Surviving the first month home with a newborn is all about two simple things: letting go and accepting this new role, and practicing some really good self-care.
The first month home with a newborn is a magical time, but it's also a shock. New parents will need to feed the baby every 2-3 hours plus any other time he or she is hungry. And don't forget that this is a period of recovery. It's exhausting! Here are some tips to help new parents get through it.
The first and perhaps most important tip is to prioritize the new baby. Understand and accept that the baby's needs are going to control pretty much everything. Surrendering to this is the first step to survival. Keep in mind that this is temporary and everyone does it, and they all get through it eventually.
Next, hydration is essential. New moms should be drinking a glass of water every single time that they nurse or pump. Maintaining a healthy diet is also super important during this time, so eat some fruit. Fruit's main nutrient is vitamin C, which heals the body. Speeding up recovery will help keep the focus on the new baby.
While hydrating and eating right will take care of a new parent's insides, what's on the outside should not be neglected. Take a shower. Shave. Put on mascara and pin hair half up. Done. Follow a simplified beauty and hygiene routine. This will help to fight off depression and keep away the feeling that the baby has ruined the good things in life.
Next, take a walk in the sunshine. This gets the body moving and helps keep circadian rhythms from getting out of whack. All of the above contribute to an overall sense of well being, which in turn will help new moms and dads to take good care of their little one. Some cultures believe that the mother and baby should stay home for the first month, and for those who subscribe to this, they could start taking walks after this point. Parents do need some time to recover, bond, and establish nursing.
While on the walk, and in general, try wearing a baby wrap. This will help on-the-go parents get things done and it also helps the baby feel safe and warm. New parents might want to get some chores done each day, as opposed to hiring help. Anyone can definitely hire out for a deeper clean, but doing daily tasks such as laundry and dishes can help bring back positive normal and productive feelings.
Above all, don't forget to treasure the little soul in your arms!