Surviving The Newborn Stage

Surviving The Newborn Stage

Caring for a newborn is an experience that truly tests your mental and emotional well being. On one hand you are beyond ecstatic about your brand new bundle of joy and over the moon happy that they are finally here. On the other hand you have no idea what you are doing and just trying to figure it out as you go; maybe trying to remember some helpful tips you read, although your sleep-deprived brain is making it hard to remember anything (like what day it is). You have just been through hours of very physically demanding labor and trying to recover all while your new baby needs you and wants to eat every two hours. You are trying to rest and recuperate while also getting to know your little one and bond with him/her. Needless to say you may be a little frazzled! So how do you survive the newborn stage without losing your wits?

Just remember the number 2… Just keep reminding yourself that each stage is only temporary, and it will be over soon enough. Don’t panic. Just when you think ‘I can’t take any more of this‘, remember that your baby will soon develop into another stage and his/her behavior and habits will evolve. It all boils down to focusing on getting to the next thing (the next feeding, nap, shower, day). I found that I was just focusing on one feeding at a time, which for me was every two hours. For those first two weeks, just think about getting to the next feeding which means only worrying about two hours at a time. You can make it through two hours right? Of course! That seems much more manageable right?

Now, just when you start to think how long will this last, just when you wonder if you can keep this up, remember that the next step is to take everything 2 weeks at a time. It seemed like every two weeks, my son would grow and develop into new patterns, habits, and abilities. The first big one was sleep; after two weeks he started sleeping for longer stretches of time at night and I felt like I was regaining some of my sanity back. Then the next two weeks were actually really tough. My son turned from a quiet, peaceful angel into a very fussy, loud, crying baby that seemed inconsolable. I wondered if I watered him by accident and he turned into a gremlin… But again just when I thought that I could not survive the crying anymore, he began to have more calm moments without me rocking him in the bathroom with the exhaust fan on (praise my husband for finding that trick!).

The last and most important ‘2’ is people; you are not alone, you have help! There is (hopefully) another person with you and baby 24/7 to lean on and help. This person may be your spouse, partner, parent, or even friend, but you will have at least one person to go through this with. I was lucky enough to not only have my husband home, but my mom flew out for the first two weeks as well. With two people you can take “shifts” with baby. You can take turns sleeping, showering, eating, etc. You may even ask to have someone else take a few shifts in a row and only call on you when baby is hungry (unless you are bottle feeding). My husband was amazing with our son, he truly should win a medal for how much he helped and took charge of everything so that I didn’t have to think about it. Remember that it took two of you to make a baby, so it makes sense that two of you equally care for the baby too! I know some dads are hesitant and maybe a bit scared, but ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT!

I hope this helps any expecting moms feel a little more at ease about bringing a newborn home. Just remember to take it two hours at a time, two weeks at a time, with two people to do it together! Nothing lasts forever so don’t get too overwhelmed. You will look back on this time like it was a blink of an eye.

33 thoughts on “Surviving The Newborn Stage”

  1. The key for me was taking it day by day. They change so much when they are first born, so it was the easiest way for me to get through it.

    1. The days do seem so long in the moment, but taking it one day at a time is a great way to not be overwhelmed! Thanks for sharing Robin 🙂

  2. My first pregnancy was a set of twins and I barely remember the newborn stage I was so exhausted. It was a lot easier with my second pregnancy when there was just one baby 😉 Especially with the twins it was so important to ask for help with things like meals, cleaning, and other household things so I could focus on taking care of myself and baby (or babies).

    1. I can’t imagine having two babies to care for! I always feel like parents of twins have superpowers. I hope you did get LOTS of help.

  3. Aw… what a cute and helpful post for new moms! Love all your tips and reassurance. Sounds like you have found out all the tricks!
    Karen |

    1. Thank you Karen! I am glad it sounds like I have it all together, but I am definitely figuring it out as I go!

  4. I’ll never forget my first night with my firstborn. Up at 2am, screaming baby, bottle exploded all over us, pee soaked PJ’s… I really should have asked for help!

    1. Aww, that sounds rough! I can totally relate to soiled PJ’s. My son peed through his diaper and all over his crib three times one night that first week home!

  5. This is wonderful advice! I like how you look to the future to help get through. It isn’t always easy but these times will pass. Thanks for sharing and linking up with us for some #mommatime!

    1. Thank you Kristen! I am glad to have found your link up, this is my very first one! And thank you for positing the “how to” post 🙂

  6. These are great tips. As a mom of 3 boys, I totally agree with your rules of 2. By the end of two weeks, I’d just have figured out their pattern and then something would change and I’d be back to the drawing board. Enjoy these precious times. Seems like yesterday my oldest was itty bitty like that picture and now he’s a teenager!

    1. Thank you Tanya! My son is 6 months now and he is still changing ALL THE TIME! This past week he has mastered crawling and standing up so I have had my hands full.

  7. Asking for help is such a huge part of the baby stage. It’s not easy having a newborn. I know I dealt with postpartum depression. As they say, “this too shall pass.” It’s just not easy some times.

    1. I am sorry you had to deal with ppd. I never liked “this too shall pass” because it does not give me an idea of when it will be over. I need to have an idea of how long to expect things so there is an end in sight!

  8. Some great advice here!!! Thankfully my daughter was a pretty easy going newborn! Part of the resin I’m scared to ever have another kid lol… I know I would get the complete opposite the second time around

    1. Thank you Courtney! Each kid is different, some are just naturally calmer than others; makes it a bit of a gamble 😉

    1. I can see how I would be more prepared for a second baby, but I would think it would be that much harder when you have two to look after at the same time!

  9. What a lovely post. A fab idea talking about the ‘2’s’, and was really nice hearing all about your journey at the beginning!

  10. Newborn stage is so hard. I don’t know how women survive it, especially when husband goes to work in a few days and there are no relatives to help. You are so lucky your mom could come and help you.

    1. I know! I am not sure how women do it alone. My mom was there the first two weeks, but I was lucky enough to have my husband home for over a month as well!

  11. Thank you for this! I’m currently 35 weeks pregnant with #2 and I remember those first few weeks with my first that just left me feeling drained and zombiefied. It was a very stressful time for me and little tips like this help remind me that those moments only last for a little while before we’re on to the next.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us on the Friday Funday Blog Hop! <3

    1. You are welcome Lissette! I am glad you liked the post and thank you for commenting. It was fun to get to see all the blogs from friday funday 😉

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