Are you prepared to be a mommy? Yes, that is a loaded question. Can you ever really be ready for something so monumental? Probably not. Let’s face it, there isn’t a human alive who is capable of being a perfect parent. If that is what you want to be you are in for a rude awakening. You can be a great parent, though. So what you can do is prepare to the best of your abilities and I am here to help!
The first days at home, you are a new parent
Getting back into the swing of things may take a little while. It can be hard to come home from the hospital, where all you have to do to get instant help is press a little button, to coming home and being on your own. If you are a first-time parent this can be pretty scary!
The first thing to remember is to sleep when your baby sleeps especially if the baby is not sleeping much at night. It can be tempting to clean or cook or simply watch a couple hours of your favorite reality television show. If you need sleep though take your sleep, even if it’s just a cat nap. It is okay to do the bare minimum for a while. It is okay to order take out or eat fish sticks for dinner. If you have kids at home already remember one thing. All they need is food, clothes, and love.
Remember earlier when Imentioned deep cleaning before you go into labor? If you did it then you are smiling now. It only takes a few minutes to pick up at the end of the day (I know sometimes you are just too tired and that is ok but just try to keep up, it does save time!) So, take a deep breath and relax. Preparing beforehand lets you enjoy the simplicity and joy of bonding with your new baby now. This is also true when it comes to organizing. It can be tempting, and I know from experience, to just throw laundry in the corner to be put away later, but if you take a minute to put it away it will save time in the future.
Visitors! the good, the bad and the unwelcome
Everybody loves a baby. That’s good, right? Well, yes and no. Everybody loves YOUR baby which is great BUT it also means that everybody wants to SEE your baby. You may be wondering what is wrong with that. Nothing in theory
until you are dozing off with a breastfeeding baby and your very loud coworker starts banging on the door. You try to hide, but then the baby starts crying and you can hear Noisy Nikki outside sing-songing “I can hear you”. Now is the time to put some restrictions for visitors in place. What restrictions you choose all depend on your level of comfort with visitors. Do you want people to call first or even better text first? It can definitely be easier to tell someone no over text. Do they need to wait until the baby is a certain age or only contact you during the day? Whatever you decide is okay. It is all about what you are comfortable with and definitely do not feel bad about saying no sick people welcome!
Make sure everyone washes their hands before they hold the baby too. Who cares if this annoys anyone? Baby’s health is more important. It is also okay if they smoke to ask them to drape a blanket over their clothes before holding your little miracle.
Remember Dad, at the beginning of this parenting journey,
you should probably defer to Mom when it comes to visitors. She did just push a tiny human out of her body remember? When you push a tiny human out of your body she promises to defer to your wishes when it comes to visitors. It would only be fair.
what do dads needs to know
- Sleep may become a distant memory for a while. Make sure you get up to help your partner in the middle of the night, even if you have to work in the morning and she does not. You both made the baby so you both need to get up at 4 A.M. Even if all you do is carry the baby to her so she can breastfeed the little one.
- After the baby is born the new mom cannot have sex for six weeks. Don’t even ask, the doctor has already said no. More on this subject will follow later in the book but I promise you will survive.
- You can though tell her how beautiful she is every day. Especially on the days, she hasn’t showered and she is covered in baby food.
- When your parents come to visit they will walk right by you to visit the baby. This is normal. It is even normal for you to feel a little jealous but let’s face it. Who would you be more excited to see?
- Everyone has trouble adjusting to not being the center of their parent’s universe.
- Baby is now the center of your universe. Say Goodbye to late night bar runs with your friends. Your best buddy will now be drinking milk during your late nights together.
- You may feel as if you are being ignored by your partner right now. Mommy has fallen in love with your new baby. This does not mean that he doesn’t love you anymore but she has been waiting for this love for nine months. It is a normal part of life when you are starting a new family. Be happy, you want your baby loved by the most amazing woman in the world right?
- Your partner is scared. There are so many scary things that can happen. I use to worry I would pick up my baby’s arm and their little bones would just break. Of course, that never happened. To her, though many scary things could happen any day so be patient with her. All it means is that she loves your baby so much.
- On that note, try not to take it personally when she takes her frustration out on you. She is feeling fat, her clothes probably do not fit, she has the equivalent
If you have made the decision to breastfeed then Congratulations! You are making a great decision to help your baby on his or her strongest road to being healthy. Breastfeeding can be a magical bonding experience with your child but it can also be frustrating. You will have sore nipples, your milk will let down when you don’t want it to, you can have a lot of milk or not enough milk and you may spend entire days
doing nothing but nursing. It does get better, though. The pain recedes, your milk gets on a schedule as does your child. Stick with it and you will be so happy that you did. Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin which is the same hormone people can feel when they are falling in love. You may also feel physically, some of the same feelings you have before with your husband when you breastfeed the baby. This happens to women. No one likes to talk about it but it does happen. This does not mean something is wrong with you. It means you have a body
and you have hormones. Do not give up on breastfeeding if you experience this. If you are unable to breastfeed or have made the decision not too do not beat yourself up over this. Remember, even if you can breastfeed just the first week you are giving the baby a step up in the world. There are many reasons why mom’s decide not to breastfeed or decide to stop sooner than later. It may be your milk supply, you may need to take medication, you may work a lot and have trouble pumping and the list goes on.