeding on colostrum rather than milk which is not fatty so weight loss is normal.
Once your breast milk comes in they should regain any weight loss again.
If your baby does not start to regain weight then you must see your doctor or midwife as soon as possible.
Final thoughts on your first week home with baby
Your newborn is so small right now that you can worry if you are doing all the right things by them. That’s normal.
You have to remember that your baby is not as fragile as what you might think.
Give yourself a break and take all the time you need to adjust.