I don’t think there is a time in life when you will feel more overwhelmed than when you bring your newborn baby home from the hospital and suddenly you’re responsible for keeping a human alive (minus your husband of course but that’s another blog).
I am Sarah Bowmar and at the time of writing this blog, my daughter Oakley is 18 months old and I am three days past my due date- they will be 19 months apart when he is born. My husband and I also run a dozen businesses from home, I am a certified personal trainer, certified fitness nutrition specialist, a prenatal and postpartum certified personal trainer, a Baby-Led certified sleep coach, and am working on a Montessori Diploma for ages 0-3 years old, Gentle Discipline and Potty Learning, a cat mom of four, a dog mom, and a mother hen to 15 chickens. To say there’s a lot on my plate is an understatement but the MOST important job I have is being a mom.
I also would like to note that I gave birth in August 2020- peak pandemic. We were unsure if my husband was even going to be allowed in the delivery room as they weren’t allowing him at several of my appointments and I even had appointments get cancelled because “I was healthy”. It was stressful but the story is our own. We actually preferred the rules that hospital had set in place and it’s something we are continuing for this baby as well- only Josh and I will be in the hospital for birth and recovery. We also don’t allow family or friends to come over to see the baby until the two weeks mark. This is something I will touch on later and is complete personal preference but this is my blog after all 🙂
When we first brought Oakley home from the hospital, I was BEYOND overwhelmed. To the point where I didn’t even want to move off of the couch somedays. But I did learn a lot during those first few weeks and took a lot of proactive measures before being induced at 41 weeks to ensure I would be as prepared as humanely possible to bring our tiny human home. Here are my top 8 tips!
Top 8 Tips for New Moms:
- Stock Up On Essentials
- This is especially important if you have pets, plants, etc- basically anything else in your house that relies on you to keep it alive
- I personally stock up on all food and items needed for my cats, dog, and chickens for at least a month. The LAST thing you want to be worrying about when you bring a newborn home is if the cats have enough litter or not
- Other essentials: toilet paper, paper towels, soap, hair products, etc
- Agree on Visitor Rules BEFORE The Baby Is Born
- This is a BIG one and is needed to establish ahead of heading to the hospital. You and your spouse need to be on the same page with who you want coming over and when. Planning this ahead of time allows you time to have these conversations with friends and family
- For us, personally, we do not have any visitors for two weeks after having the baby. This allows us to establish our own family routine, find what works for us, and allows mom time to recover without having to entertain a ton of various people the day after she gets home from birthing a child
- Schedule Appointments Ahead of Time
- I know sometimes it doesn’t work out this way but I try to have my appointments scheduled / finished prior to having the baby. For example, I knew I would need an extension move up (roughly 5 hour appointment that happens every 12 weeks), so I made it as close to my due date as possible (prior to), that way I wouldn’t need to do it again for at least 11 weeks after having the baby. The same goes for the dentist, nails, etc! You will feel so much less stressed for weeks after having the baby if you know you don’t need to have any appointments or leave the house (other than for baby’s appointments).
- Baby Wearing
- A HUGE help for me during my postpartum recovery was baby wearing!. It allows you to still have both hands but stay close to baby at all times. I know it will especially come in handy while also having a 19 month old. My favorite wrap is linked here!
- Utilize Online Shopping Services
- I know for me, the last thing I want to do as soon as having a baby is worrying about leaving to get groceries. I urge every new mom to utilize a grocery delivery service if possible. Again, the less you have to stress about, the better. And yes, husbands could easily go to the store. But I would rather have my husband home with me rather than running out to get grocery items.
- Be Prepared
- I am the ultimate planner so having as many things ready as soon as you get home is vital to reducing stress and truly soaking up all the newborn cuddles and snuggles. I have two blogs, one from my pregnancy with Oakley and one with baby boy that break down all of the classes, books, apps, etc that we used during pregnancy and beyond. I also have a sleep blog if you want to check that out as well as a leaps / development blog. All of which have amazing resources compiled within it that I wish I had when I was towards the end of my pregnancy
- I also recommend having the nursery / closet / diaper cart (if you are using one), etc 100% ready to go as soon as you can
- Laundry / dishes / clean house- you will feel so much less stress and anxiety if you are coming home to a clean house without a huge list of daunting chores to do with a fresh baby
- If you have emails / outstanding bills / other obligations to wrap up- I suggest doing so as often as you can daily until you either go into labor or get induced
- Having your postpartum supplements ready can alleviate some much headache when it comes to trying to plan meals. Of course, whole food, nutritious meals is always the goal but when you are caring for a tiny person, sleep deprived, and recovering from birth, sometimes for a few weeks, the idea of prepping full course meals goes out the window. It is recommended to continue taking your prenatal while you are breastfeeding!
- Don’t Neglect Sunlight and Exercise
- No matter the time of year, prioritizing getting outside, even if for 10-15 minutes will help immensely with Vitamin D, melatonin, and overall mood improvement for you and baby. I also encourage walking and exercise for all postpartum recoveries. Movement helps so much when it comes to recovery. I do have a free prenatal and postpartum fitness guide that can be downloaded here
Bonus Dad Tips
- I asked Josh, my husband, if he had any dad tips that he could give for first time dads and he had two very important ones he wanted me to share with everyone:
- Do anything and everything you can for your wife. Everyone is sleep deprived and sometimes can lack compassion towards one another but as the dad, you have to remember, you did not grow a human nor did you birth one. So you are not recovering from anything like your wife is. In his own words: step up and be the man your wife married. If she asks you to do something, do it. Actually, don’t even let it get to the point of her needing to ask. If you see a dish in the sink, do it. If you know laundry needs done, do it. Ask HER if she needs any water or a drink or offer to grab take out so she doesn’t have to cook. Encourage her to take a hot bath while you watch the baby. Do all that you can to make her recovery as smooth and easy as it can be.
- Offer to change as many diapers as you can during the day. It seems so silly and simple but there are so few things dads can do right away and this is the best way to show your wife you are a team player and you guys are partners. Per Josh: don’t be a loser and change the diapers, without complaining and without saying you aren’t good at it. Get good at it. It isn’t hard.
Other Blogs of Interest:
Newborn to Toddler Bath Set Up