Your baby is finally home from the hospital. You can finally relax and take care of him as a newborn. This is a very important time for the family, and you should be able to enjoy your new little one from the very beginning . The thing that’s most important right now is spending time with your baby
Everything becomes more concrete, and the emotions jostle excitement, joy, apprehension… During the first days with the baby at home, everyone will have to take their marks and find their rhythm in the heart of this extended family.
If you are a mom for the first time, it is also the big leap, with the desire to do the best and your head filled with many questions!
To accompany you in these beginnings with your little adventurer, we have concocted a little guide full of advice on breastfeeding, diet for the new mom, outing, sleeping, and more. We’ll help you through the ups and downs so that your journey is as smooth as possible.
So how do you take care of your baby, better manage fatigue and spend the first week with your newborn smoothly!
1 Day old baby – what should you expect from the first day with a newborn
What should you expect from the first day with a newborn?
When Baby is born, he found himself in a new world for which he is unprepared. Food, sleep, diapers, baths… How do you look after him from day 1?
And how do you look after yourself when you’re fighting weariness, feeding your kid at all hours of the day and night, tightening your perineum, and preserving your couple.
This post will give the answers to all those questions.
Anticipating the first days with baby at home – Prepare for the arrival from hospital
Do not hesitate to anticipate the arrival of your newborn child as much as possible during your last weeks of pregnancy to welcome him in good conditions.
If you have the time, organize yourself with your partner(if he’s there) for all types of cleaning. Otherwise, do not hesitate to ask a loved one to lend you a hand.
During the first few days with the baby at home, you will need to recover and devote yourself 100% to your little one.
Fill the fridge with healthy food
Before giving birth, fill the fridge with homemade or frozen meals to maintain a healthy diet. The beginnings of a baby are very busy, and it is common for mothers to forget their own needs by eating on the go.
However, your body needs to regain its energy after drawing on its resources during pregnancy.
A varied and balanced diet is essential to be able to get back in shape. Especially if you have chosen to breastfeed since you will need to get all the nutrients you and your baby will need.
Understanding your baby sleep needs – Prepare his cozy crib
The first night and until he is 6 months old, you can put your newborn baby to sleep in your room.
Some moms like this proximity, which is both reassuring and practical, especially when breastfeeding.
In this case, it is advisable to put the baby to sleep in a separate bed or in a co-sleeping bed, and not in that of the parents.
You can also install him in his own room, equipping yourself with a baby monitor to hear him when he wakes up.
Read also: How do I get my Baby to Sleep in his Crib instead of Arms?
There is no better option than another, the choice is entirely up to you. Follow your instincts and do what feels best for the whole family.
Respect your baby’s sleep cycle
The first few days at home, the baby sleeps like a little marmot, on average 16 to 20 hours a day. If he is a heavy sleeper, he only sleeps for periods of 2 to 4 hours.
For the good development of your child, it is important to respect his rhythm. Do not wake him up, even to make him breastfeed or give him the bottle, he will make you understand when it is the right time.
Newborn sleep is interspersed with restless phases. It may be surprising, but the baby is sleeping, don’t wake him up.
Get your newborn used to his new rhythm
The days following his birth, the baby does not distinguish between day and night.
It is only at about the 8th week of life that the notion of the biological clock appears to him. To get used to it gently, leave the shutters open during the day and close them at night.
During the day, go on with your life normally without absolute silence. When feeding or bottle-feeding at night, whisper and do not stimulate him so that he understands that this is a time dedicated to calm and rest.
Caring for your newborn – Wash him by following some rules
If bath can disturb the newborn at first, it will quickly become one of his favorite moments, rich in complicity with mom or dad.
Newborns do not need to be bathed daily, two to three times a week is enough. To find out more, do not hesitate to consult our article to know everything about the baby bath.
Frequency, temperature, steps to follow: you will find all our advice there. Apart from the bath, the toilet must be done daily.
It will be necessary to clean his eyes, navel, nose, behind his ears, and hands. For this, use care products suitable for the fragile skin of babies.
Regularly change his diapers
In the first months at home, a baby is a big consumer of nappies! he will need to be changed 6 to 10 times a day to avoid any risk of redness and irritation on the buttocks.
To keep it dry, change it as soon as the diaper is dirty and at each meal (before or after depending on what is most practical for you).
The cleaning is done from front to back by changing cotton or handkerchief at each pass to avoid soiling the genitals.
You can clean his buttocks simply by using lukewarm water, oleo-limestone liniment, or suitable wipes in the event of an outing.
Then dry his skin by dabbing without rubbing. Remember to dry the folds of his skin well to avoid maceration. Finally, choose nappies that are skin-friendly and free of irritants.
Take fresh air with your baby
Back home, you can go out with the baby from the first day. However, do not hesitate to listen to your body to find out if you feel fit enough.
If so, a little outing can do you and your little adventurer a lot of good! At first, the baby gets tired very quickly, so favor short walks, 15 to 20 minutes.
The ideal time to go out is after the meal, to have some time before the next one. Avoid places that are too noisy, which could exhaust your newborn.
Large surfaces and public transport are also not recommended for the first few weeks. In addition to being hectic, these places expose the child to viruses and bacteria.
Avoid going outside during the hottest hours in the summer and cover him well in the winter.
Feeding your baby – Perform Breastfeed and bottling on demand
The infant needs to eat often (every 2 to 4 hours), and this is normal since his stomach is about the size of walnut the first week. As days pass, his stomach will grow bigger and he’ll start to eat even more.
It is advisable to practice bottle feeding and breastfeeding on demand, that is to say, as soon as the baby shows the first signs of hunger.
Related: How to Combine Breastfeeding and Pumping
Baby tells you he needs to eat when he puts his hands to his mouth, makes sucking motions, sticks his tongue out or fidgets by stretching his arms and legs.
To make him burp, make him sit up straight against you, his head on your shoulder, and pat his back gently. If it doesn’t happen, don’t worry, babies don’t always feel the need for it.
Choosing the right position for breastfeeding
In order to breastfeed your newborn properly, make yourself comfortable, in a place where you feel relaxed.
There are many positions for breastfeeding, the best being the ones that work best for you.
On the other hand, it is important to alternate them to solicit all the areas of your breast and thus avoid engorgement and sore nipples.
Because every experience is different, breastfeeding may not work right away. Don’t worry, it sometimes takes a little time, but after that, it will become a moment of intense exchange with your child.
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact a lactation consultant or an association such as La Leche League.
You should remember to take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally, in order to maintain your mental health and well-being.
Rest whenever you can
New moms know it, the first days with the baby at home are quite sporty! To limit fatigue, stick to the baby’s rhythm to rest as much as possible.
As soon as he closes his eye, take a short nap to regenerate yourself. Cleaning can wait, think about your needs first! Don’t hesitate to entrust your little one to his father, your mother, or a friend to offer you a moment just for you: take a good bath, enjoy a book or take a short walk while you unwind.
Ask for help, delegate as much as you can so you can focus entirely on yourself and your baby. Your partner and those around you will be a great help.
The first week with your newborn is a roller coaster. You will be tired but also filled with joy.
In addition to the natural fatigue, there is a lot of work to do. Start by taking care of yourself and your baby, then enjoy your time together!
Good luck to all new moms!