thread: Survival Guide for the first few weeks

  1. #1
    Debbie Lee Guest

    Survival Guide for the first few weeks

    I thought it might be a good idea to list a few things that have helped you in the first few weeks of bringing baby home. It might give others some ideas of how to cope with the enormous stress that is involved with having a brand new baby.

    Some things that have helped me:

    * have a shower every morning no matter what. It makes you feel half human and able to face the day. Take the baby in with you (in a rocker), get someone to watch it - anything to allow you at least a few minutes to bathe. If the baby cries, it's ok - it's not going to be for long!

    * USE your support networks (BellyBelly, midwives, MCHN, hotlines, partners, family etc.) and don't try to do it all. You can't do it all so let people help you.

    * Communicate with your partner and tell them how you are feeling so that they know how you feel and so that you get a chance to vent.

    I am still going through all of this myself so I would love to hear other people's ideas.

  2. #2
    Life Member

    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!

    ~Totally agree with the having a shower first thing: puts you in the right fram of mind at the start of the day
    ~ Try & have meals in the freezer ready to heat up: things like spag bol, cottage pie, curries and casseroles, so that either of you can just heat them up
    ~ Take advantage of all offers of help
    ~ Sleep when your baby sleeps
    ~ Try and get out in the frsh air at least once a day, even just for a walk round the block with the baby in a sling or in the pram
    ~ Don't attempt to be a super mum........just do what you can, and aim to have more good days than bad!
    ~ REMEMBER THAT THE NEWBORN STAGE IS SO VERY VERY SHORT, that even if it feels like you can't cope/deal with it, remember it will pass in a flash.
    ~ You may not be able to change the way your baby is behaving, but you can control how you react to it. So take a breath, and if in doubt, cuddle you baby and your partner!

  3. #3
    Add Rouge on Facebook

    Jun 2003

    Great Idea!

    ~ If someone asks "What can I do" Don't be afraid to ask them to do stuff, ie the dishes, a load of washing whatever it is that will help out. Cuddling the new baby doesn't help you very much at all

    ~ Don't listen to those thoughts laced with guilt "I am not doing a good job" "I could do better" "How come such and such is coping and I'm not" "It must be my fault they are crying". Guilt is a mothers enemy and when I look back on how I felt for the first few months (or 6 LOL) guilt is something I wish I never felt, it clouds EVERYTHING.

    ~ Before you go to bed at night put a load in the washing machine that way all you have to do is turn it on in the morning.


  4. #4
    Registered User

    Feb 2004

    ~ When you're not handling the crying anymore give the baby to someone else & have a break. When you're upset they get upset as well.
    ~ Trust your instincts. If you feel like something is wrong & everyone brushes you off, seek other opinions - especially if you think your baby is sick.

  5. #5
    Debbie Lee Guest

    Shannon - I was just thinking tonight about meals and how I could possibly prepare them over the course of the day! Great minds think alike, huh? Once I have a kitchen, I plan on doing something like that so it's all ready to go by 6pm.

  6. #6
    Scarlett Guest

    - those steamer packs of frozen veges taste good and are sooo easy.
    -take time to marvel at how sweet they are when they are asleep
    -remind yourself that it does get better
    -try to find time to talk to your partner
    -take a break, leave bub with someone and have a massage, meet friends for coffee, go shopping etc.
    -I try to set a small personal goal to be accomplished each day, that way I feel like I am getting something done for me.

  7. #7
    Add Rouge on Facebook

    Jun 2003

    Guys I still do that now re dinners I can make throughout the day. Also get yourself a crockpot if you don't have one! That way you can chuck it all in in the morning and leave it till tea time With winter coming up you'll love it!


