Just wanted to share with you my learnings from the first week with a newborn baby.
I’m a late mum (35 plus), not necessary by choice, so being able to have a child finally was the best surprise and, in a way, privilege that could happen to us. You feel like a lucky one, for sure.
Our little boy was born 10 days ago, and certainly turned our life upside down. We love him deeply, but as first time parents, we found the transition incredibly stressful and emotional. You feel an enormous responsibility for this little human being, and the lack of sleep and knowledge didn’t help.
You do feel the pressure to follow certain guidance e.g. about feeding the baby, and could be overwhelmed if things don’t go to plan. And sometimes they don’t even if you try really hard. You panic when your baby is crying and you feel lost as you don’t know how to handle your precious baby.
I have received an incredible amount of support from my friends and family as well as other mums on social media with similar experiences. I found it really helpful to hear that I was not the only one going through such an emotional rollercoaster.
Hence, my top tips about surviving your first week with a newborn baby are:
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and go with the flow. The less stressed you are, the more happy your baby will be. You will learn all the tricks with time. I’m a nappy expert now, 10 days ago I had no experience.
Listen to your intuition. If your baby can’t breastfeed or you both don’t enjoy it, for example, switch to a bottle. It is not the end of the world. The most important is that your baby is well-fed and growing healthily. The midwives and doctors will fully support you in your choice.
Sleep when the baby sleeps. This is my favourite advice from other mums and a life-saver. Please ignore all the chores, just sleep, even for an hour when the baby is resting. You will not regret this one.
Share the load whether with your partner or your family or friends who are willing to help. Don’t be a martyr. Let them cook you a dinner, stick a wash on or do a shop for you.
Don’t forget about yourself. Your baby wants to have a happy mummy, so find time for a nice shower or bath, eat and drink water regularly, go outside to get a bit of fresh air, meditate or just watch your favourite TV series. Whatever makes you relax applies here.
Last but not least, remember you are doing an incredible job and your love for your baby will guide you. Everything takes time, and after your first week you will feel more in control again.
Have you got any other tips for first time mums? Are you a late mum yourself? Please share your experiences with me.
Photography: Stephen Pick.