I always get crazy looks when I tell people I love the newborn phase. Sleep deprivation aside, there’s no other time in your life when you get to enjoy the sweet simplicity of cuddling with a brand new little person. Parenting older kids is fun, but newborns are something else entirely. We’ve been enjoying brand new twins in our house, and I’d love to be able to stop time and keep them this size for a bit longer.
There are definitely some challenges that come with having a newborn in the house though. Fortunately, there are several great products and services out there that can help you get through the newborn phase in one piece.
Newborns eat . . . a lot. Whether you are nursing or formula feeding, plan on spending a lot of time camped out on your couch. When my oldest son was born, I used to try and one-hand a book while I was nursing, but it’s awkward and not a great way to relax. Use the time to listen to audio versions of some of the books on your reading list. I like Audible.com, but your local library is likely to have a good collection of audio books you can choose from, too.
A Great Baby Wrap
Newborns are too small to ride in most strollers unless you have an infant car seat adaptor, so a baby wrap is a great solution for the first few months. Don’t discount their use at home, though. I wear my newborns in a wrap while I’m at home, so I can keep my hands free and because it’s just so much nicer to keep my newborn close. Wraps give you a better fit with a newborn than a more structured baby carrier, and they can be used as baby grows, too.
I don’t know about you, but in the first few weeks after having a baby, I’m all about the food. Unfortunately, I’m usually too tired to actually cook, so we end up eating a lot of fast food, which isn’t ideal. If you are up to it during the last few weeks of pregnancy, stock your freezer with home-cooked meals (or even pre-packaged but higher quality frozen meals from the store). If you have friends who love to cook, tell them that rather than a baby gift you’d love a few freezer meals to help you through the early weeks while you enjoy your new baby.
There’s nothing like fumbling with snaps or zippers in the middle of the night when you try and change your baby’s diapers. More than once I’ve woke up to find that I re-dressed my baby in some crazy way while I was half asleep. Make things easy on yourself and stock up on gown sleepers that are open at the bottom. They make diaper changes so much easier, and they grow with your baby a bit better than regular newborn sleepers.
As much as I love my baby wrap, there are definitely times when you need to put your baby down, like showering for instance. A bouncy seat is a great option when you need a safe place to lay your baby down during the day. I like to keep one upstairs and one downstairs, so I have options without needing to move baby gear around the house. If you want to splurge a bit, the mamaRoo is the king of bouncy seats.
What helped you survive the newborn phase?