Newborn Care: 2 weeks
Starting life with a new baby is a huge adjustment — whether it’s your first or your third. You are getting to know your baby’s rhythms and needs, and managing daily tasks with the new (and immediate) demands of a newborn. Here are five ways to make the adjustment easier:
Don’t feel bad to politely tell someone you are not up for visitors quite yet. It takes some time to recover from delivery and get the hang of breastfeeding (if this is your feeding choice). Having too many visitors can sometimes hinder your recovery. This is the time to bond with your baby, so don’t feel guilty about telling family or friends you need some more time.
That being said, when you do decide to have visitors, let them bring you things and allow them to help you! Something as simple as a visitor bringing groceries, or a hot meal, or throwing in a load of laundry provides you with some relief and makes you feel taken care of. Receive the gifts.
Ask for help
Refer back to the village you created when you were pregnant. We recommend that expectant parents identify the core friends or family members you know and trust and feel comfortable turning to for help. There will come a time when you need help, and it’s easier to get it if you have already established this network. Your village may include a family member who can hold your baby while you take a nap or a shower. (Or that someone might be us! Learn more about our daytime and overnight care.)
Establish a daily routine
Change your clothes and get out of the house every day. By change your clothes, we mean change from one pair of yoga pants to another. And by get out of the house, we mean walking three blocks to the local coffee shop and getting tea or a cookie. Doing these two (seemingly) simple things every day will do wonders for your mental and physical health.
Carve out time for yourself
This probably sounds a little far-fetched, but it’s important to create some “me” time. Your world has been turned completely upside down. Not too long ago, you were only responsible for caring for yourself (and maybe sometimes your partner) whereas now you may feel like you are exclusively responsible for caring for your baby. The truth is, in order to take care of your baby, you also have to take care of yourself. Make time each week for yourself, whether it’s something as simple as a shower and a nap, or a treat like a manicure or pedicure. You deserve it!
Involve your partner
Your partner may find it hard to figure out where he or she fits in, especially if you are breastfeeding. But involving your spouse can mean a lot to him or her. Involve them in tubby time or go for a walk and have them push the stroller or carry the baby in a carrier. This is also a great time to introduce a bottle. If you are breastfeeding, introducing a bottle means your partner can take a turn with feeding. If your partner feeds the baby first thing in the morning or before bed, that can mean extra minutes (or even hours) of sleep for you. For your partner, it means sharing the early days of the parenting experience.
Understand Newborn Crying
Crying and fussiness often increases around 2-3 weeks of age. It will peak at 6-8 weeks and then gradually decrease by 12-16 weeks. If your baby’s crying is making you feel stressed out, causing you to cry, or making you feel like you want to scream, put your baby down in a safe place, such as their crib or bassinet, and take a break. Don’t forget your 5 S’s that you learned in your Newborn Essentials class.
Get back to the basics and put these methods into place for your fussy baby. Remember to:
Get the baby on their side or stomach while holding them
Make shushing sounds, or create “white noise”
Swing your baby side to side, while supporting their head and neck
Initiate sucking, such as a breast, bottle or pacifier, or finger
We know having a new baby is a rollercoaster of thrilling highs and exasperating lows. If you need some relief, consider an in-home newborn consultation with our nursing team. The consult includes two hours of conversation and instruction that will help you gain serious confidence taking care of your newborn. If you schedule in-home daytime or overnight care, a Boston NAPS nurse can come to your home and take care of your baby so you can take a shower, take a nap, put in a load of laundry, or do whatever else you need to feel organized and grounded. Our night nurses can care for your baby overnight so you and your partner can enjoy 8 hours of consecutive sleep.