  8. #8
    Registered User

    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW

    I am so getting a crockpot this weekend!!!
    * SLEEP when they sleep....don't spend an hour first on BB!!!! ](*,) LOL
    * like Sarah said, listen to your instincts with what is going on with your bub, you know whether or not they are in pain.
    * Let the boys do it! Go away on a Sat/Sun morning once bub is down for the first nap of the day. Go get a hair cut, express if you are bf and go to the shops for at least an hour!!!! Get out and away...its vital for your survival! I work every other Sat and its great for DH to experience being the 100% caregiver and he & Matilda have a tight bond now.

  9. #9
    Life Member

    May 2003
    Beautiful Adelaide!

    Totally agree with "having time off", if you can.

    Andrew looks after Olivia for me for a half day on either saturdays or sunday most weekends and it keeps me sane........this morning I was out an about by myself at 8.45am, had a manicure, a pedicure, went for a bit of a trawl round the markets, popped round to GF's for a is only for a few hours, but makes me feel like a new woman by the time I get home!

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Aug 2004

    Let your Mum come and stay - even if you dont think you will enjoy the experience. She will want to do everything to help - specially cooking breakky, settling the baby, bathing, picking cute clothes to wear for the day, and always making you feel like someone elses little girl.

    Dont plan bedtime. When the baby goes down at night - you go down too - whether it be 7pm or 10pm. Any sleep is going to help, specially if it is a custard night.

    Dont feel bad about asking visitors to leave. Specially unannounced ones, even if they bring presents. Just say - now isn't such a good time, I really need some alone time, I'm going to feed and I'm not comfy with people in the house. Whatever - just dont feel bad aboutit!

    Love your Man for all he's worth. Mine is an angel.


  11. #11
    Debbie Lee Guest

    Aren't Mums great, Fi??!! Mine has been invaluable! When I got that bought of gastro, she was here in no time and was a life saver. I mean, Neil was doing all he could but with her years of being a Mum, she knew how to settle Gabby and when she needed a feed etc. I felt so comfy leaving Gabby with her. Both of us (Mum and I) can't wait until Gabby is old enough to be babysat for the first time.

  12. #12
    Registered User

    May 2004
    Scarborough, QLD

    Accept the fact that for the few couple of weeks you are going to be a teary hormonal mess. For me it was a certain advert on tv and I would have tears rolling down my face, it wasnt even a sad ad LOL!

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Add Danielle_NZ on Facebook

    Jun 2010
    Springfield, QLD

    Give Dad one job that he does and you do not... I recommend this to EVERYONE... I gave my ex and my DH the job of bathing the baby... I only did it if and when there was an emergency while they were out and bub needed a bath due to an "explosion" that way they are the experts in this area and if I do end up doing one while they are around I can ask them for help... great bonding time for bub & dad but also gives you 20 odd minutes for just you do something...

    It did help that they both got a "lesson" in hospital while I was bed bound...

  14. #14
    Registered User

    Oct 2009
    surrounded by textbooks, cat toys and love

    -Remember that Dad wants and needs to get to know Bubs as well, when I was overwhelmed and had to hand DS to DH I felt guilty that I ''couldn't handle it'', when what I really needed to remember is that NO-ONE can do it all on their own, and my DH really wanted to spend time with DS.

    -I also agree with a PP about the newborn phase being very short, just repeat ''they'll only be 2 days old/11 days old/5 weeks old once'', it makes it seem more like a phase rather than the rest of your life being a sleepless trackie wearing crying mess

    - Remember your the only mother your baby has, and your doing a brilliant job. Bubs doesn't have any expectations, only you do.

  15. #15
    Registered User

    Dec 2007

    - For heavens sake, sleep when your baby sleeps!! I didn't, and I think it would have made the world of difference for me.
    - Make meals before you have the baby and keep them in the freezer. I hardly had the energy to eat meals, nevermind even THINK about making them.
    - I agree with having a shower in the morning, no matter what. I just felt even worse if I knew "I haven't even had a shower yet!"
    - Get some help with the housework, knowing there was housework to be done, ironing piling up, etc really grated me, it felt like yet another thing I couldn't cope with.