One of my best friends is having her first baby. She’s a woman who has been fiercely independent her whole life. She has traveled to some ridiculous number of countries. She has a graduate degree from another country. She works for one of the top ten universities in America. She’s easily among the top 3 most hilarious humans I’ve ever known, and the smartest. And in a pinch, my kids may choose her over me. There’s that kind of love between us.
She’s expecting her first baby in January.
There are so many things I want to tell her.
There are so many things I want her to know are “okay.” I don’t fucking know what she should “expect.” How would I ever know that? Expect crazy. Expect weird. Expect beauty. Expect misery. But details? Nah those are hers to own. Hers to build.
The other day we were texting and she was expressing the understandable shitstorm of emotions within her – excited, terrified, depressed, in love.
This article, Must-Read Tips for Your First Week with Baby helps give you some ideas on how to get equipped for your first week together.
You already know the obvious things, like the crib, the clothes, the diapers and setting up the nursery.
But there’s a great ocean of things you don’t necessarily thing of right off the bat. Read on to avoid being caught flat-footed the first week home.
When I was pregnant with my first child, ten years and a million sleepless nights ago, I went about pregnancy the same way I had gone about my college courses: by reading everything I could get my hands on, studying notes, attending classes, and joining message boards. I was always a great student — and definitely an overachiever — and now I intended to get an A-plus in Motherhood 101.
I diligently attended my birthing classes, toured the hospital, and dragged my husband to the breastfeeding prep class. I washed all the bodysuits and the gowns in hypoallergenic, dye- and scent-free detergent. I practiced my kegels.
Then, I had a baby.
And, like postpartum women everywhere, I found myself in my bed, body fluids oozing from far and near, stitches in places I didn’t know I had, my breasts growing at an exponential and alarming rate, my hormones crashing down around me, and all I could think was, “Nobody told me about this. There was no chapter that said anything about this!”
There are a number of essential products, items, salves, creams, potions, poultices and paraphernalia you simply have to have when the new baby arrives.
Enjoy this video which gives you a lot of great tips on exactly what you need.
Having a baby is, of course, a life-changing experience. But exactly how your life changes can be a bit of a surprise. Our readers share some of their experiences.
“I should have tried to sleep on the first night after the baby was born, instead of spending five hours staring at my baby to make sure he was still breathing! I’d definitely recommend getting sleep whenever you can.”
“Newborn babies need lots and lots of sleep. However, keeping them up more during the day doesn’t make them sleep any better at night, it just makes you frazzled.”
“At three in the morning, remember that they aren’t babies forever, and eventually, you will get some sleep.”
“Sleep when your baby sleeps. Midwives always say this, but it does work!”