The First Night Home With Your Baby
You've planned and prepped for your new bundle of joy as best you can, but now comes reality - taking them home for the very first time. The first night home with your newborn can often be a daunting experience for new parents and while we all stumble through that first night, and the ones that follow, you're not alone in feeling sometimes overwhelmed or unsure. Just remember, there are always people who can help if you need it and those who have felt the same things you're feeling now. With that in mind, I've taken the time to write some things down that may help you on that very first night...
Tips for your first night home with baby:
- Make sure there is food in the fridge or freezer.
- If you have the offer of any help from family, friends or a paid nanny service, use it. The 'village' helps bring up the baby! You are not meant to do this alone. If there is only the two of you the 'team' needs to be in place. There is no point you both being up together with a crying unsettled baby. If you are a single parent please make sure you get some support.
- Tag team it. After the 9pm or 10pm feed (whether breastfeed , expressed breast milk or formula or mixed feeding ) mummy goes to bed ( in another room ), let your partner or support person take the reins. They need to settle baby so you can sleep for at least 3 -4 hours. Put earplugs , soothing music with earphones. This rest will let your breasts fill. The person looking after baby during this time will rock the baby well-swaddled or in a sleep suit with white noise playing in a dimly lit room.
- Next shift should be in at least 3-4 hours. Your partner should bring your baby with its nappy changed etc then it is mummy's turn and your partner can sleep . You can swap again at 5 - 6am so mummy can have a short nap for at least 1 hour .
- If you have support they can do washing, cooking or just sit with the baby while you shower etc. Attempt to have your personal time (no matter if only a short period). Go for walks this will help settle baby and is great for your mind.
- Remember this is not forever! The first 6 weeks is a “fog” for everyone. On a calendar mark off each day then pat each other on the back every day in that 6 week period. Then your baby will start smiling at you . You will cry when they have their vaccinations, hurts you more than it hurts them! When they run through the school gates no one will ask...
"How were they delivered? how much did they weigh? how were they fed? did they sleep through? and when did they toilet train ?"
Remember it is your parenting journey!
- Most important in your baby’s first weeks, seek immediate medical attention if they have a temperature, are sleeping for too long a period, experience weight loss , are projectile vomiting , excessive diarrhoea you must seek medical advice !
- MOST OF ALL IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE STRUGGLING – ASK FOR HELP IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ARE NOT A GOOD PARENT !
- NEVER FEEL ALONE !