How To Survive A Newborn

Prioritise Chores + Lower Your Expectations

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Mama, lower your expectationsand then lower them again.

At least for the first 6 weeks or so anyway.

After having both my babies I focused on accomplishing only a couple chores a day. They were the chores that were necessary for keeping the household going.

I tried to do one load of laundry and get the dishes done. As long as there were clean clothes to wear and clean dishes to eat from, we were alright.

I didnt care about what the rest of the house looked like or if the sheets had been changed.

Eventually, as you settle into life with your new addition, youll be able to take on more and your house will be somewhat manageable again.

In the meantime, do yourself a BIG favour and let the other things go.

Those newborn days are fast and fleeting. Take whatever moments you can to curl up with your tiny babe in your arms. You will never regret it.

The Newborn Phase Is All About Survival

Of course theres the utter joy one experiences when becoming a new mother that cannot be matched, but, lets face it, theres also a significant amount of anxiety, worry and stress that comes with the territory.

I can recall a day not too long after my son was born. I remember feeling so accomplished when my husband walked in the door from a day at work.

We had such a great day. I got so much done.

Oh, thats wonderful, honey! What did you guys do?

Well, uhwe went for a walkI showered uhhmmwell, it sure felt like a busy day.

Even small, insignificant tasks become huge hurdles to overcome with a newborn. Its not difficult to succumb to the fatigue and develop some not-so-healthy habits. Bad habits like skipping meals, ordering take-out every night, not staying active or getting enough exercise. While its okay to do what you can to survive the newborn phase, it can be tough to break those habits as you find your newborn rapidly growing out of those adorable footie pajamas.

Its easier to start off on the right track.

Slow Down And Enjoy This Time

I know this one is hard. It was hard for me with my first baby, and its still hard now with my third. I tend to get so wrapped up in my to-do list when what I really want is to just be still and enjoy those baby snuggles. Try to remember the newborn phase wont last forever. Right now you may be looking ahead and wishing for the next milestone when that baby wont rely on you quite so much, when she will sleep through the night, when she will be able to eat solid foods. But before you know it, youll wish you could go back to those days when your little one was so tiny. Today is a day that you can never get back, so enjoy that sweet little bundle while you can. Savor those middle of the night feedings and snuggles. Spend as long as you want talking to your baby and enjoying the smiles you get in return. There will always be time for laundry later.

What helped you stay sane during the newborn stage? What was your biggest challenge?


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About Your Newborns First Week Of Life

Newborns spend their first week of life adapting to their new environment.

The outside world is very different from the womb, where its dim, the temperature is constant, and noise is muffled. You can help your baby get used to the outside world by giving them warmth, love, security, attention and lots of cuddles and smiles.

Start Out How You Can Hold Out

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My grandmother has always given me wise advice. One of the first things she told me after I had my firstborn was to start out how you can hold out. Simply put, dont start doing things you arent willing to keep doing.

Now, obviously there are things you do with a newborn you dont do with a 1 year old. Or conversely, start habits early that youd like to continue.

If you nurse, you may want to know how to get a breastfed baby to take a bottle so you can have some breaks here and there.

Breaks matter!

However, if you find yourself doing elaborate things to get the baby to settle or you are running around in circles to do simple things, its time to step back and weigh, test, and measure.

In the sleepless newborn fog its easy to do things that dont make sense.

Read: Start Out How You Can Hold Out

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Switching To Organic Dairy Is Convenience You Can Feel Good About

All too often, the “convenient” foods marketed to moms seem to come with a catch like unsavory ingredients or subpar manufacturing standards. Not so with organic dairy products from Organic Valley! I have the peace of mind from knowing that the products I’m serving have been produced with the highest standards of animal care and aren’t padded with sugar or other unpronounceable ingredients.

On a practical level, switching to organic dairy was so simpleOrganic Valley’s string cheese is my kids’ most-requested lunch box item anyway. Making the full switch to organic dairy was as easy as picking one carton of milk over another or grabbing the Organic Valley butter.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

You were a pregnant mom during a pandemic. Youre now a new mom during a pandemic. That in and of itself deserves recognition, so make sure to be kind to yourself and cut yourself some slack. Now is not the time to add more to your plate. You may not be able to have the perfect diet or a Pinterest-worthy house. You may not be able to shower somedays or reply to text messages, and thats okay. This time is all about survival and forgiveness. Youre doing a great job just by making it.

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Rhythms Routines & Schedules Pack

Easy to implement routines, rhythms and schedules from birth through school-aged kids to help you streamline day-to-day life with kids, including a step-by-step guide for getting started.

New baby means new routine.

Older siblings will behave differently while adjusting. Youll have to figure out how it all fits together. You may feel more frustrated, angry, lonely, or sad than normal.

Read:Want an Easy Baby? Then Use A Foolproof Baby Schedule

Whatever you do dont just say oh its fine and ignore it. That will not work out for you. You have something called an emotional basement and during the postpartum period you will be very tempted to fill it.

We actually need empty emotional basements, so you must be real with how youre actually feeling. Surviving the newborn phase necessitates you are present with your emotions so they dont overwhelm you.

Read: Healing for Damaged Emotions

Tricks To Save You Money

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1. Paying a painter to do ceilings and sanding/primer coats on walls onlyceilings are worth having done by someone else, while you could easily tackle walls and trim.

