Words of Wisdom To Get Through The First Few Weeks With An Infant

The first couple weeks at home with a new baby are wonderful and shocking and emotional and a little scary and amazing... And there is no way you can prepare yourself for it. My BFF just had her first baby and I thought of a few things for her (and other new moms) to keep in mind in the first couple of weeks:

Hit the TV for some reality shows in the wee hours.
I made the mistake of holing up with W in his nursery during his nightly feedings, where it was too quiet and the hours seemed to drag on. It was just really isolating. I know it's recommended to stay in a quiet, dark place for the baby - But, seriously, I was a much happier mom the second time around when I filled the DVR up with reality TV and spent my overnight feedings catching up.

I used to turn my nose up at all of these shows, now I credit them with helping me avoid baby blues. You need something fluffy, fast paced, with a good dose of drama, and awesome sounds bites.

Here are my recommended shows: 
  • Real Housewives: Any city, any season. These ladies never disappoint. Never.
  • Tori & Dean: You somehow find yourself feeling "wow, stars are really just like us" and then are quickly reminded that "oh, no, they aren't.
  • NY Ink: I'd never seen a reality tattoo shop show, but I especially enjoyed the drama from Chris Torres and comic relief from Robear. And, seriously, Ami is kind of adorable. And these people are serious artists.
  • Tabatha Takes Over: Love her. Not great when you're totally exhausted, because it has slow moments. 
  • Bethenny: Entertaining, but not my favorite choice.
  • Shahs of Sunset: This show has major late night potential. 

Shows that may seem innocent enough, but should be avoided:
  • Intervention: STAY AWAY! Suddenly every drug addict becomes someone's baby and you realize how precious and innocent everyone starts out in life and you start to get really depressed. DO NOT WATCH!
  • Hoarders: Also a show that makes you wonder how people can go from the sweet baby in your arms to someone so incredibly broken. Stay away from the sad!
  • A Baby Story: Might seem like a good idea, but it just isn't. Trust me.

Stay hydrated.
Your schedule is all over the place. You're often stuck sitting, whether nursing or holding a sleeping baby. You're uncomfortable from the whole birthing thing and the thought of standing and walking is a little too much. Many, many reasons you're not going to refill your water glass. Remember: staying hydrated makes a huge difference with breastfeeding.

Expect to cry.
Get used to crying. Randomly. It's normal, but it's shocking. The crying sneaks up on you just about anywhere. It starts innocently... when you're holding your baby and imagine some kid making fun of them on the playground... And then it starts creeping up just about anytime, like in mid-conversation at dinner. But, we've all been there and it's ok. And then one day it stops.

I often found myself in full tears, ugly crying, and repeating "I don't know why I'm crying. I just don't know why I'm crying." You're crying because you're postpartum. Accept it.

It goes fast.
Sometimes when a baby is crying or won't sleep... or doing some other stressful infant thing it's really easy to get caught up in the moment. Focus on the big picture and remember these moments pass and the weeks fly by in the blink of an eye.

It feels consuming sometimes, like you can't see the forest for the trees. But, focus on the moments and know it goes by fast. This is the only time you'll have with your child when you are totally devoted to holding them, cuddling them, and just being their mom. Savor those moments, even when you're exhausted, because they go so fast.

Having an infant isn't easy, but it's something you'll quickly look back on and recall as being some of the sweetest, most loving moments in your life as a mom.

Any other words of wisdom to add?


Unknown said...

Great advice. I hated hearing it will go fast and enjoy the moment when I was up all night with Lyla. I have to say though after going through it...It did go so fast and I wish I had those moments back!

Windtraveler said...

Awwwww!!!! Glad I inspired such a great post...and super glad I have such a great best friend who also happens to be a super mommy and has paved the way for me!! I LOVE YOU!

Christina said...

Great post! Almost makes me feel like I am ready to do it again soon:)

Laila @OnlyLaila said...

I would add - don't be afraid to ask for help. When I had my son I felt overwhelmed and felt weird about asking folks to help.

Brandie said...

My advice: yes, ask for help.
And also, let things go. Screw the housework, order dinner out and laundry can wait (ok, at some point you will run out of clean underwear and will need to do a load but don't feel like you need to do it all. at once.).
And yes, late night tv is so helpful. Or a good book to read. But I prefer tv at that point. My eyes were too tired to focus well.
And most important, do not even think about your weight. Do not. Nothing makes me more sad than a new mother, talking about how wonderful her new baby is adn then two seconds later about how she needs to lose the baby weight ASAP. You don't really need to. It's okay. That can wait too!