For first time parents, the day your baby arrives is such a joy, but the week after can be pretty stressful. This doesn’t have to be the case. Below I’ve put together a list of things that new parents need to know to make sure that first week with your baby is safe and happy.
1. Set up the Nursery: Everyone knows that babies sleep a lot, eat a lot and pee a lot, so make sure you have the baby furniture essentials that can make life easier for you and baby. This includes a crib, changing table, dresser and baby supplies like baby clothes, diapers, swaddling blanket, formula and bottles, burp cloths, bibs etc… Visit us at SimplyBabyFurniture to get everything you need in the nursery.
2. Preparing the Crib for a Safe Night’s Sleep: To keep baby as safe as possible when sleeping in the crib leave out all bulky baby bedding items, pillows and toys and make sure sheets are tucked in tight. Consider putting your baby in a wearable sleep sack to be used in place of a blanket for the first several months. Set up the baby monitor too, so you can hear if your baby needs you.
3. How to Bond with your Baby: Sometimes parents can get quite anxious during this first week, so it’s important to remember to do things to bond with your baby. Easy ways to bond are swaddling your baby in a receiving blanket and spending time cuddling; singing to baby; rocking baby to soft music and giving your baby full body massages.
4. When to Feed Baby: Babies tend to eat quite often during their first week and times will vary based on whether you’re breast feeding or bottle feeding. Typically babies eat every 3-4 hours and tend to wake up throughout the night for a snack. The most important thing is to observe your baby’s actions and you’ll quickly learn those “I’m Hungry!” signs.
5. When to Let Baby Sleep: Let your baby sleep whenever he’s cranky, which could result in up to 16 hours of sleep a day. Babies tend to sleep in spurts, so he’ll sleep some hours during the day and some at night, but usually no more than 3 – 4 hours at a time before he gets hungry and wakes up. Consider sleeping while baby is sleeping because you won’t be getting those 8 hours a night for at least 2 months. If you want to keep baby close to you at night then check out a co-sleeper that lets you keep baby by your bedside, but in his own baby crib.
6. Cleaning the House: Babies don’t care if the house is a mess, as long as the nursery and main room has been dusted and vacuumed to prevent baby allergies. Consider getting a cleaning service to come right before your baby arrives, so you don’t have to clean during your baby’s first week at home.
7. Taking Baby out in Public: Since your cutie pie won’t have a fully working immune system at birth, consider keeping him at home as much as possible for the first 6-8 weeks. Taking him for a walk around the block in a stroller or out on the porch is fine, but avoid taking your baby to crowded places where people with colds may be lurking.
8. Establishing a Support System: After baby arrives you are going to be tired, so think about inviting your mother or mother-in-law to come visit for a week. This way you’ll have someone else around who can help with the cooking or laundry or anything else that makes your first week as a new parent easier and less stressful.
Just remember that being a parent is new to you, but being someone’s child is new to your baby, so it’s going to take a little time to get into that comfort zone. Try to enjoy the first week as much as possible and spend that time getting to know your baby and soon enough your new parenting role will be easy as pie.