The first few weeks with a newborn can be a whirlwind; you’re getting less sleep, you’re experiencing more love for a tiny human than you ever knew was possible, and you’re constantly learning. If you’re getting ready to welcome a new bundle of joy, keep reading to learn ways to prepare for the first few weeks with a newborn.
1. Rest up
Let’s start with sleep; once there’s a newborn in the home, your sleep routine will completely depend on this new tiny human, which makes it all the more important to get enough sleep in the months and weeks leading up to welcoming your newborn home. Get it while you can, my friends.
2. Shop smart
There are many new products to get as you prepare for a newborn, and they fall into different categories: transporting, feeding, clothing, and cleaning. Fortunately, there are a variety of products that can aid in this new adventure newborn care.
Let’s start with the basics. Unless you’re having a home birth, you’ll definitely need an infant car seat before your baby’s birth. After all, you’ve got to get your newborn home safely!
The next category of items to prioritize are cleaning and changing products. You will be running through diapers consistently in those first few weeks, so your changing station needs to be well-stocked with diapers and wipes.
If you’re into eco-friendly baby products, you can use reusable diapers, and bamboo baby wipes as a safe and clean alternative.
You’ll also want to have a solid vessel for holding dirty diapers, a supply of fresh clothes near the changing station, and some cleaning supplies for when things get messy.
3. Feeding your baby
You’ll want to think about how you’ll feeding your newborn before they arrive. While breastfeeding is often considered the gold standard, it’s often a time for just mom and baby. But, meal-time can be an important time for you to build a connection with your mini you as well, and as such, dads need to get involved in feeding!
This can be done by supporting your partner or by taking on the role of feeding with a bottle as often as possible. The other thing to consider in advance is the possibility that breastfeeding might not be what your partner wants or isn’t likely due to factors that remove breastfeeding from your options list.
For these reasons, it is wise to have an infant formula chosen in advance. With so many options, it is important to discuss these with your partner before your newborn arrives.
4. Mental health and support
Another consideration is mental health and support help that you can rely on during and after birth. My hope for everyone reading this is that the birth of your newborn will go smoothly, and you will have a healthy baby and a healthy mother at the end of the process. And while it does not serve you to focus on bad outcomes before the big day, there are steps that you can take to ensure that you have support in place.
First, identify family members and friends who are willing to answer late-night phone calls and provide support. You’ll also want to communicate with them regularly, letting them know they’re a part of your support team. Second, learn in advance about the causes and warning signs of postpartum mental health issues, such as depression, post-traumatic stress, and anxiety. There are various mental health resources that can be accessed remotely and help you. Lastly, talk with your primary care provider if you have concerns about mental health to ease your worries.
Preparing for a newborn can feel like a daunting task, and while there are certain things you can’t prepare for, there are many steps you can take to feel as close to fully prepared as possible.