Having a baby is exhausting! As if pregnancy and labor aren’t enough to make you feel exhausted now you have to recover and care for a new baby.
Did you know newborns are supposed to eat 10-12 times a day? And they can eat for 40 minutes to an hour at each feeding. So yes, you may be feeding your new baby 8 hours a day. When people say nursing or feeding a baby is a full-time job this is what they are talking about.
Many new parents and even experienced parents feel completely overwhelmed and don’t know how to come out of this exhaustion spiral. Lack of sleep, so much to do and repeat. Here are five things that every family can do to prepare for their new baby whether this is your first baby or 6th baby.
1) Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family and if this is not something that would be possible or helpful hire help. Postpartum Doulas have become all the rage over the past five years because the support they will provide your family is exactly the support you need to recover, rest, bond and function. They do it all from caring for baby, caring for mom, caring for all household members, cooking, light house keeping, laundry, errands, breast-feeding help, and the emotional support that it seems every family benefits from postpartum.
2) Have prepared meals
Have as many meals prepared ahead of time as possible. Freezer meals, crockpot meals and snacks ready to go. You can also have friends bring meals whenever they come over to meet your new addition. There are many meal delivery services that can be simple, easy and affordable. In Chicago we have many to choose from the green gourmet is just one. This could be a great shower gift.
3) Have your house ready
Decluttering your house and having everything set up, even months in advance will help you to feel ready and settled. The worst feeling for new parents is coming home from the hospital to a messy and overwhelming house. Parenting can feel so overwhelming that a cluttered house would just add to this feeling.
4) Hire help
Even if in the past you have done all of the cleaning yourself this may be a time to consider a cleaning service. Even if you have someone clean once or twice a month it will make a world of difference. Finding time to shower and cook a meal can be difficult, but finding time to clean bathrooms and refrigerators is impossible. This may be something worth splurging on.
Having a baby can be very isolating. It is so important to make time to see friends and family. Invite them over to the house when you are ready. You should try to relax at home as much as possible for the first 6 weeks, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Invite friends over to chat or even to watch a movie. Sharing your feelings, birth story and connecting with people can really help with postpartum recovery.
Preparing for life with your new baby can make such a huge difference in the way that you feel.