Whether your little one is coming home with you from the hospital soon after birth or through an adoption agency or foster care, your first day together in your home is a big deal. The moment you cross the threshold with a newborn is equally exciting and scary – and that’s okay. We’ve rounded up some real-world advice from real Moms who’ve been there.
Ready? This is where the adventure of parenthood officially begins.
REAL ADVICE FROM MOMS WHO’VE SURVIVED THE 1ST DAY HOME WITH BABY
Nap when the baby naps
It’s the classic advice Moms hand out like candy – but it’s really good candy. Ekta, Mom to Karan and Kavya, is no different: “Sleep when the baby sleeps, no matter what errand is pending! Remember, your health is just as important as the baby's.”
Don’t be a hero
You’ve probably heard of Mom guilt? It’s easy for us to say, “don’t fall into that trap” – but really, don’t. When we asked Sam, Mom to Brendan, Aidan and Chloe, for her take on new-Mom guilt, her answer was straightforward: “Don't feel you need to be a perfect Mom and wife, do what YOU and the baby need.”
Ask for help and accept help
There’s an old saying that says it takes a village to raise a child. We’d go as far as to say it takes a village to survive the first few weeks at home with a newborn. Julie, Mom to Daria and Max, kept it simple: “Don’t be afraid to ask someone to hold the baby while you shower or to bring over a meal.”
It’s ok not to love every minute
Although we’d love to live a made-for-Hollywood newborn experience, we’ll have to make do with real life. “It can be a difficult transition to motherhood. Your body goes through so much with little time to recover, and then you’re on a feeding schedule with almost no rest. It’s okay, you’ll get through it,” says Alissa, Mom to Luca, Cristiano and Vienna. And you will get through it.
Get a vibrating chair
Your newborn will want cuddles 24/7, and we’re here to tell you that’s normal. Catherine, Mom to Simone, had the best advice: “Your newborn won't let you put him or her down for more than a minute? It's really hard, and you're exhausted, I know. But hold them tight, and it’ll eventually pass. They'll grow to trust you and know that you're not going anywhere.” Then she added: “Get one of those vibrating chairs.”
Get your partner involved right away
This falls into the “don’t be a hero” category. Put your partner to good use while making them feel included at the same time. “Their support and care for the little one will be cherished,” says Gisèle, Mom to Philip and Emily.
Make the baby’s sibling feel special
If you’re coming home to a newly minted sibling (or siblings), don’t forget they’re going through a lot of change too. Tawnya, Mom to 3-year-old Quinn and 1-month new Sloane, gives Quinn small tasks like fetching blankets or diapers. She adds, “our focus cannot only be on the baby. We spend alone time with Quinn, so she understands she’s still very much an important part of the family.”
Take it one day at a time
During those first days (first weeks) at home, you’ll feel completely turned upside down and very overwhelmed. Jo-Ann, Mom to Bradley, Andrew and Meaghan, took the words right out of our mouths: “Take it one day at a time, one hour at a time. You have instincts that no one else has.”