6/05/2014

First Month with a New Baby

Oh. My. Gosh. Luna was officially one month old as of Monday.

I just can't believe it. It's so bittersweet. I just want her to stay my cute little cuddle bug forever, but looking at the two children I already have reminds me that she won't be my sweet, wittle baby for long.
First Month Postpartum Tips
It's important not to forget about mom during these first weeks after child birth. 
It's almost enough to make me feel guilty for going back to work this weekend. Almost. But money doesn't grow on trees or something like that.

Anyway, I just wanted to take a minute to savor this beautiful time with my daughter.

To intentionally feel the blessedness.

And to remind others to do the same.

Regardless of how old your children are, each moment is sweet and worth savoring. Worth remembering. Every now and then, we need to stop and take a minute to appreciate who they are at any given stage in their life.

Now that we've gotten all touchy feely, I want to share a few tips for your first month postpartum.

1. Sleep, sleep, and...don't forget you need to SLEEP.

Seriously, I was blessed with both my children being awesome sleepers.  My daughter currently sleeps between 5 and 8 hours in a typical night.  So, yes, I totally understand if you up-every-two-hours-moms are glaring at your screen right now.

Sorry!

Either way, sleep when you can.  You might not be sleeping every single second your baby is, but take advantage of them sleeping when you are sincerely tired.  And if that means you are sleeping every single second they are... Well that's okay, too.

Which brings me to another very good tip!

2. Don't wake up your baby.

I don't know why we used to think this was necessary.  And by 'we' I mean those meany nurses and doctors who insisted we wake our newborn to feed if we so happened to luck into a baby who slept more than two hours between feedings.

Yeah, I had a nurse like that the first time around.  I learned quickly (and most medical personnel will agree) that it wasn't necessary to wake my infant to feed.  
He would wake up when he was hungry.

My daughter has slept long stretches since day one and is perfectly healthy.  Obviously, if there are health concerns or your baby is not gaining weight you should consult your doctor.

3. Sleep close to baby.

There are many known benefits of sleeping near your baby.  The AAP recommends room sharing because evidence suggests it can reduce the chance of SIDS up to 50%.  They don't support bed sharing; claiming that the evidence is not substantial enough or is mixed.

However, research such as that of James J. McKenna's and his Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory seem to indicate that bed sharing can be and is a viable sleeping arrangement for babies and is challenging so-called authorities who reject it as such.

4. Take some mommy alone time.

It might be hard to pry yourself away from your new baby, whether because you feel guilty, don't really want to, or have no one to assist you in your quest for alone time.  However, you will greatly appreciate taking some quality time for yourself, even if it's just a few hours to read a book or take a nap or (like me) go get a pedicure.

Plus, you'll probably miss that baby so much that every two hour feedings doesn't sound so bad.

5. Don't get overwhelmed.

Doing #4 should help you with this, but I feel it deserves its own spot.

So you just added a new baby to your family?  Maybe she's your first.  Or fifth.  Does it really matter?  Nope.  The family dynamic changes with each person added.

Plus, mom still needs recoop time.

You might have a weeks worth of dishes or still be wearing the same yoga pants from three days ago because you haven't done laundry.  Seriously, who cares?  Don't sweat it.

If it can wait, it can wait.  If you're tired, take a nap and know that you can sweep your kitchen tomorrow.

Prioritize yourself and your baby.  And remember that baby feeds off mom.  So if you're stressed, she's going to feel that and react accordingly.

And if it's a screaming, inconsolable, possibly colicky baby that's got you ready to throw in the towel..... Well, know that it's okay to put her in her crib/swing/bouncer/whatever and walk outside or in the other room for five minutes.

Yes, she's going to keep crying and probably still be crying when you come back.  But you need to recognize when you need to walk away.  Frustration with your baby can lead to horrible things, like shaken baby syndrome.
It's okay to take five minutes!

6. Don't be afraid to seek support, help, and guidance.

Especially if you're feeling overwhelmed, you should ask for help. Obviously, friends, family, spouse or your significant other are ideal. However, some people just might not have this option.

If that is the case, seek other help. Look for your local La Leche League or ask your local WIC agency about support groups.  You could also look to see if there's a local MOPS group or start your own!

If you're feeling depressed, considering suicide, or simply feel you need to...you should consult your doctor ASAP.

Never be ashamed of how you feel or to ask for help.

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3 comments :

  1. It's been a while since I had a new baby, but I can still remember how hard those first few months can be! But also so wonderful. Nothing quite like a snuggly baby to cheer you up. These are some really great tips. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. oh boy-- the mustard diaper!

    ReplyDelete

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