How to Survive the First 6 Weeks as a New Mom
Being a new mom is an exhilarating experience. You get to experience joy, love, and, of course, sleepless nights.
Things can get particularly hard over those first few weeks of bringing your little one home. That’s why to help you navigate this incredible journey, we've compiled a guide on how to survive the initial six weeks as a new mom. Here you’ll find everything you need to know, from self-care tips to managing your baby's every need.
Let’s get started!
Preparing for your baby’s arrival
Before your little bundle of joy arrives, you want to make prepare yourself for the transition. Here are some of the things you need to do beforehand:
- Create your support system: You are going to need all the support you can get once your baby gets here. So start reaching out to your family and friends weeks before your baby is born. You can also talk to other new moms in your community or online because having support is not just about getting a helping hand when you need it. Having someone you can turn to when you need emotional support or practical advice will also make a huge difference.
- Set up your home: It is also important to create a comfortable space for you and your baby. Setting up your home means stocking up on essentials like your little one’s clothes and diapers, arranging the nursery, and figuring out your sleeping situation and how you will deal with nighttime feedings.
Surviving the first six weeks
As mentioned before, things can get a bit overwhelming sometimes over those first six weeks or so with your newborn. Here are some tips to help you cope:
- Prioritize self-care: As a new mom, it's crucial to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Rest whenever possible, nourish your body with healthy meals, and stay hydrated. When you are happy and healthy, you will be better equipped to take care of your little one.
- Have a routine: Establishing a routine early on will give your life a sense of structure. You really need this stability especially if you are a new mom. So create a flexible schedule that incorporates feeding times, nap schedules, and your own self-care. Allocate general times for everything and finetune it gradually over the next few weeks. It will take some time to find the perfect balance. However, once you do, you will be glad you put in the work. Also, be flexible. Don't be afraid to adapt and make changes as needed.
- Sleep when your baby sleeps: Yes, it's a cliche. But there is a reason why it is a cliche. It works, and it is a valuable piece of advice. When you have a screaming newborn to keep alive, naptime is your opportunity to recharge. You cannot afford not to take advantage of it. It is easy to try and catch up on household chores when your baby goes down. Or scroll mindlessly through social media. Resist that temptation! Your well-being is just as important as any other task on your to-do list. Put yourself first!
- Ask for help and learn to delegate: Don't hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Whether it's your partner, a family member, or a close friend, allow them to lend a hand. Delegate tasks like cooking, cleaning, or grocery shopping to lighten your workload. This will give you more time to bond with your baby. Remember, you might be a super mom, but you are not a superhuman! You can’t do it all by yourself. No one can. There is no shame in asking for help.
- Trust your instincts: As a new mom, you are going to receive advice from everyone. Both solicited and unsolicited advice will come at you from every angle. While it's helpful to gather information, trust your instincts, too. Remember that you know your baby best. Every baby is unique. Advice that works for one baby may not work for yours. And how some other parent chose to raise their child may not be what you want for your own kiddo. So learn to listen to your intuition. Then only do what feels right for you and your little one.
- Connect with other moms: It’s always a good idea to join a mom's group or attend your local support group. It can provide a sense of community and understanding when you need it most. Meeting other moms who are going through similar experiences can be incredibly comforting. It is also a great way to share your journey, exchange tips, and lean on each other for support.
Enjoying the journey
Amidst the chaos and sleep deprivation of the first six weeks, there are also beautiful moments that are easy to miss. Don't forget to cherish those precious moments with your newborn. Here are some suggestions for making the most of this time:
- Bonding with your baby: Take time to bond with your baby. There are many ways to do this, such as through skin-to-skin contact, cuddling, and talking to or singing to them. It may sound simple to you, but these gestures will go a long way in strengthening the connection between you and your little one. Plus, it is also great for your baby’s emotional development.
- Capture memories: Document this special time in your life in any way you can. For example, you can take lots of photos or write in a journal. In this way, you create mementos that will allow you to look back at this time whenever you want. And while it may not feel like it when you are waking up in the middle of the night, these moments pass by all too quickly. So get creative and find unique ways to preserve your memories.
- Celebrate the small victories: While you are dealing with endless diapers, constant screams, and sleepless nights, take the time to celebrate every milestone and achievement you can. No matter how small they may be. So whether it's your baby's first smile, a successful breastfeeding session, or a peaceful night's sleep, acknowledge and appreciate these moments of triumph.
Becoming a new mom is an incredible journey. But just like any other incredible journey, it comes with its own set of unique challenges. The first six weeks of your life as a new mom may be tough. However, by implementing the tips outlined here, they will be a lot easier for you to navigate. Just remember to trust your instincts and be kind to yourself. Welcome to motherhood! It’s going to be a wild ride, but oh, so worth it!