Boy, oh, boy! Nothing can prepare you for those first weeks with a newborn! Even though this is NOT my first rodeo, the dynamics have totally changed this go-round having a toddler at home. Sleepless night after sleepless night, survival is most definitely the name of the game. The first eight weeks with a new baby are definitely the hardest in my mind. Here are some tips on how to make it through this beautiful, but exhausting, time!
1. Accept help, and don’t be afraid to ask for it when you really need it.
2. You’ve probably heard numerous people say to sleep when the baby sleeps. If you have very young children like I do, this is easier said than done. Consider turning on a movie or giving your toddler an independent activity to do while you and the baby nap nearby.
3. Try to get out of the house at least once a day, even if it’s just to walk to the mailbox and back.
4. Embrace online shopping and have as many necessary items (diapers, wipes, sundry items, groceries) shipped to you as you can. Take advantage of subscribe and save services through companies like Amazon, Target, and Honest.
5. Don’t worry about your house getting messy and dirty*. Your visitors will understand, and they may even offer to chip in a little. Alternatively, ask a friend or relative to come hang out with the kids once a week or so while you clean the most important areas of your home.
*My husband gave me a Roomba robot vacuum for my birthday, and it’s proved to be the best gift he could have gotten for me. I don’t have time or energy to vacuum every day and with a very hairy dog, a toddler, and a new baby the house truly needs it. Now we run the Roomba once a day and I can’t believe what a huge difference it has made in the cleanliness of our home!
6. Let your friends and family make meals for you when they offer. Order takeout and ready-made meals like rotisserie chickens from your local grocery. You won’t have to worry as much about dirty dishes piling up,and you’ll save your energy for more important things like changing a million dirty diapers and nearly constant feeding sessions.
7. Have someone watch the little ones for an hour or two while you get out of the house to have lunch with a friend, get a pedicure, or enjoy a massage; do something, anything, just for you!
8. Talk about what you’re experiencing: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Your loved ones will likely be able to commiserate, offer advice, and help you to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
9. Remind yourself when you’re at your most weary that this too shall pass. The trade-off for being depleted and stretched to your limit is the wonderful new life you have bravely brought into the world! Cherish as many of these precious and short-lived moments with your new baby while you can.
What are your survival tips for life with a newborn?