First Weeks with a Newborn: What I’ve Learned
Our daughter, Zoe, arrived two weeks ahead of schedule. Thanks to my need to be prepared for everything, we were ready and had everything packed. Nothing about the delivery was as I expected – I had nothing to compare it to other than Hollywood movies. The day she arrived will forever be the most amazing, most peaceful day of my entire life. And, for those of you who have read my previous post about how to prepare our two dogs for a newborn, I thought I’d let you know that they are doing great. The dogs want to smell her all the time and are so gentle. Captain follows me every time I get up to feed her in the middle of the night and lies down next to the rocking chair. Cora is often caught sneaking kisses when Zoe is in her swing.
I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned throughout my first few weeks with a newborn – some of which I was told by others before but I never really believed them.
Tips for Parents of Newborns
- Time flies. I have heard many moms tell me to cherish every moment and that time will fly by faster than it ever has before. I’ll admit, I did not fully believe this at first but it is true. The fact that our daughter is a month old is amazing – where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday I was carrying her in my belly.
- Schedule extra time for everything. When you need to go somewhere with your baby, calculate the normal time it would take you to get ready and then add an hour. I learned this the hard way while trying to make it to a doctor’s appointment on time.
- Oh, and if you are going anywhere – be sure to bring at least two extra diapers. Our daughter is fond of peeing on the scale at the doctor’s office and then peeing again while she is being examined.
- Visitors are always welcome – as long as they do not judge the fact that I have not showered, put in my contacts, vacuumed, or that I don’t have much to offer in terms of food/drinks since I have not gone grocery shopping in weeks. I recently had a good friend stop by and I just cried the whole time. She did not judge, she listened and comforted; it was the just what I needed that day. A side note – if you bring food, you will forever be my hero.
- Remember this mantra: While I was at the hospital, a nurse shared the following advice with a group of us new mothers and it really resonated with me. I try to repeat this to myself on a daily basis or whenever I am feeling like I am not doing the right thing. The nurse told us that it is not about doing things the right way or the wrong way – it’s about what’s good, what’s better and what’s best. What is just good enough one day, might be the best the next.
- You will not have all the answers and that is ok. The idea that I would know what to do whenever something came up went right out the window with her very first diaper change. Babies don’t come with an instruction manual but Google may be the next best thing. We’ve watched videos on how to burp, swaddle and soothe. Every single day brings about an opportunity to learn something new.
- Ask for help. Asking for help is not something to be ashamed of. I cannot do it all, nor can I be expected to. If I could, my name would be Wonder Woman instead of Jessie.