By Rachel Paxton
So you've brought your newborn baby home from the hospital.
With the birth of your baby comes a new set of challenges. It is
truly wonderful to become a new parent or a parent once again,
but let's face it, the first weeks of your newborn's life can be
quite stressful and overwhelming at times.
Our youngest son is one month old today. Looking back over the
past couple of weeks there have been a lot of happy moments, but
even though I've been through all this before with three other
children, I had honestly forgotten how tiring taking care of a
newborn can be.
One thing I hadn't bargained for with the newest addition to our
family was his size! Our son weighed 10 pounds and was 21 inches
long when he was born. For the past month I have been feeding
him every two to three hours for a half an hour at a time. It's
amazing how much time that eats up every day when you have a
house and other children to take care of. It has taken me weeks
to adjust to our new "schedule." Here are some tips that have
helped me get through the first weeks of our son's life:
Ask for Help
If you have any friends or family around who have offered to give
a helping hand, don't be afraid to ask for help. For me, it's not
so much that I feel I need help getting things done, as much as I
feel like I'm neglecting my twin 4-year-old sons. The past few
weeks they have done everything in their power to get my
attention, as negative as that might be! They love their new baby
brother, but they are getting a lot less attention than they are
used to. They're lucky if mom gets them breakfast and lunch at a
decent hour and if they are dressed by noon. It's been nice to
have family around to get the boys out of the house once in
awhile to burn off some of their extra energy and give them the
extra attention they need and deserve.
Delegate Household Chores
If you have other children and they aren't already helping out
with household chores, now is the time for them to start. I'm
guilty for doing too much for my 4-year-old's, and they are
definitely old enough to do more things for themselves, like
dressing themselves, putting away their toys, and putting their
dinner dishes in the kitchen. If you're used to having a clean
and organized home, you may have to ease up on this a bit for at
least the next couple of months. The baby has to be cared for
first, than the rest of your family. Unfortunately, housework
ends up last on the list!
Plan Your Meals
If you're really organized you prepared and froze some meals
ahead of time before the birth of your baby. Most people
probably haven't thought this far ahead, however, and I know I
sure didn't feel like cooking even when I was pregnant. One
thing you can do to help simplify dinner time is to plan your
meals ahead of time. Sit down once a week and plan your meals
for the next week before you go grocery shopping. Even when you
don't feel like cooking it's nice to have a list of meals you can
choose from and know you have the ingredients to prepare them.
Find a Mentor
If this is your first baby and you don't have any close female
family members, reach out to a friend, neighbor, or someone from
your church to give you moral support. You can also join a local
moms' group like MOPS. There are a lot of new things to learn
and babies unfortunately don't come with an instruction manual.
You need someone you can ask questions to, no matter how silly
your questions may seem.
Call Your Pediatrician
Umbilical cord care, circumcision, jaundice, colic, thrush,
cradle cap...these are just a few of the things your newborn may
have to experience during his or her first few weeks of life. If
you have any questions at all regarding these conditions, don't
be afraid to call your pediatrician. That is what they're there
for. It's scary when your baby has to go through these things
and you don't know what's wrong with them. Almost all of these
things are perfectly normal and will pass, although some
conditions do need to be treated and/or looked at by your baby's
doctor. It's better to be safe than sorry, so don't be afraid to
Having a baby is an exciting time in your life; however, it is
also exhausting. Your house won't be as clean as you want it to
be, your other children may get jealous, and your spouse even may
feel neglected at times. Just remember that this, too, will pass.
Enjoy all the time you spend with your newborn, they don't stay
small for long!
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For
resources for the Christian family, including parenting, toddler
and preschool activities, homeschooling, family traditions, and
more, visit http://www.Christian-Parent.com