The first days at home with a newborn are not easy. You find yourself alone with a little stranger who is experiencing emotions over your head. And mom is tired, lost and often overwhelmed.
And it's okay to feel that way, because a baby doesn't come with an instruction manual. And our emotions and trials along the way can't be predicted either.
In an effort to offer some comfort to those for whom the big day is coming, here are 5 tips for the big homecoming.
1. KEEP BABY CLOSE TO YOU
A baby instinctively seeks to recreate the sense of security felt in the womb. They like to be close to a warm body and hear their mother's heartbeat. This is why it is advisable to keep your baby close to you as often as possible in the first few weeks.
In addition, physical proximity causes you to secrete oxytocin, the natural happiness hormone, which tends to calm you and create an unbreakable bond between you and your little one.
2. FILL THE FRIDGE
You won't regret having a fridge and freezer stocked with healthy, fast food. Between breastfeeding, loads of laundry and naps, meal preparation is often a task put off until later. Yet, it is very important to nourish your body during this exciting time.
Keep in mind that the majority of these meals will need to be eaten quickly and one-handed. Ready-to-eat solutions, such as We Cook, Chef Cook It or Goodfood could then be a good option to avoid the headache of receiving fresh food every week.
Psst! If you prefer to cook for yourself, a good way to build up food gradually may be to double all your recipes up to a month before the baby arrives and always freeze half of them.
3. BUILD A STRONG SUPPORT NETWORK
Sometimes we want to believe that we can do it all on our own and that if so many other women have done it before us, we won't need anyone to get us through it. But the first few weeks with a newborn are very demanding and full of new things and adaptations.
Having a good support system around you to give you a hand when you run out of energy or to advise you when you run out of ideas will change everything.
As they say, "it takes a village to raise a child". So if you have people you trust around you, take advantage of them to make your life easier by getting their help at every opportunity.
And beware of social networks! It's so easy to compare yourself with other mums and find that you don't measure up, but remember that social networks don't always reflect reality and everyone faces their own challenges. The best advice I can give you is to use Instagram to inspire you, not to compare yourself.
4. ALSO THINK ABOUT YOUR HEALTH
Childbirth and pregnancy are mentally and physically challenging. Coping with motherhood is another challenge you'll have to deal with pretty quickly, juggling little sleep and hard to pin down demands. Be gentle with yourself.
It's important to drink plenty of water, eat well and make time in your schedule (with dad's help, if possible) for a relaxing bath or time alone.
Short walks alone are also a good way to energize your body and mind quickly, especially after a C-section. It may be tempting to just sit around, but it's definitely best to move around a little every day to speed up the healing process and get your body back into shape.
And for a little something extra that feels good, get the gift set New parents from Petit Coulou. With a lavender essential oil candle and 30 sweet messages to read daily, this set will put a comforting balm on this difficult time. Check it out!
5. BOND WITH BABY
There is no magic formula for bonding with your little one. It's up to you to get to know your baby's personality, limits and needs. And the only way to do that is to give the two of you time.
Some people love their child from the first moment they see him, others need several days or even weeks, and that's totally normal. There is no right way to do this, only the way that will work best for you. Just show your child that you are there for him, that he can trust you and that he will not lack anything. Trust will gradually build up on its own.
Stay close to your baby and be patient.
No matter what comes your way in your early days of motherhood, tell yourself that you're not the only one going through it and just do your best. Your maternal instincts will guide you to the right thing to do. And you'll do it with flying colours.