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However much you've prepared yourself, it will be a bit of a shock once you’ve got over that feeling of ‘CRIKEY MOSES! THEY LET US TAKE A REAL HUMAN BEING HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL AND NOW WE HAVE TO RAISE IT OURSELVES!’ Ahem.
Not all babies do as the books say and sleep soundly for 18 out of every 24 hours for the first few days. Accept now that you aren’t going to get anything done for a few weeks bar feeding and changing nappies.
If you are blessed with a sleeper, make the most of it: try to sleep when your baby sleeps, no matter if it is the middle of the day. More likely, he will refuse to drop off unless you are holding, rocking or feeding him; this is normal, too, just more annoying. But these are very early days, and it’s just a case of getting through them. Now is not the time to start flicking breathlessly through the Owner’s Manual searching for the chapter on sleep training. It will get better, honest.
Don’t feel pressured to meet your public. If you want privacy, head straight for your bed and camp there John-and-Yoko-style for as long as it takes. But if you were hoping for more of a celebration, invite people over and pop open some champagne; just make sure they wash their own glasses and don’t let them outstay their welcome. Every set of parents needs a secret code – a fake cough or rub of the eye – to indicate to the other half that now’s time to start moving guests towards the front door, so agree on one now. Otherwise, you may find yourself using the time-to-leave code of sobbing hysterically. You’re not being rude, you’ve just had a baby.
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