How To Enjoy The First Few Weeks With A Newborn

by | Dec 18, 2023

Mother sitting down with breastfeeding pillow and newborn baby

Are you nearing the fourth trimester with trepidation and a small amount of fear around the newborn phase? Taking care of a new baby isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for merely surviving during this phase. Doing a few things to prepare in your third trimester and scheduling certain out-of-house activities can do wonders in helping you thrive and actually enjoy the newborn phase. 

Why Is Having A Newborn So Exhausting?

There are a few reasons why the newborn period is so taxing:

Labor And Delivery After Effects

Pregnancy and labor are incredibly hard on the body. After you have your baby, your body uses a lot of energy to heal you. Create a postpartum care pack for yourself to support and accelerate your healing process. 

Sleep Deprivation 

Newborns only sleep in short bursts. This is due to their tiny tummies! They have to wake often to keep up with their feeding needs. This means that you also only get short periods of sleep. Prioritize your rest by sleeping when your baby sleeps, going to bed early, and introduce bottles early so that you can share the feeding responsibilities with your partner if you can. 

How Do You Survive The First 3 Months With A Newborn?

One of the keys to not just survive but thrive during the newborn stage is to prepare before your baby arrives. Having a few things sorted can reduce stress and anxiety and help you feel more prepared to deal with the challenges that come your way. 

Freezer with frozen meals

Make Freezer Meals And Fill Your Pantry

“A healthy postpartum eating plan is the way to go to stave off bone loss, replenish your iron stores, head off hemorrhoids and much, much more,” says What To Expect. Focus on foods that can help your postpartum body heal and give you energy, as well as lactation-boosting foods. This includes healthy sources of fat such as nuts and avocados, protein (chicken, beef, beans, and lentils), fatty fish for their omega-3 content, oatmeal, a variety of fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.

Stock Up On Essentials 

The last thing you want is to load the washing machine with dirty onesies and swaddles only to discover that you’re out of detergent. Stock up on essentials such as detergent, dish soap, toothpaste, skincare products etc. 

Women breastfeeding during a lactation consultant

Meet With A Lactation Consultant 

To help you enjoy the newborn phase, it’s important to eliminate as much stress as you can. For many new mamas, breastfeeding can be a significant source of stress. Meeting with a breastfeeding consultant before you deliver will give you the knowledge you need to get a good latch as well as ensure full and efficient feedings. Remember, feeding and sleep are connected! So, troubleshooting breastfeeding will have a positive effect on your newborn’s sleep.

Book in-person and virtual consultations here

Take Online Infant Care Classes 

Knowing what to expect helps shift expectations and helps with your transition into parenthood. Doing online infant care classes is a fantastic way to expand your knowledge and understand how to thrive in the newborn phase. In the Birth Made Simple course, learn about labor, birth, as well as the immediate postpartum period.

Self-Care

Do a few pampering appointments before your baby arrives to prioritize your own wellness. This could be a foot massage, a facial, or getting your hair or nails done.   

Sleep 

Rest becomes even more important in the last stretch of pregnancy. Good quality sleep and naps can give your body the opportunity it needs to prepare for the next stage. When you take care of your body, you’re more able to enjoy the newborn period. 

See A Movie

It may be a few weeks until you feel ready to venture out into public again. So, before your due date, do something you enjoy that you may not be able to do for a while. This can be seeing a movie, going to the theater, enjoying a long dinner at your favorite restaurant with your friends – do something out in the world that fills your cup.  

After your baby arrives, try to maintain a sense of self – it can be easy to get lost in ‘mom mode’. It’s important (and healthy!) to include house-leaving activities into your schedule to break the monotony of feeding, changing diapers, and small spaces of sleep.  

Woman walking with stroller

Go For A Walk 

Barring any complications, you can take your newborn out right away. The fresh air is healthy for both you and your baby.  

Sign Up For Postpartum Exercise Classes 

Regular exercise can actually help you feel less tired. Plus, it’s a great way to manage stress and promote your healing. Attending a postpartum workout is also an opportunity to get out of the house, focus just on yourself, and connect with other mamas. 

Join A Postpartum Moms Group 

Being a new mom can be a lonely experience. To mitigate this feeling, join a supportive moms group in your area. At these groups, you’re able to bond and share experiences with women going through what you are. This can go a long way in taking care of your mental health. 

Mother with newborn baby

Is It OK To Not Enjoy The Newborn Stage?

Of course it’s OK to not enjoy the newborn stage! Many mamas compare themselves to others online who seem to love the beginning of a new parenting journey, and then feel bad that they’re not having the same experience. 

Remember, it takes some time for your hormones to settle after giving birth. After you have your baby, the hormones progesterone and estrogen decrease. This drop can be a contributing factor to ‘baby blues’. According to March of Dimes, 80% of new parents experience this emotional low, “Baby blues are feelings of sadness that you may have in the first few days after having a baby…They can last up to 2 weeks. They usually go away on their own, and you don’t need any treatment.” 

However, if the feelings of sadness, mood changes, and anxiousness last longer than a couple of weeks and you begin to experience overpowering guilt, you find it difficult to focus, and you’re plagued by frightening thoughts about yourself or your newborn, it’s time to contact your healthcare provider. Baby blues can develop into postpartum depression, a serious condition that needs medical attention. 

You deserve to thrive during the newborn phase of parenthood. Take a few steps to prepare yourself and your home while you’re in your third trimester, sign up for new parent classes, and prioritize going outdoors and focusing on your own health. When you take care of yourself, you’re more able to show up for your baby’s needs. 

Meet Hillary

Hi! I’m Hillary, the Mama behind Baby Settler. These days you can find me with my four children and husband… probably outside, and helping Mama’s and families. I also have a lot of letters behind my name which translate, I’m also a Labor & Delivery nurse and Lactation Consultant.

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