Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

Your best tips for the first week with new baby??

(242 Posts)
BananaMuffin Fri 29-Oct-10 11:22:58

I'm currently 37+3 with my first baby... just wondering if the experienced mums out there have any particularly useful tips for the first couple of weeks/ things you wish people had told you? I am extremely excited but also don't know what to expect at all!

PGWomble Fri 29-Oct-10 11:29:53

Ooo good question. First timer myself so no idea but....bump!

Rosebud05 Fri 29-Oct-10 11:30:34

Keep an open mind and don't make plans.

You don't have to get out of your pyjamas. At all.

Only accept visitors who are either useful or good company.

Keep a pad of paper and write down 'things that you have do to' eg return phone call, send off child benefit form reduces some of the overhwhelmed feelings if you have a baby who squawks a lot.

Take LOTS of pictures. Newborns are so scrummy and they grow so quickly.

Hope that it goes well.

HeadFairy Fri 29-Oct-10 11:30:51

Expect to spend a heck of a lot of time on the sofa, esp if you're bfing. I find babies are generally quite easy the first couple of weeks, they sleep a lot, and feed, and that's it really. A couple of weeks in they start to be a bit more alert, and for some that's when the crying starts. Don't want to alarm you but early evening is a typical time for almost inexplicable crying in a newborn. You can't for the life of you work out what's causing it, it usually peaks at around 8 weeks and then you'll start to find your feet again.

I think the first 8 weeks are the hardest. don't attempt to keep a clean tidy house in that time, don't attempt to entertain unless your dh is a chef or a waiter or very domesticated Tell people they can only visit if they bring their own tea and cakes

The washing is phenomenal, new borns really puke a lot. It's alarming, and you'll definitely be convinced there's something wrong, but in all likelihood there isn't. If the baby is producing wet nappies and gaining weight then all is fine. But the puking.. oh the puking. DD could get a good three foot spurt sometimes shock

Expect to become alarmingly obssessed with poo, the frequency, the colour, the timing. Sometimes they don't poo for a few days (esp if bf, breastmilk is very efficient, not much waste is produced) and you can get obssessed about it, then your little tiny baby will produce a poo of such size you'll be amazed they had room for it

Most of expect to be incredulous at how much this tiny helpless person can take over your life, but also how much you really don't care that you haven't washed your hair in days and are still wearing the same baggy trackies you were wearing a week ago, because you love them so much

Congratulations! Ok, tips...

Make and freeze lots of meals so you don't have to worry about cooking.
Don't worry too much about housework, it can wait.
If planning to breastfeed be prepared to spend a lot of the first few weeks feeding - make yourself a comfy corner where you can sit with your back well supported, and have books, tv remote, a drink, a cereal bar or fruit within reach.
If planning to formula feed practice sterilising and making up a bottle before the baby is born, so you're confident you know what you're doing.
Newborns tend to go through at least two sets of clothing each day.
You don't have to let visitors in if they turn up unannounced!
Take all advice with a pinch of salt, especially if it's from a book. All babies are different and there's no one right way to do anything. (It took me until DD was 3 months to realise this and I was so much happier afterwards!).

PGWomble Fri 29-Oct-10 11:39:22

Okay, great advice but that last sentence is too gorgeous to inflict on hormonal women HeadFairy! Tears in my eyes. Blinking hormones.

HeadFairy Fri 29-Oct-10 11:43:26

Womble I'm ten months post natal and still get misty eyed about my first few days with ds and dd. It does feel really special. Your world narrows right down to just your house and perhaps the park. This time of year is good for cocooning too. I had ds in September and I used to love our afternoon strolls in the park and then as the days got shorter going home for a cup of tea and a piece of cake and a snooze... bliss. Enjoy it though, when you have your second all that goes out the window, it's chaos, lukewarm tea and no bloody cake at all

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 29-Oct-10 11:44:10

Accept that you need to put the rest of your life on hold for a little while, especially if you are BFing. Most people I know who have tried to leap up and be 'back to normal', whatever that is, right away have then had some sort of collapse around 4-6 weeks in. Not everyone, but certainly a majority.

You cannot have too many pairs of pyjamas. Don't worry about getting dressed. I had a shower and hairwash every day, and then put clean pjs on.
It sends the right message to visitors as well I think. You have just had a baby, you will not be running about after them.

Don't let anyone into your house who isn't happy to find their own way to the kettle. Preferably they will have brought cake with them, even better if they also bring something you can have for your dinner!

Accept offers of help. If someone says 'let me bring you a lasagne/spag bol/cottage pie/casserole', say 'that would be lovely, thank you'. If someone is visiting and says 'shall I fold that washing for you and bung the hoover round?', say 'that would be lovely, thank you'.

Most important. Enjoy. They are tiny for such a short while, make the most of it. Even when you are exhausted and battling with feeding, or sleep, or whatever it is, try and take a moment to enjoy the cuddles, sniff them, have a cuddle with your husband and your baby at the same time. Those are precious, precious moments

Try not to have any expectations. The first few weeks are quite frankly hideous (sorry).

You will feel like you have been hit by a truck. Make sure you have plenty of paracetamol & ibruprofren.

Have plenty of easy meals & snacks.

The lack of sleep is like torture. You may find when you actually get a chance to sleep you might not be able to. I used lavender on my pillow & rescue remedy night.

If you plan on bfing know where the nearest support group is.

Don't feel like you have to do anything except lie in bed with your baby.

Make sure you have plenty of nappies & cotton wool & vests & babygros in newborn sizes, lots, you won't feel lime doing any washing.

