Before baby arrives the focus is on preparing the nursery and making sure baby clothes are washed ready for the new arrival but here are some other ways to prepare to make those first few weeks easier :-
- Do a big supermarket shop so in the first few weeks you don’t have to worry about running out of household essentails. Try on line grocery shopping which many new parents find helpful once baby arrives.
- Get cooking and stock up the freezer with meals to make sure you have a nutrious meal even when you are too tired to cook.
- Spend time researching local baby groups and parks for walks with new baby.
- Walk around your local shopping area and look out for baby changing rooms , breast feeding friendly cafes and restaurants.
- Find out and make a list of where you can get support for breastfeeding and post natal advice.
Rest and Sleep
In first few weeks your sleep patterns will change considerably to fit in with your new baby. Here are a few suggestions that may help:-
- Try and nap when the baby sleeps.
- Hand the baby over to a partner or willing relative after a feed and go and lie down!
- Sometimes it is hard to drop off to sleep as you just want to be with your baby – if you can’t sleep don’t go rushing around the house doing jobs – just relax, watch TV, listen to music, read or have a bath.
- Avoid doing anything too strenuous – give yourself time to recover.
Everyone will be so exciting about seeing the new baby and most are guaranteed a steady flow of friends and family dropping by. Warning – a constant stream of visitors can be very tiring and feeding your baby with an audience is not always ideal!
You could use the following tactics:
- Limit the amount of visitors in the first week to close friends and family.
- Try and keep visits to no more than an hour.
- Don’t you rush round making tea and entertaining them – get a partner to do that!
- Ask visitors for help if they stay longer – bit of housework, cooking, holding your baby while you shower.
You will be working around the clock and it is important to make sure you get a nutritious balanced diet especially if you are breastfeeding.
- Aim to eat regular meals with light snacks in between.
- Try and drink plenty of water
- Try to avoid fatty and sugary snacks
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and veg
- Include good sources of fibre.
- Babies always seem to want to feed in the early evening – Have food that is easy to eat in bite size chunks while you feed baby – your partner can also feed you!
Getting out and about
Just getting yourself and your baby ready to leave the house can take some time! No more grapping keys and handbag! However with a bit of planning it is possible to leave the house on time – most of the time!!
- Keep your nappy bag stocked up with all the essentials – nappies, wipes, cloths, breast pads, spare clothes for baby. On return to the house replace any items used – will be useful if you are in a hurry to go somewhere the next time.
- Know how the car seat fits in the car and how to assemble and fold your pram!
- In your last weeks of pregnancy make a mental note of baby changing facilities in the local shopping centres and suitable cafes for pit stops to feed and rest. Look at how easy places are to access with a pram.
- Take things easy for the first few weeks – just short trips out will be less stressful – don’t suggest doing a large supermarket shop with a very new baby!
Around the House
It will be surprising that something as small as a baby has so much stuff and has taken over every room in the house!
- Just get out equipment and toys that are needed – if you have been given a highchair as a present – keep it boxed away as you will not need it for a while.
- If is useful to have a kit in the rooms where you sit with your baby (water, tissues, phone, TV remote, cloths, nappies, wipes etc). It is help to have two changing areas one upstairs and one downstairs so you are not up and down stairs all day – especially important if you have had a C-section.
- Consider where to put baby when in the house – Moses basket / bouncy chair – also think if there are other children or pets in the house that may be curious about the new arrival.
Finally just relax and enjoy this special time with your baby – the first six weeks can be very hard but magical!!