It’s a complete blur! Yes, it’s true, you hardly sleep, you have loads of visitors, so, you just can’t sleep when baby sleeps as she sleeps when your visitors come or when your going to see someone. That’s just the way it is.
These are the worst, expect no sleep and a very grumpy screaming baby. Don’t have any visitors the next day if you can help it, just have recovery time. This also coincides with the time your colostrum changes to milk and during this time you may actually have very little milk…, hence you have an increasingly hungry baby and not as much milk as they’d like. It just nature and don’t worry, your milk quickly ch ages to the proper milk they need. I also imagine they’re grump because they’ve had a lot to get used to in the previous few days! (Note. I’m no expert in any of this, it’s just my opinion based on things I’ve read, been told about! and mostly my own personal experiences with a newborn!)
Tip: get as much recovery time in as possible before baby is 3 days old! It’s a hard couple of days/nights, but it gets much easier.?
2. Having a bath
The midwife WILL turn up when you’re getting in he bath, then tell you to have 2-3 baths a day to help you heal! I had no idea when to have a bath as H fed almost constantly, we slept when we could (it’s almost impossible to sleep when baby does, she wakes every hour for a feed!), we had visitors to meet H, we ate when she slept. So, having a bath fitted in in the morning (and made sense then too), and without exception the midwife always turned up when I was stepping into it or had just sat down. It didn’t matter if my bath was at 9am or 11am, she knew!
Tip: try to have a bath if you can, it really does help! Use a few drops of lavender oil is brilliant and supposedly helps healing too.
3. Interruptions (aka the midwife)
The midwife will want to come to catch up, weigh lo and possibly check your stitches either every day or every other day for 10 days, perhaps 2 weeks, and if lo was not gaining weight the way the chart said (what baby sticks to a chart!!!!), she might come for 3 weeks, and possibly longer, lo is not up to their birth weight by then. It’s a pain, as there are so many firsts you want to do in those 2 weeks (especially if hubby has 2 weeks off).
Tip: take it all with a pinch of salt! Unfortunately it’s just the way it is, and if your area is different then I’m sorry if it’s worse, and glad if it’s better! Also, a chart is a statistics (out of date stats from what I’ve read!), not a real life baby!
4. Mission: Leaving the house
It take at least an hour, usually 1.5 hours to leave the house. You think, right I’ve just fed her, we can go! No, you need to get dressed/have a shower/dry your hair/find which clothes fit/check you have the changing back stocked correctly/oh no you’ve fallen asleep! Then she’s awake again and it’s nappy change time, so now it’s time to leave…. “Yay we left the house”!
We wanted to go for our first walk with lo, so after having the midwife in the morning, going thought the nappy, feed, sleep (get ready) routine countless times we finally made it out the door. We tried to go out for lunch, thinking it’s fine I can just feed her if she wants it. She’s just had a clean nappy she’ll be fine for an house. No, you can’t go out for lunch, it was 4pm by he time we left the house, and lo just started screaming when we did so we walked in a circle back home to feed her again and figure out why she was so unhappy. I don’t think we figured it out, she just calmed down after some milk and a cuddle and nappy change.
Tip: just go with the flow, make flexible plans only and you will get out at some point, even if it’s the next day 🙂
5. Nappies and wee-ing
You can change a nappy and 2 minutes later you have to change it again. The line turns blue and baby is crying again! Oh, and the aim of the game is to change a nappy without lo wee-ing everywhere when you undo the old nappy or are in the process of removing it. Or, just as annoyingly, as you’re putting on the new one. There is a trick we didn’t discover though – slide the new nappy under the old one before undoing it, then undo (old), ?wipe, slide out (old) and do up the new one. It’s a much quicker method and means the changing mat *might* not get soaked. If the changing mat gets wee’d on, it WILL cover baby from head to toes as it’ll just run everywhere! So then it’s bath time!
Really it’s all a cycle of feed, possible sleep, change, possible bath depending on how chaining went, possible sleep, feed, possibly sleep, change…
Tip: do the new-nappy-under-old-nappy trick. And also use an old towel over the changing mat to make it warmer and soak up wee, it can save baby being covered! And, try to make sure the room you change in is warm – baby might be more likely to wee (and scream, kick, punch), if they get cold.
Babies hate being naked, or getting dressed/undressed. She will scream the house down. Though, even though any parent of an older child will tell you, “that’s not screaming”, it certainly feels like it at the time!
So, use this trick, make sure there is wiggle room in the vests, a slightly larger vest is MUCH easier to out on and take off. Also use the pull it up technique instead of over the head if baby’s arms go better that way. When taking them off do the same pull it down, this is easier and also if you’ve had a poo-nami or wee-leak it’s not going over baby’s head.
Tip: pull vests down the way! It’s much easier!
I hope this helps and also the tips on how to survive the first couple weeks with a newborn also help. Make sure to take lots and lots of photos and sleep whenever you can.