Record loads of crap or get DVDs for the hours spent bfing.

That's all very negative (sorry again) there's loads of lovely stuff, but you don't need to prepare for that! Good luck!

titan Fri 29-Oct-10 12:00:47

Use a baby bouncer. Works wonders to stop my lo crying and soothes him to sleep. We didn't think to try it until week 2!

faverghoulles Fri 29-Oct-10 12:02:36

Agree with all of the above, but most of all taking advice with a huge pinch of salt.

There's something about having a newborn that makes everyone think they can tell you what you're doing wrong and how you can do it better. You can soon feel that you're a complete failure, when you're not. Ignore well meaning advice if you want to, and don't feel bad.

Of course, there are times when you do need advice, but choose who you ask carefully!

Enjoy your baby, that tiny stage flies by so quickly!

LynLiesNomoreZombieFest Fri 29-Oct-10 12:04:43

Baby is always asleep, wakes a little to feed and then asleep again.

Boring baby.

I remember thinking where is the chaos and noise I was expecting.

I waited 14 years and then it came.

BookcaseFullofBooks Fri 29-Oct-10 12:05:46

At some point after the birth you may start to feel low. These feelings are completely normal and will pass. Be sure to do something nice for yourself everyday - use some nice body lotion or eat a favourite meal.
Take the opportunity to talk to your health visitor about how you feel.

Also, get in a supply of frozen meals. It has been a lifesaver to us to be able to throw something in the microwave rather than spend time cooking.

Be prepared to be completely overwhelmed by the little human you have brought into the world. Ineptly the first three weeks just gazing at her and was quite scared by how much love I felt

At the same time, don't worry if you don't feel this rush of love. For some people it takes a little time to grow.

sfxmum Fri 29-Oct-10 12:08:01

sleep
get everyone to help
but no visitors who require you to do stuff
go for a short walk
keep the baby close
rest
sleep

it is all a bit of a blur those first 6 wks or so

BookcaseFullofBooks Fri 29-Oct-10 12:10:05

Oh and when you change nappies, put the clean one under the bottom as quickly as you can.
Baby will poo at the most inopportune moments!

3thumbedwitch Fri 29-Oct-10 12:11:15

The first week - rest as much as you can, have no expectations of yourself or the baby;
make your DP/H do as much as they are able;
don't do anything unnecessary (like housework);
Watch out for around Day 5 - I suddenly had a massively weepy day for no apparent reason (baby blues) but this is fairly normal according to my friends;
ignore any "well my baby did such and such" because chances are, yours will be different. For example: mine didn't sleep that much, fed for 2 hours at a time (tonguetied) - different from LynLies.

Also - any expectations you have now about the way you will parent this tiny scrap are likely to go out the window when you meet it - this is normal. let it happen and don't worry about anyone else's reactions.

Congratulations and I hope you enjoy it - give yourself the time to do so.

BookcaseFullofBooks Fri 29-Oct-10 12:11:48

That should say 'I spent' not 'ineptly'.

oh4goodnesssake Fri 29-Oct-10 12:12:23

Don't expect to be the perfect mother. Your baby won't know that you're not and will be grateful for any care that you give.

BananaMuffin Fri 29-Oct-10 12:18:32

All these tips are great - thank you!

HeadFairy Fri 29-Oct-10 12:22:18

Oh the baby blues, God I remember those. You'll find yourself sobbing at 3 in the morning and suddenly think "why on earth am I crying?" It's totally natural, it means you need more chocolate and cake

Go with the flow, that's a good general tip for having children, full stop. Be prepared to be led by them, as newborns their instincts are pretty bang on. If your baby is crying but some silly book says it's not time for a feed, chuck the book out and listen to your baby, he/she is responding to very basic human instincts.

Make sure you eat properly - it's all too easy to just grab a slice of toast but it's just as easy to bung a jacket spud in the oven and eat it when you have a space 5 mins.

Don't listen to the other Mother's who say things like 'Mine slept through at 6 weeks' A lot of the time they actually mean 'Mine slept through the night at 6 weeks, but oh yes of course she woke for milk' or similar.

If you're struggling, whatever the time of day, post on MN. There is always someone about to help

and congratulations

space? spaRe.

minxofmancunia Fri 29-Oct-10 12:33:44

Make sure when you begin a breast feed you have TV remote, glass of water, mobile phone and magazine all within arms reach. they will probably fall asleep on you from the feed and you will be clamped to the sofa desperately clawing for the remote but not wanting to disturb them!

Be strict about visitors, only 1 set a day max and only for an hour or so and they make their own drinks and clear up after themselves.

For me personally it made me feel a lot better if I seized an opportunity each morning for a v quick shower and clean pajamas/lounging around clothes.

try to get some fresh air everyday otherwise you'll get cabin fever. even if it's just standing out back for 10 minutes.

Don't read any baby guidebooks, they're designed to make new mums anxious and fretful.

keep your baby close, a stroll with a cloth sling is a great way to soothe babe and mum alike!

best of luck! smile

popsycal Fri 29-Oct-10 12:38:12

plan nothing
sit on sofa

Livinginoz Fri 29-Oct-10 12:46:15

If you are breastfeeding make sure you have a huge glass of water with you, I got amazingly thirsty in the first few weeks. I used to leave a glass of half ice and water in the bedroom for nighttime feeds.

And if you are the type of person (like me) who is crawling the walls after 2 days in the house, go out for a SHORT walk, and not a two mile one like I did!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now