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Surviving your first week with a newborn

Your first week with a newborn is unlikely to be a walk in the park!

If you are about to have your first baby, those first few days can be a shock to the system! You’ve been through a lot to get your little one into the world and over the next few days all of you will be adjusting in different ways.  Here’s some tips to help get you through your first week with a newborn!

Get a white noise App!

In the womb, your baby hears constant noise from his/her surroundings.  They are close to your heart and hear its constant reassuring beat.  On a side note, this is why you often see people patting babies bums when trying to get them to sleep, they are mimicking the heart beat! The fluid in your womb is also constantly swishing around them as you move, creating sound.  They will be used to sounds like the hairdryer, hoover, washing machine etc and it will be surprisingly loud! So when they make their entrance into the world silence is actually a pretty strange thing to adjust to! A white noise app is great as it creates the sounds they are familiar with and helps them settle quickly. 

You can get free white noise apps in the app store and one of my go to apps is called Baby Sounds. I use this in the studio often and it really does help.

The Vest Hack

This is something I learned way too late in the parenting game! The shoulders of your baby grows and vests have shoulder flaps for a reason! They are not there for style!  They are there to help you out when your baby has a nappy explosion (don’t think it won’t happen to you because it definitely will no matter how secure that nappy is!!) and they are designed to widen the baby grow or vest enough to take it down their body and over their feet.  This means you don’t make the situation worse by getting poo smeared on their head and face! 

Stock up on high protein snacks

Preferably stock up on high protein healthy snacks that you can eat with one hand! Eating on the go will become the norm in those first few weeks but if you can do it healthily, all the better!

Your body has gone through a lot and you will need to nourish it so that it can mend and repair itself.  Your body desperately needs good protein sources in order to do this.  Nuts are fantastic as you can eat these on the go without any preparation and they are packed full of protein.  Mini cheeses that you can grab from the fridge are also great and you could even get some low sugar granola and grab a handful when you need.  Why not keep a snack box sealed on the coffee table! Apples are fantastic too. They are low in sugar but packed full of nutrients and they keep for quite a while.

Dinners

In the run up to your due date it’s a great idea to make extra dinner portions and freeze them.  If you’re making bolognese, just double up and stick it in the freezer! Trust me, in your first week with a newborn baby the last thing you will want to do is cook an extravagant healthy dinner! There are so many great freezer recipes that you can try…Here are a few of my faves from The Bump.

Limit visitors 

Although it’s tempting to welcome everyone in who wants to come and meet your new arrival try not to wear yourselves out in the first week!  Invite the essentials who will look after you and themselves! Suggest they make their own tea and coffee and if you need help ask for it! Be cheeky and ask your parents or bestie to run the hoover round in exchange for a cuddle! Don’t be afraid to even ask them to bring lunch or dinner! Definitely do that!  You deserve to have a rest having just brought a human being into the world!.  Please don’t feel like you need to be the hostess on this occasion. Believe it or not people will jump at the chance to help.

Keep hydrated!

Whilst in the recovery process your body needs fluid, especially water to get back to full health.  It’s a great idea to get yourself a reusable water bottle that you can sip from throughout the day and take with you easily.  Glasses are harder to pick up and carry around one handed and more likely to spill which at this point, you’ve got enough to worry about! Being hydrated is essential if you a breastfeeding too! Aim for 2 litres a day.  It sounds like a lot but it will help you recover and being dehydrated adds to the exhaustion you may already be feeling.

Be prepared for any scenario when feeding

I was very certain of what I did and didn’t want to do with regards to feeding my baby.  I wanted to express milk and feed Reuben from a bottle but, after several midwives didn’t seem to support my decision I decided I would just attempt breastfeeding whilst in the hospital. Unfortunately, our labour experience was not plain sailing and Reuben was too tired to breast feed.  Despite multiple midwives trying to help him to latch he was unable to do so. He was so hungry and exhausted on our first night home that Matt ended up doing a late night trip to Tesco to buy some formula. I had an expensive pump but my body wasn’t producing milk yet so it was useless!

I wish I had thought about having a back up! Even if it’s just one bottle of ready made formula just in case, it is definitely worth having. Avoiding trips to Tesco is definitely a goal in your first week with a newborn!

We weren’t planning on using a dummy but during this first night it was the only thing that settled him. The Mam range are amazing as their patented material mimics the texture and shape of a nipple. This means their bottles and dummies allow you to switch easily between breast and bottle. The anti colic bottles can also be sterilised individually in the microwave. I found this so useful!

Don’t feel guilty

Your first week with a newborn can be overwhelming. Don’t feel bad about asking for help and definitely don’t feel guilty if you have to change up the feeding routine that you planned. You will get through it. It is just a short season.

If you have any questions about booking a session or about what to expect during a session contact me here. I will be happy to help 🙂

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