Week 1 With Baby
You've finally made it out of the hospital. Are you exhausted? I sure was. As of writing this I'm on my 8th day with baby, and it's a hundred times easier than it was when we first got home.
This is one of the reason's your first two to three days back home are going to be the hardest.
You'll be adjusting to life, trying to figure out when and how much to feed baby, how to get him or her to stop crying, and by the time you've finished it's time to start a new cycle. Feeding, changing and burping before you can even rest. For a while it feels endless.
Here's the best part -- it doesn't get better at night since most newborns are basically nocturnal.
Bonus note: None of the following content is meant to substitute or replace the advice of a medical professional. I may also earn commission from any products used in this post. This will probably be spent on wet wipes. Babies go through that stuff like oxygen.
The amount your baby eats will increase daily
My wife and I made a mistake here trying to follow an online graph showing how much a newborn should eat each day, with each day increasing the amount she should eat.
When we saw our first pediatrician (2 days after our baby's birth) she advised us to simply feed her until she no longer seems interested. This definitely worked for our baby, so make sure to ask your pediatrician what's best for your situation.
Around the 1 week old mark is when newborn's usually hit their first growth spurt. I knew her appetite would increase, but I did not expect the ravenous hunger of this tiny little baby. Every time she began nursing, she would breathe rapidly and suckle as if she'd just spent days walking through the Sahara desert.
|She also began to get chubby cheeks|
This was about the time she started getting a lot of hiccups because she would scarf down milk with the ferocity of a starving lion. Her first day home she was eating 15ml every 2 hours, and by day 7 she was eating 110ml every 2 hours.
Switching to anti-colic bottles eliminated almost all of these issues for us.
It's also worth noting a lot of people swear by gripe water for stomach discomfort in babies such as gas, hiccups and colic
It... actually get's easier after a week
In my case, things actually began getting easier just 3 days after coming home.
I was well rested (5 hours of sleep was now considered a good night's rest), I understood baby's cycles and routines a little bit more, I began more efficient methods of attending to her needs such as changing and feeding, and after rushing to pick her up every time she began to fuss -- she eventually started fussing less and less.
Due to my work schedule, I'm able to take the nightshift for my wife so she can sleep.
How this works is she pumps enough milk to store a bottle or two in the refrigerator that I can warm up and feed to baby while my wife sleeps.
A huge shoutout to the Haakaa breast pump.
Even though we have a double electric breast pump (#ad which does help crank out those bottles for my nightshift), my wife almost always just reaches for the Haakaa pump due it's convenience and effectiveness.
Rather than setting up the electric pump and then cleaning it after, she simply attaches the Haakaa and puts on the necklace-like string and carries on with her day while it works under her robe.
For cleanup you can simply rinse it with warm soapy water. Since it's usually recommended you pump every 2-3 hours, on top of having to manage a newborn, this convenience is invaluable.
It's hard not to get frustrated while you're still adjusting, on top of being exhausted. Take a deep breath, relax, hug your partner if you can. And remember -- never shake your baby. If you feel like you're on the verge of a meltdown, put baby in his or her crib (with no pillows or blankets) and find a place to collect yourself.
Enjoy the newborn phase of your baby. They're tiny, adorable, and it's arguably the easiest stage for some people. Because by week 2, they'll be hitting their first growth spurt.
And finally some first week milestones you can look forward to
- They finally stop pooping black tar (bless)
- They begin to focus and follow more with their eyes
- You may begin to see a little more adorable chub on their arms and legs
That's about it for first week with baby. Time flies by fast. The best thing I can say is it gets easier. Not easy, but easier. Tough it out for another day or two and it'll be easier than when you first brought baby home.
Making sure you have your changing station organized, have your bottle making station conveniently prepped, and efficiently tackling baby's needs are crucial. Having some simple and effective products will make your life easier.