New baby: surviving the first week

I bought a mini step ladder the other day, and when I say mini, it only has two steps. It came with 2 pages worth of instructions and warnings against some weird things I didn’t even know you could do on a ladder. Your baby comes with a placenta! That’s right, no manual. And let’s face it, even if it did come with manual, your hubby would never read it.

It’s difficult to fully prepare for the first week home with your new baby, your poor body will be exhausted and hormones will be racing through it. All babies are different, all parents are different, and all houses are different. It’s also tough to prepare emotionally for this, but there are a few things you can do to make your life easier in that first week, which allow you to focus more on your brand new baby and dwindling sanity.

  • Prepare and freeze a lot of easy to reheat meals and soups before you go to the hospital. If you don’t have time- stock your freezer with some microwave meals. By not having to cook, you have one less thing to worry about.
  • Go for a big shop before you go into hospital, there is no such thing as quickly popping to the shops to pick up some supplies with a week old baby. Try and set up an online shopping list as well, Pick n Pay and Woolies both have very reasonable home delivery rates.
  • Make sure you have properly set up your baby’s cot and changing station either in your room or in a nursery. Unpack some nappies, get all your toiletries ready and put the linen on the cot.
  • Have a good stock of nappies; you go through them a lot quicker than you think.
  • Prewash your baby clothes, blankets and linen- some of them are quite starchy and rough.  Don’t forget the baby fabric softener it better for brand new skins.
  • Stock up on some basic medical supplies. You never know if you might need them. You are going to need cotton buds and surgical spirits to clean your baby’s umbilical stump. If your baby boy has been circumcised- you are going to need some gauze and Vaseline to help it heal. Don’t forget some infant paracetemol and either a medicine bottle for babies or a syringe to get in into your baby’s tiny mouth.
  • Buy all the latest glossies! You won’t be getting out much so it’s good to keep up with what the rest of the world is up to.
Last but not least, as the nurses at the hospital wave goodbye smiling, don’t forget to take the telephone number of the nursery at the hospital.  Most nurses are happy to take phone calls at all hours of the day to give you advice.

What was your lifesaver in that first week? Share in the box below.

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