2. Asking your contractor or designer for their trade discount on supplies and fixtures.

3. Shopping big-box storesthey offer great selection at competitive prices.

4. Keeping plumbing and electrical outlets in the same spot, if you can help itmoving them means paying for labour.

5. Doing some of the demo work yourself.

6. Considering floor models for discounts on appliances, lighting and fixtures checking the clearance area for marked-down tiles for floor and backsplash looking at remnants for small-space carpeting.

7. Getting at least three quotes for the work and asking for cash discounts.

8. Waiting for sale cyclesmany stores have kitchen and bathroom events, or promotions on categories like doors, windows and appliances that offer great savings.

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Tell People What You Need

One common trait many moms have in the newborn stage is the inability to ask for help. There can be many reasons for this: fear of burdening others, fear of rejection, or feeling like admitting this would make them a failure somehow. If youre overwhelmed, tell someone. Admitting vulnerability is actually a big strength, not a weakness. Tell multiple people. You may find support in untraditional ways, but at least youll feel less alone.

Calming A Crying Baby

Crying is the only means an infant has to communicate. Your quandary: What is she telling you?

Check her out. Is she hungry? Too cold or hot? Is her bedding or clothing tangled? Is her diaper dirty? Are the lights too bright, noises too loud? Is a burping in order? Is she ill?

If you’ve run this gauntlet and put things right and she’s still inconsolable:

  • Experiment to discover the most comforting way for her to be rocked , spoken and sung to.
  • Pat or rub her back.
  • Walk the floor with her.
  • Offer a finger, a breast, or a pacifier to suck on.
  • Swaddle her.

All babies have their fussy period during the day at a certain point there is nothing you can do. Although trying to calm a distressed infant can be exasperating, always respond to the cry. “You cannot spoil a young baby by giving him attention and if you answer his calls for help, he’ll cry less overall,” suggests the AAP.

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Have Everything Ready Ahead Of Time

Its never easy scrambling with a baby in tow, especially with your arms tied. Instead, think about what youll need for the next activity.

For instance, pack the diaper bag the night before you plan to go to the pediatricians. Set your nursing pillow and burp cloth nearby, ready for middle-of-the-night feedings. Lay the babys diaper, pajamas, socks and diaper cream on your bed to make for easy dress up after baths.

While you dont want to get too ahead of yourself, thinking of the one next step ahead will save you time and help you feel less frantic.

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Watch Funny Movies And Shows


Funny movies and shows became my go-to strategy when I felt myself feeling down. I borrowed movies from the library or watched them on Netflix to remind myself of life outside of caring for a baby.

From TV comedies to stand up skits to hilarious movies, stock up on funny things to watch. As different as they may be from your current life, its that difference that can put these challenges in perspective.

Better yet? Watch them with your partner so you can both share something funny together.

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Forget Developing Babys Brain

How do you stimulate a newborn?, Do babies get bored? and Activities for newborn are some of the top Google queries. Unless you happen to be apart of the 1% of mommies who are budding with energy in the first week, then dont even bother. Not only can babies not see well in the beginning but all they want to do is sleep anyways.

Save your energy instead for the endless temper tantrums of the future instead. Sure, you can do some of those newborn activities like sticking your tongue at your newborn or reading a book but dont feel obliged to just because all those articles on the web say you should do it.

Plus, it’s way more fun to get the baby to do them after three weeks when they are a little more alert.

Ways To Survive Life With A Newborn And No Family Support

It was never my plan to have a baby while living hundreds of miles from my family, therefore completely destroying any possibility of having nearby family support.

Before we had a child, I imagined that every other aspect of our lives would have miraculously fallen into place. My husband and I would return home, buy a cheap yet beautiful country house, and acquire fluffy chickens and rabbits to wander picturesquely in the grounds. Best of all, wed have free childcare at the perfect distance .

Instead, we were living in a one-bedroom apartment in London when our daughter arrived. Our families were in Scotland, and we had no support network around us. Friends, sure but we were the first to have a baby, and I didnt feel as if our pre-child pub drinks after work had smoothed the way for emergency baby vomit analysis on a 3am video call.

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A Basket In Every Room

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Something else youll find on most parenting forums and resources? A changing table. Do you actually need it? Not exactly. Given how pricey some of them can be, you can make do with using the bed to change your baby.

With that being said, you wouldnt want to keep running to either the bed or the changing table each time, would you? Instead, set up a couple of changing stations around your home.

You can buy a little basket at either the dollar store or Walmart, fill it with diapers, diaper rash cream and a pack of wipes and easily stash it out of sight, ready to bust out when its diaper-changing time.

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How To Do The Perfect Planning Beforehand

Wherever possible, opt for a morning flight.

Youve probably noticed that your baby grows fussier as the evening approaches. By choosing an AM flight, youll also be at less risk for a meltdown and also less likely to put baby to bed past his/her bedtime once you land.

In terms of buying tickets, you arent actually required to get a boarding pass for your child under the age of two, and on short domestic flights most parents opt to fly with baby in their lap as an infant in arms.

That said, the Federal Aviation Administration encourages parents to secure children in car seats during flight, which requires the purchase of a ticket for baby . Some airlines offer discounted tickets for babies, so inquire about a discount if this is the route youd like to go.

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