Bringing Home Baby
Bringing home a new baby is a huge adjustment for a family. Whether it’s a first baby or you’re adding to the bunch, the coming weeks and months are sure to be a huge and overwhelming change for everyone. When I was first home from the hospital with a newborn, I remember asking myself “how are other people doing this when I seem to be losing my mind?” Now that I’m past that stage, here are my top 5 personal tips for saving your sanity as a new mom.
- Ask for help – I was reluctant to do this at first. In those first few weeks when you’re getting visitors (whether you want them or not) and they ask “is there anything you need” – the answer is “YES!” If you need a gallon of milk or a rotisserie chicken, ASK. If your other child needs to be picked up from daycare, ASK. People want to help.
- Just say no – If you don’t want the visitors I mentioned above, bow out gracefully. Honesty is the best policy. Just tell well-meaning visitors that you’re just not feeling up to a visit. If you’re not comfortable with that, say you’re not feeling well, you’ve got a repair guy coming or the best one: the baby has been colicky. Nobody wants to be around a colicky baby. Keep in mind that people really want to get a glimpse of the baby. Take a few minutes to put some photos in an email or post a few to Facebook and it might buy you a week or two.
- Plan ahead – Just because you have a new baby in the house, it doesn’t mean the rest of the family doesn’t still have to eat. When I brought my third baby home, I had at least a week’s worth of meals planned out and in the freezer. Pair those with the meals and snacks friends and family brought us, we were pretty well set for a while.
- Arrange time for the other kids – If your new baby isn’t your first, I recommend having an aunt or uncle pick up the big kids to take them on quick outings. This makes the kids feel special and gets them out of your hair for a little while. Every moment of peace and quiet is valuable. If you’re a working mom (and you can afford it while you’re not working), keep your other kids in their regular place of childcare. This kept mine from breaking their routine and also made sure that they were still getting a lot of attention.
- Take time for yourself – Everyone says this, but I say take it a step further than just taking a shower or getting a nap, which you definitely need to do. Sometimes getting out of the house feels just as good. Instead of sending your husband to the grocery store, go yourself. You don’t even have to leave the baby for some “me” time. Ask a trusted family member to just be in the house while you’re there so you can get some help doing things like burping, diapering, etc. Last resort: hire a baby sitter to do it.
I know from experience, a few times over, that as a new mom you have so many balls in the air, but with a little preparation and some help from others you can save your sanity.
What tips would YOU give new moms for saving their sanity?